…because last night, President Obama signed an order directing federal agencies to implement the sequester cuts. So this morning, we can breathe a sign of satisfaction as we sip our morning coffee. (Champagne corks may be appropriate, but will have to wait until tonight.) What the sequester shows is that, contrary to the cynical conviction that was all too well justified by experience, government spending can be cut. Republicans don’t always fold in the clutch. There really are politicians in Washington who are looking our for America and its citizens, and not just lining their own pockets or those of union bosses and other patrons.
Sure, the Obama administration will use the cuts to try to inflict inconvenience on the public, but so what? If we are going to cut federal spending enough to make a difference, we will have to cut enough that people actually notice. So we may as well get started now. As for the Democrats’ claim that cutting federal spending will damage the economy, it is absurd. If borrowing and spending were the keys to economic growth, we would all be lighting cigars with $100 bills, not watching GDP growth stall at a pathetic 0.1%. And people would be fleeing Texas and North Dakota to seek opportunity in California and Illinois.
The sequester cuts are, of course, small. Federal spending will rise, not fall, in FY 2013. Years from now, we will be able to gauge how significant they really are. The hope is that, while small, they will be seen in hindsight as a turning point–as the moment when the seemingly irresistible tide of big government was stopped and began slowly to recede. As the Battle of Gettysburg in America’s 21st century civil war. Is that a fanciful hope? Perhaps. But the liberals don’t consider it to be out of the question; hence the extraordinary level of hysteria and malice with which they have tried to reverse such seemingly modest restraints on spending.
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