Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Spending cuts frustrating US citizens

A series of automatic government spending cuts, called the sequester, began March 1.

According to CNN News, this plan of action is part of an attempt to get a handle on the growth of the U.S. national debt. This outstanding debt is valued at more than $16 trillion and exploded upward when the 2007 recession hit. The sequester has been coming for more than a year and will total $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

The cuts will be split 50/50 between defense and domestic discretionary spending. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the sequester a “legislative madness” in the form of harsh cuts that no one wanted, according to CNN News.

Like Panetta, WTAMU Instructor of Political Science Andrew Garcia credits the sequester with unintended consequences.

“Government negotiators never intended these massive spending cuts to actually happen,” Garcia said. “They were created to force Republicans and Democrats to come to an agreement on how to reduce the national deficit, as mandated by the 2011 Budget Control Act. That committee failed to come to an arrangement, though, and sequester became a reality.”

According to, President Obama and Congress have already reduced the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion through a balanced approach valuing the protection of reliable investments. It is said the sequester should be done the same way.

However, while the sequester may be based on good intentions, the immediate consequences will be felt by the entire country, according to Garcia.

“If the spending cuts are allowed to proceed in their current form, everyone in America will be adversely affected,” Garcia said. “The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) estimated that 8 percent of the nonmilitary budget and 13 percent of the defense budget will be slashed. This will have profound effects on education, military readiness, health care, economic stimulus and public safety. Across the board, spending cuts meaning exactly that.”

Junior Finance major Leif Knippers believes cutting education and military readiness funds would be a mistake.

“Cutting education is like cutting the foundation of this country,” Knippers said. “Being an educated populous allows the freedom of being independent. Becoming an illiterate society would cause America to depend on others. Also, reducing the military budget is bothersome because our military men and women deserve the best when defending our country and our freedom.”

Haley Hollis, freshman Business Management major, also fears the priority of cuts.

“[Public safety and health] are two of the biggest things we have for survival,” Hollis said. “When it’s lacking, we suffer.”

Civic concerns like these are believed to be a promotional tool of each political party ideology, according to Garcia.

“Ultimately, I believe both political parties will use public fear of sequester to leverage their agenda into any new deficit reduction plan,” Garcia said. “We’re witnessing a very basic philosophical disagreement in action between America’s two major political parties. Republicans unequivocally refuse tax increases and demand our government spending to decrease. Democrats want to use tax increases to soften the blow on government programs for education and social assistance. Hopefully, for the average American citizen, partisanship will not prevail.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The PRAIRIE Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *