In his letter in the Feb. 23-24 edition of the Daily Journal, Mr. Rudow lays out a series of dire cuts that will result from the "sequestration," or the automatic $85 billion in spending cuts slated to take effect Match 1, unless Congress reaches a deal. He lists a long series of horrible results: 125,000 people will lose Section 8 housing, 100,000 homeless will not receive the help that they need, 70,000 kids will be denied access to Head Start and so on. Mr. Rudow is parroting nonsense.
The real facts are these. That $85 billion in cuts comes out of a total 2013 budget of $3.803 trillion, or 2.2 percent. With half of that coming from defense -- the discretionary budget needs to absorb only 1.1 percent of the cuts. Wait. Spending in 2013 -- assuming the sequestration happens -- will exceed the 2012 budget by $15 billion. So, Mr. Rudow's stated horrible results are ridiculous. How could an increase in discretionary spending for 2013 over 2012, assuming the sequestration happens, be so tragic for all these poor, unemployed, sick and children? It can't. It simply can't.
The wolf at the door is not sequestration, but the fact that we are borrowing 46 cents of every dollar we spend. At some point, Mr. Rudow's hyperbole will be a gross understatement -- when we are forced to stop burdening our children and our children's children with our excessive spending.