Prudent financial restraint is necessary
With the March 1 “sequestration” deadline quickly approaching, there appears to be no sense of urgency among lawmakers and the Obama administration to reach a mutual agreement to avoid automatic spending cuts that will be implemented in the absence of a reasoned, sensible budget approach. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that if the $85 billion in cuts mandated are put into effect, hiring would be reduced by 750,000 and economic growth would be limited to 1.4 percent this year. Considering the 0.1 percent contraction in 4th quarter gross domestic product for 2012, this would further hamper a less than stellar recovery.
The American people in general and the domestic economy in particular must no longer be held hostage to the “inside the Beltway” 11th hour crisis induced resolutions we have become accustomed to seeing over the past several years. Political posturing and kicking the can down the road does nothing to instill confidence for employers to hire, businesses to invest and consumers to spend. Uncertainty is the breeding ground for economic stagnation.
In light of the failure of the “super committee” to reach consensus on deficit reduction targets under the Budget Control Act of 2011, this first round of sequestration cuts is but one of nine specified through fiscal year 2021 totaling $1.2 trillion. Common sense would seem to dictate a responsible plan of attack to address specific spending reductions as opposed to across-the-board, draconian spending cuts that will harm more than they will help. Responsible leadership is sorely needed.
Considering the sluggish economic recovery, continuing erosion of the value of our dollar and a ballooning national debt, is a little prudent fiscal economic restraint really too much to ask for?