The mystery of the sequester

The mystery of the sequester

Sequester chartAccording to President Obama, the sequester will be an unprecedented disaster if it happens: first responders out of work, seniors hurt, Pentagon workers furloughed, substantial job losses, etc.

But here’s the odd thing: even with the sequester cuts, federal government spending in FY 2013 will still be greater than it was in FY 2012.

As Yuval Levin put it in National Review Online, “federal spending in 2013 will be about $3.553 trillion. In 2012, federal spending was $3.538 trillion. Yes, that means that even with the sequester we will be spending slightly more in 2013 than we did in 2012.” Nor is its eventual impact all that significant, as the chart above shows (hat tip to the Yankee Institute for Public Policy).

So … if in FY 2012 we had emergency responders, Pentagon contractors, etc., where has all the money that paid for them gone? We need an immediate investigation! Quick, someone call the Attorney General! No, on second thought, don’t do that. Try the Government Accountability Office instead! Either the President is making up his remarks (and OF COURSE that can’t be the case) or someone has just pulled off the biggest heist in history!


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