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Cutting Through the Rhetoric on Defense Sequestration
By Veronique de Rugy, Benjamin H. Friedman | 06 Jan 2012
The prospect of $500 billion in cuts to the U.S. defense budget from 2013-2021 has Washington in a panic. In unveiling a barely updated military strategy yesterday, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta repeated his warning that such cuts would lead to a “demoralized and hollow force.” One of his deputies has called the cuts the equivalent of “self-castration.” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina recently warned that the cuts will “destroy” the Department of Defense.

Sequester: Isolate or hide away (someone or something)

Hiding away?

Wasn't that what George W. Bush was doing with the actual cost of the invasion and occupation of Iraq?

Obama: No More War Spending Tricks
By Nathan Hodge
February 25, 2009 | 7:00 am |
In his address last night on the economic crisis, President Barack Obama made it official: No more budgetary sleight-of-hand at the Pentagon.

As we have noted here before, the U.S. military has largely paid for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through emergency spending measures, in effect keeping wartime costs off the books. In addition to masking skyrocketing budget growth at the Department of Defense, this process has allowed the services to treat budget supplementals as a piggy bank for new procurement. Members of Congress may have grumbled about poor oversight, but they have largely acquiesced.

Obama’s message? Not anymore.

GWB spent U.S. tax money like a drunken sailor, plunging us deeper and deeper into debt, while at the same time playing a shell game with the costs:
Editorial: Off-budget accounting for Iraq
By refusing to estimate the costs for the war in Iraq, Bush makes his budget deficits look much smaller than they actually are.

With two full years of experience waging war in Iraq, President George W. Bush should have some idea of how much it will cost to continue the fight next year.

But when he submitted his 2006 budget to Congress in February, it didn't contain one penny for combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Sunny optimist that he is, Bush wasn't operating on the assumption that the mission would actually be accomplished by then.

Instead, Bush insisted it would be impossible to know how much would be needed, so instead of including anything in the regular budget, he plans to continue the tradition of coming to Congress for emergency supplemental appropriations when war funds get low.

So what, exactly, does Defense Sequestration mean?

Does it have something to do with a sharp knife?

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Comment Preferences

  •  no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    its a mandatory budget cut amnesty, one which is totally undeserved and should be opposed.   The proposed cut being cumulative over several years aren't even castration, it is more like refusing male hormone treatments for a young bull.

  •  "defense sequestration" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gooserock, NearlyNormal

    is a Newspeak construction that translates as making sure that not one penny is denied those elements of the US government that wander the world to bomb and shoot and strafe and slit.

  •  Sequestration is the process used to implement (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    phonegery, angry marmot, Odysseus

    the budget cuts that were enacted as part of the debt limit bill. The process has been around since the 1974 budget act. The cuts don't happen at once, but on a yearly basis. in the past most sequestration requirements have been overridden in subsequent Congresses. Which is why those familiar with the mechanics have assumed that most if not all of the cuts in the debt limit deal would be altered or not come to pass at all.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 11:56:03 AM PST

  •  I read this initially as defenestration. (5+ / 0-)

    I need new glasses.

  •  To sequester money is to put it away (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and not spend it.  Dubya did that with $300,000 that was designated for Afghanistan but not spent and then moved by his authority to plan the invasion of Iraq.  I always thought that was the impeachable offense because he had no authorization until the AUMF was passed, after the money was already gone.  Much was done after the fact and out of order by Bush/Cheney.  Money is supposed to be appropriated first and then spent, but conservatives aren't good about time and sequence.

    Anyway, what I think has Capitol Hill spooked is that Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he'll do what he says.  Capitol Hill can't count on an ineffectual executive.  So, the defense cuts they agreed to, assuming they wouldn't be implemented, may well come to pass. Panetta's just letting them know.
    Presumably, some overseas bases are going to have to be closed and the nuclear arsenal reduced.
    It's fine to explain to the home folks that "the President made me do it," when it's THEIR President.  Blaming Obama won't look good.  Much better to blame the economy on him--an economy that Republicans swear up and down they don't control.

    People to Wall Street: "LET OUR MONEY GO"

    by hannah on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 12:26:44 PM PST

  •  As has been noted, (0+ / 0-)

    "Defense Sequestration" is taking a sum of money from the defense budget and putting it aside later until it is needed.

    This is not uncommon when someone who does not see any real need for a US military budget bigger than the National GDP is in charge and the military wants someone else to be in charge.  They hide some of the money elsewhere until another profiteer is put in charge, so they can have their cake and attack it too.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Fri Feb 03, 2012 at 01:44:46 PM PST

  •  Defense Sequestration is nothing more (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karen Hedwig Backman

    than doubletalk to protect military-industrial profits. Particularly outrageous is the claim that the proposed cuts to a bloated Defense Dept. budget would "hollow" out  our defense capability. Even more scurrilous is that the savings to the defense budget are proposed by cutting number of service men and women; most of the gold-plated weapon systems that are suited to a fight on the plains of Europe are still intact. How do you spell d-e-f-e-n-s-e  p-r-o-f-i-t-s?

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