Sequestration for Dummies

Sequestor Funny

I am sure you have heard about the effects the sequester has had on various aspects of the United States. How it is cutting back spending, and therefore causing all kinds of terrible things to end. I thought I would simplify this concept for you all, who like me, were really confused as to what exactly it is.

Essentially, sequestration is not a current cut, unlike what mass media and the white house would like you to believe. Sequestration is a reduction of planned future spending. Let me give a tangible example. Let’s say you have $100 to spend on a fancy meal once a month. You plan to go to the best restaurant ever every month, for the rest of your life, and spend $100 on a great meal. However, one day, for whatever reason, you go to a less expensive restaurant, and discover the meal is just as great, and it only cost you $50! So now, you decide you are going to reduce your spending on meals. This month, you have $100 to spend, and you cut it by $50 since you choose to go to a cheaper restaurant. You “sequestered” or saved $50 by choosing to spend less in the future. Make sense?

So why is this such a big deal in the government? Well, anytime planned spending is reduced, that means some government programs will, in the future, be made smaller. Here’s the thing though. Even though a sequester may be implemented, the deficit (or how much the government owes to the people or other countries) can increase. Because a sequester only focuses on things the executive branch decides to reduce in the future.

See where I am going with this?

The current presidency has the power through sequester to choose what organizations receive future funds, and which ones don’t. When sequesters happen is determined by legislation of the congress.The drama regarding the sequester was created, based upon what Mr. Obama decided. It is yet another “the sky is falling” panic, trying to get people to emotionally react to government “cuts” as they call it.


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