The Truth About the Sequester – and Your State Legislature

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An epidemic of Sequestermania is ravaging the land.  Two million federal employees and Americans everywhere are freaking out – over what? That there may be too many federal employees who show up day after day, and then when the project they were hired to do is done, they sit and wait. And wait. While we pay them to … wait.

How do I know this? Because I have friends who work in D.C. They’ve seen it.

Now, here’s the awful truth about the sequester, so brace yourselves:

If you earn $160,000 a year, you have just cut a whopping $850 from your annual budget – or $70.83 a month.

Extraordinary, isn’t it?

SequestermaniaHere’s my message to the Democrats and Republicans in Congress who got us into this mess:

Get a life. 

To repeat Sarah Palin’s insightful (“hateful?”) words:

Grow up and do your job.

The sequester is hardly anything over which to hyperventilate. But watch out as the Democrats and their Republican collaborators make their traditional hay with cutting in all the wrong places.  Do you think they’ll consult with Citizens Against Government Waste to get their priority list?  Not likely.

What’s Happening At the State Level
It’s not much better on the state and local level either, where the combined debt is projected to total over $20 trillion at the end of 2013 (that’s without the unfunded mandates and debt service factored in).

On the state level, the total 50-state debt is $1.7 trillion. Even conservative Utah is nearly $20 billion in debt, according to the World Debt Clock.

I have been at the Utah state legislature nearly every day during the 2013 session.  In practice, the sentiment in the predominantly Republican body mirrors the Democrat philosophy: “Never let a good federal dollar go to waste.”

Congressman Rob Bishop
Credit: Deseret News

In the words of Congressman Rob Bishop, “If you don’t want the federal government to control the state, then don’t keep taking its money.”

A Case In Point
I testified in the 75% Republican House Education Committee against a suicide prevention program for the schools – sponsored by Republican Steve Eliason, that would cost only $250,000 the first year and only $100,000 thereafter (at launch rates).  Mind you, this was in only one committee and on only one day of hearings.

These programs also get plenty of federal money. If a school district can increase the numbers of at-risk students, they can qualify for even more federal money. Even your children could qualify if they miss more than 10% of school days (18.5) to go on an extended family trip, or because of a family death or illness that takes them away from the formal classroom. (That’s all about Title I funds, my friends.)

I asked the committee to consider how they could criticize the federal government for being so out of control when they themselves are doing the very same thing on the state level. I asked the Republicans on the committee – who outnumbered the Democrats by 4 to 1 – to at least vote like Republicans and to stand for the platform of limited government.

Only two did: Jim Nielson and Dan McCay.

Greg Hudnall, Provo School District, came back at me after my testimony – with the ultimate bleeding-heart whine that I hear over and over in these committees:

“What price do you put on the loss of even one child? That’s priceless.”

Just how many “priceless” bills will local, state and federal government continue to pass because each one is so “priceless,” before we price ourselves into oblivion? I find that to be the heartless side of this sob story, and I wish I had that kind of endless line of credit.

When the vote went to the House floor, we heard the same rhetoric from sponsor Republican Rep. Steve Eliason. Only two brave men stood their ground: Ken Ivory (the “Where’s the Line?” guy) and Education Committee Member Jim Nielson from Davis County. Ken has been a champion of states rights. Kudos to Jim for surviving the U.S. Department of Education under Utah’s own T.H. Bell, the man who got us further into this whole education mess rather than fulfilling Reagan’s promise to dismantle the department.

Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, Dan McCay lost his courage post-committee and changed his floor vote to YEA.

An Identity Crisis
Republicans once again have an identity crisis on their hands. Who are they really, when they consistently vote as if government’s role is to make everyone happy?

This reminds me of Robert Muller, the late U.N. Assistant Secretary-General, a socialist to whose daily drool – the “Good Morning World” emails – I subscribed wrote:

In my view the two main purposes of government should be:
– to make the Earth a paradise
– to render humanity happy.

The problem I have with that utopian nightmare is twofold:

  1. It ignores human nature; and,
  2. Muller and his cohorts are all socialists. They say so themselves.  They write about it.  They eat, sleep and breath it.  And in the words of the Polish countess who bought my parents’ home in the Hollywood Hills, and whose family survived the communist invasion during World War II by escaping and burying their wealth:  Americans are stupid. 

Where do these Republicans who are elected by mostly low-information voters, and who are so easily swayed by the bleeding hearts that traipse through committee hearings, get the moral authority to take 50% of my money to fix the world’s problems when I already give over 10% of my charitable contributions to my Church for that purpose?

RINO the new GOP mascot
The New GOP Mascot?

What we need are some real Republicans – that is supposed to be the conservative side of the aisle – to stand up and be counted.  Otherwise the GOP is going to have to change its mascot or its platform to reflect the Democrat wannabe’s they have become in practice.

Lord help us all.

P.S. Our private debt is nearly as large as our public debt. Just thought you’d like to know.