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This Little Piggy: How to Retain $85 Billion in Pork

Written by Gary North on February 22, 2013

Sequestration begins on March 1. This means spending cuts. Well, not exactly cuts. There will be reductions in spending increases.

Both sides are aghast. The thought of a pork reduction program of $85 billion in a budget of $3.8 trillion is horrifying in Washington.

Reuters calls such cuts “harsh.”

The cuts will go into effect beginning on March 1.

“At this point, we continue to reach out to Republicans and say this is not going to be good for the economy, it’s not going to be good for ordinary people,” the president told radio talk show host Al Sharpton.

That settles it. If we can’t trust something we hear on Al Sharpton’s radio show, what can we trust?

In what looks like a coordinated campaign to win public support for a broader deficit reduction package that includes more tax revenue, the White House and government agencies have warned frequently in recent days of severe damage from the cuts.

A coordinated campaign by the White House? Surely, you jest!

They could curb economic growth, lead to some 750,000 lost jobs and decimate public services like law enforcement and air traffic control, the administration says.

Really? You mean Obama will let criminals with unregistered handguns run wild? You mean he will close the airports?

What’s that? He doesn’t mean this, you say. Well, then, what does he mean?

What does it mean for national defense?

White House spokesman Carney distanced himself from a phrase used by outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, whose department would be hit with the heaviest cuts at $46 billion. Panetta said this month the United States risked becoming a “second-rate power” if sequestration went ahead.

“I don’t think the issue here is the language you use to describe it, because every characterization you make of it, if you’re being honest about it, is negative,” Carney said when asked who would be a first-rate power if the United States were second-rate. “The impact will be negative. It will harm our national security,” Carney said.

How much will the cuts harm national defense. He did not say.

Then what about safe meat?

It could be months before any meat plants are shut down because of a furlough of meat inspectors, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said, because USDA employees get from 30 to as many as 120 days notice of impending layoffs, he said.

“I’m not sure what it is in the food safety area,” said Vilsack whose agency has raised the prospect of the furlough repeatedly in the past two weeks.

So, he doesn’t know.

What about national health?

An official with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the White House’s Office of Management and Budget had yet to tell the department how much to cut if there is no deal in Congress to stop the sequester.

“It’s fair to say that nothing really changes on March 1,” the official said. “We’re all going on estimates until OMB informs us of what the actual percentage cut will be.”

What about safe investing?

The country’s top Wall Street regulators are not expecting layoffs or furloughs. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have so far mostly downplayed the impact of the cuts.

That means traders, financial firms and publicly traded companies are unlikely to need to prepare, for now, for any major immediate disruption of financial markets.

It makes you wonder. Why is the public so frantic about all this?

In addition, the U.S. public seems only dimly aware of the sequester, according to a poll released Thursday.

In findings which may help explain the lack of urgency in Congress so far, about 43 percent of those polled had only heard a little about the planned cuts.

But the cuts are harsh. They will cripple the economy. We heard it from the President of the United States on Al Sharpton’s radio show.

Continue Reading on www.reuters.com

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13 thoughts on “This Little Piggy: How to Retain $85 Billion in Pork

  1. Just shut down the Dept. of Education and Energy and that will solve the reduction in spending required under the pous policy.

  2. vietnamvet1971 says:

    Also DEFUND the EPA they are costing Billions with their INEPT Liberal Garbage.

  3. Texas Chris says:

    Close all government agencies that are not specifically authorized int he constitution. Cut the rest in half.

    National debt paid off in 6.5 years. Done.

  4. Seymour Kleerly says:

    Just imagine the increase in GARBAGE if the greedy polluters had no EPA. watching them! Turn Off Fox News.

  5. Seymour Kleerly says:

    At least we'll be more restrained from invading other countries based on false info. or personal desires like Bush and Cheney.

  6. Jim Kremsreiter says:

    $85B "cut"? That's 2.24%. Whoop-dee-doo! Will any government department or agency actually get fewer dollars this fiscal year than they got last fiscal year? Not from what I've heard. Sequestration! Yes, bring it on! Just to prove that it won't cause the end of the world. Then maybe, just maybe, Washington will realize that maybe they won't really have to get 40% of their spending by going hat-in-hand to lenders every year.

  7. I support shutting down the department of education , and the department of energy , and the environmental protection agency , and the food and drug administration , and firing all the Czars , and laying off 400,000 civil service workers , and the department of natural resources , and etc: etc : etc :

  8. This is how ever-expanding government justifies its bloated existence, even as the means (jobs, prosperity, innovation, start-ups, balance of trade) to support such bloat, vanishes before our eyes. Rule #1: when spending cuts are called for, ALWAYS cut essential services first (police, fire, medical) while leaving untouched the bureaucratic legions that contribute nothing to society.

  9. Buckeye State says:

    There is a disconnect between saying these cuts are reducing the increase YoY and how the cuts are actually being implemented. Here in Dayton, the DoD civilians (engineers, program managers, testers, contracts officers, etc.) who run the Air Force's acquisition programs (fighters, bombers, UAVs, cargo transports, etc.) are about to be furloughed 1 day a week for 22 weeks between end of April and end of the gov't FY in September. All the civilians at numerous other installations that manage development, acquisition, and sustainment not only for the Air Force but Army and Navy are also being furloughed. So that means a 20% slowdown in execution of those programs. I think it's disingenuous for people to characterize these cuts as a reduction in the increase to the budget for affected agencies. The DoD civilians get paid what they get paid. They aren't getting paid 20% more than they got last year, but they are being furloughed while SS, Medicare, and other unconstitutional programs and agencies are not touched. Defense is one of the few Constitutionally authorized cabinet departments.

  10. Please try to get some help for your Bush Derangement Syndrome.
    It is a tired and over used argument.
    How about oblamo's little excursions into Libya?
    And now he is positioning troops in Africa?
    I thought AlQaeda was on the run, decimated???
    Or is that Bush's fault too?

  11. The only people screaming about armegeddon spending cuts are the politicians. It just means they cannot pork their way into another re-election.
    It is stupid and unnecessary spending that has gotten us into this financial mess.

  12. Seymour Kleerly says:

    We didn't send troops to die for a lie in Libya. We have troops"positioned" all over the world! Bush destroyed the balance of power in that region so Al-Quaida is much freer to operate. They were never in Iraq until Bus's blunder.

  13. You are clearly one of those "low information" voters!