Saturday, February 23, 2013


One problem with the Sequester is that it is "across the board," which means that every program in every agency must be cut a certain amount.  Another is that the fiscal year of the Federal government is more than 5 mo. old so a good deal of Federal money has already been spent, which means that the amount to be cut is cut from a smaller pot.  Thus those who say that the Sequester is nothing are wrong.  For example, consider just meat and poultry:

The inspection and grading of meat and poultry are two separate programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Inspection for wholesomeness is mandatory and is paid for with public funds. (Emphasis is from the reference)

So it is the law that meat and poultry MUST be inspected.  Inspection is almost entirely manpower so, if the budget for meat inspectors is cut (which it must be if the budget is across the board), a certain number of meat and poultry inspectors must be laid off in some way (If not some number of pay periods, then some number of days of the week.).  What this means is that no meat and poultry inspection, no meat and poultry in the market for you to buy.  In fact, it will probably be that less meat and poultry will be available for consumption because of fewer inspectors per work week.  What do you think that will do to the price of these commodities?

Budget cutters have tripped over this problem before, most notably when Rep. Newt Gingrich shut down the government which meant NO meat or poultry inspection so NO meat and poultry to the stores.  Fortunately, the shut downs were short enough to that there was no meat or poultry crisis.

The DoD apparently is going to get around this problem from a national security problem to some degree by just furloughing civilian employees.  One is already hearing cries from governors against this.  How in the world does anyone think you can cut the Federal budget without cutting employees?

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