COMMUNITIES: Let Michelle Obama slim down sequestration

 Michelle Obama needs to bring her 'get fit - trim the fat' program to Congress and her President husband.  
Photo: Michelle Obama gets fit!

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2013 — With her skyrockting approval ratings, Michelle Obama needs to bring her ‘get fit - trim the fat’ program to Congress and her President husband.  

Because the horrible of horribles is about to happen.


SEE RELATED: The sequester: Answers to your questions


Liberal and conservative pundits and a steady stream of party officials have been warning us 24 hours per day and counting down to an apocalyptic event that must be on the order of Krakatoa.  (It is also known as Krakatau, but who cares what you call it if we all perish in the coming financial conflagration?)

Democrats and Republicans agree that continents will collide or the magnetic poles will shift or the Big Mac will go the way of the dodo bird if the other side lets sequestration happen. Newscasters and politicians alike rehash talking points to educate us on how this will affect us, our loved ones, and all of America.

Each round of fresh revelations on who will lose jobs, and how the sequester will endanger me and my children is ever more frightening. Apparently air traffic controllers, policeman and fireman will be the first to go. Within days, millions of barefoot grade school students will be scratching their lessons in the dirt. Our military, left with only bamboo sticks and rattan boats, afflicted with scurvy and scabies, worry that Quebec may invade and force us all to speak French.

No word yet on the workers in white jumpsuits over at that half-billion dollar Solyndra green jobs stimulus project. They still have plenty of work left to do unwrapping and destroying $8 million worth of brand new high tech glass tubes that taxpayers paid for.


SEE RELATED: Why the fuss over sequestration? Didn’t both parties come up with it?


In 2011, the need for a grand bargain was forced upon our elected leaders by circumstances way beyond their control: Somehow it leaked that after violating Constitutional obligations by not passing a budget in the three years since President Obama’s election in 2008, our debt was now soaring over $1 trillion each year.

The fiscal crisis sneaked up on them like some terrible thief in the night. Who knew that government borrowing forty cents of every dollar it spends could lead to trouble? Looking at, say, Greece, or Italy, or Ireland, or Spain, or Portugal - or like all of Europe - provided no clues.  

No worry, our senators and representatives were up to the task; they passed the Budget Control Act of 2011 in August of that year. A heroic piece of legislating, it allowed $2.4 trillion more debt but contained a poison pill so toxic that both sides would have to come together or risk mutually assured destruction.

That confrontation was sometime in the future, of course, but then no legislation is perfect, is it? Finally, Congress was addressing the debt crisis. Well, more accurately, that’s what they said they were doing.  

How time flies. Eighteen months stealthily went by, lickety-split, like a ninja snail, and now we are just days away from the horrible of horribles. President Obama stated just two weeks before the 2012 election that sequestration “will not happen.” Boy, isn’t he embarrassed.  

From 1912 to 2012, there has been an inflation-adjusted 11,532 percent increase in federal income tax revenues while our population has surged during that same time 331 percent. Anyone can understand how tough it must be for the federal government to budget for three times more citizens with only 110 times more money. It must be exhausting.

No wonder Nancy Pelosi believes that for her to take a pay cut as a result of sequestration would undermine the “the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.” I’m not sure exactly what in the heck that means, but I think it translates into “let them eat cake.”

This is the simple reality: We are borrowing $4 billion per day, or about $121,000 every second. Counting one dollar per second, it would take over 500,000 years to count our current $16 trillion national debt.  

Yet, not one political leader can fathom how to cut two percent from projected increases in a $3.8 trillion annual budget. That is, even after cutting the increases, we still spend more than last year. (Is this ever complicated.)

If we repeal all of the Bush tax cuts, for all the rich and middle class alike, that generates about $3 trillion — over ten years. In other words, we sink another $7 trillion into debt.

Nevertheless, Pelosi, Obama and Senator Harry Reid all insist we don’t have a spending problem. Obama even says “I’m getting tired of hearing [Boehner] say that.” When the Budget Control Act passed, House Speaker Boehner declared, “I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I’m pretty happy.” Really?

Well, America is not so happy … or healthy. If Larry, Moe, and Curly cannot find a way to cut 2 percent of a morbidly obese budget, maybe Michelle Obama should be in charge.  

Since she has no problem telling food companies to cut the fat in things we actually pay for, maybe she’s the one to tell her husband and Congress the same.


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Paul E. Rondeau

Paul E. Rondeau's research and writing on social issures has appeared in law journals, private publications, and  the popular press.  His work has been cited at the U.S. Supreme Court, United Nations and by best-selling authors.  He serves as executive director at American Life League.  He can be contacted at prondeau@all.org.

 

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