Opinion: Sequestration cuts are misplaced, shouldn’t affect jobs

Kevin Griffin

Tyler SpaughNorth Carolina Democratic Senator Kay Hagan said more than 20,000 civilians who work at military bases could face “reduced pay through furloughs” due to sequestration, according to the Watauga Democrat.

Sequestration is a series of automatic spending cuts totaling $1.2 trillion over the next nine years, according to the Huffington Post. The cuts will be split equally between domestic spending and defense spending.

Much of the sequestration debate has been reduced to trying to place the blame on either the White House or the House Republicans, but now is not the time to argue over whose fault it is that sequestration has taken place.

The purpose of sequestration was to ensure that major spending cuts would occur even if the president and Congress failed to reach an agreement, according to Forbes.

We can tolerate small defense cuts in the short term, as long as those cuts go to the correct areas. We cannot, however, tolerate cuts that will cause pay cuts or cost America jobs.

Money that goes toward funding government jobs should be the last thing we choose to cut in this struggling economy. Decreasing the unemployment rate while trying to reduce the debt and deficit should be the primary focus for this administration.

Cutting money that funds government jobs only accelerates the current trend of people being laid off or forced onto government assistance, which further reduces consumer spending and forces lawmakers to choose between raising taxes and raising the national debt.

Instead of cutting money that funds jobs, we should focus on entitlement reforms and cutting foreign aid.

While we shouldn’t cut entitlement programs entirely, we can look at better ways to reduce fraud within the system and attempt to move people off of chronic welfare by creating more jobs.

We should also consider reducing the foreign aid sent to other nations, such as Egypt, and use that money to rebuild here at home.
Debt reduction is very important to our economy. Our national debt is already over $16 trillion, according to the Weekly Standard, and one day it will be our generation’s responsibility to address it.

But we cannot afford cuts that cut salaries or cost jobs in the short term. In the long term, the increased government dependency created by lower pay or job losses could very well outweigh the short-term benefits of spending cuts.

Spaugh, a freshman accounting major from Winston-Salem, is an opinion writer.