There are folks who would have us believe that we can’t change the federal budget. That we can’t afford changes that would fight inequality, reduce wasteful and destructive Pentagon spending, and shift toward a budget that better reflects our collective values.
They’re wrong, and we’re not buying it.
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November 23rd is the deadline for the super committee, officially named the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. They’ve all but announced failure to come up with even $1 of their $1.2 trillion deficit reduction task. Since the creation of the super committee, we’ve been hearing there would be automatic, across-the-board cuts to security and non-security spending—called “sequestration”— if the committee failed its task.
Well, here we are. Bracing yourself?
If those cuts took effect, they would work out to around $55 billion cut from non-security discretionary spending every year for ten years, or roughly 13 percent relative to current spending. It would also mean $55 billion cut from annual security spending, or around 10 percent.
But those cuts aren’t slated to start until January 2013. And you know what happens by January 2013, don’t you?
We’ll have a whole new Congress. And, as the Congressional Budget Office put it, those automatic spending cuts “might or might not be upheld by subsequent Congresses.”
In other words: who knows?