Once again, Obama is playing on public ignorance to create a crisis. His goal is not to develop any kind of sensible budget nor reduce the pain of any government contraction. As a recent “non-partisan” memo line from the NC Group Blueprint so kindly put it, I believe he just wants to “Eviscerate the Republicans.” The Federal departments that are not exempt from the Sequester have discretion in how any reduced spending affects them. And within every department are scores of varying roles, and in most cases, waste. Oodles and gobs of waste.
Medicaid is exempt, but not Medicare. Medicare’s rate of growth will be slowed by 2%. Will elderly people be thrown out of their wheelchairs? Denied bottles of Ensure? Let me point out a personal example of where those 2 % cuts in Medicare could come from. When my mother-in-law had to go to a nursing home, we bought her a walker, a wheelchair, and a bed. Medicare officials came to visit, and told us they provide all those things. They never asked for her ability to buy them herself (she had funds, due to careful life-long planning and purchase of long term care insurance long ago. She came to this country from a German refugee camp with almost nothing but the clothes on her back, but her story of working herself out of her circumstances without government help is for another blog) Nonetheless, Medicare brought her all her new equipment. We put the equipment we had bought in her closet. As her health deteriorated, she needed to be moved to a new facility. Medicare called again one day to tell us they were on the way to bring her a new bed. She has a new bed, we told them. It was a different department of Medicare and they had to bring their own new (identical) bed. She doesn’t need a new bed, we told them again, she has a new bed. Nonetheless, they insisted they had to follow orders. So they brought her a new expensive hospital bed, just like her old (new) expensive hospital bed, and switched them. This is a government program at its finest, folks! This is why I believe government cuts are a good thing, a necessary thing. It is very easy to waste someone else’s money, and our citizens think government money comes from someone other than themselves. (And since about half the people pay no Federal income tax, I guess it mostly does…)
The Sequester will mean that finally, our unconscionable growth of government will be slowed infinitesimally, but still at least in the right direction. However, it will only be a crisis if Obama chooses to make it one.
Unfortunately, if the past is any predictor of the future, I suspect he will be sure that this “crisis” is not wasted. He is refreshed and ready to tackle the hard work of cutting back those essential government funded programs, now that he has returned from his golf outing with Tiger Woods in Florida, which cost the equivalent of 341 Federal Worker furloughs.
By: Vicky Kaseorg
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