Power of the Purse and Sequestering

Obama wants sequestering to hurt.Obama intends to make U. S. Citizens as miserable as possible during the sequestering.  But will he go so far as to affect the food supply?  He understands how effective the power of the purse is when it comes to forcing people to do what you want them to do.  So does all levels of government.    That is why punishments of all kinds almost always include some form of financial punishment to be paid to the punishing entity.  As a matter of fact, the framers of the constitution knew the power of money.  They wrote the constitution carefully to be sure not one entity had enough power to control the money.

Money is the tool of the government to control the citizens.  It started rather benignly with the first government assistance programs during the depression.  Why?  Because someone looked at the government and said, “Why haven’t you done anything about this?”.  That’s the same thing people in Europe said to the church about the plague.  Both entities tried, without success, to change the prevailing condition.  The church eventually reversed some of the edicts about what to do with sick people, but the government kept pretty much all of the “new programs” created during the depression.

Once a program was created, the next members of congress and presidents were loath to remove them because they didn’t want to anger the people who were depending on those programs, even if the current situation no longer warranted the program’s existence.  Then came the day when the government invented the department of education in order to control schools in every state.  It started out with grants to states’ school districts.  After a while the government started attaching strings to the grants.  Once the states were dependent on the money for the annual budget, the hook was set and now the government can tell states what will be done in their public schools.  And so it went also with the highway department and human assistance programs, just to start.

Which brings us to the food supply.  Meat processing plants all have USDA inspectors present to assure the products are safe for human consumption.  Well, sort of, but that is another story.  If the inspectors are not present, no meat can be processed.  This isn’t a big deal to the prepper who is ready for just such an event.  However, if you are not ready and the USDA does decide to pull inspectors for a week or two, things will be different in the store.  It is our belief that the inspectors won’t be pulled and that the USDA will cut in other areas as necessary.

Disrupting the food supply, if only for a couple of weeks, would be a big deal and a no win situation for Obama and his cabinet.  Congress does not determine where the budget cuts are made during a sequester.  The president does.  Rest assured, the president will attempt to say that the cuts are the fault of the Republicans.  Don’t believe it.  The fault will be with whomever decides what to cut within each agency and at whose instruction.

 

Consider these comments about the sequester and decisions being made:

 It’s the public’s trust that’s been broken “and since almost all food safety at retail is faith-based, the faith has been violated.” – USA Today

 

. . .  in regards to the government’s plans for sequestration and the meat industry. If you aren’t aware of what’s going on, you should be. After all, it could affect all of us. And to us in the industry, it’s a scary thing. – Jennifer Dewey

It is clear that department leaders are concerned about their particular branch of the government.  So are the people who raise, process and sell meat products.  As a society we can go without meat for a couple of weeks.  But, should the citizens be forced to do it because the people on capitol hill can’t play nice?

References:

The Power of the Purse: A History of American Public Finance, 1776-1790 by Ferguson, E. James published by The University of North Carolina Press Paperback, 1961 – 2011.

“Fear and the Three-Day Food Supply.” Pattern Literacy by Toby Hemenway. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

“Meat Supply In Danger…?” Chico Locker Sausage Co Inc. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

“U.S. Officials: No Horse Meat in Our Beef.” USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

“Obama’s Stealth Takeover of Your Burrito or Food Stamps Obama’s Nationalizing the U.S. Food Industry and You Didn’t See It Coming.” Before It’s News. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2013.

Sequestering: What’s Really on the List?

Lets take a look at what is expected to be affected by sequestering.  Since all “lists” are the same form with various values plugged in for each state’s unique situation, we’ll only post the “form”.  The affected groups are:

  1. Education (Title I education funds, Head Start, Special education (IDEA)
  2. Evinronmental Protection Agency (although not specifically named as such)
  3. FBI/Law Enforcement
  4. Unemployment Services
  5. Public Health
  6. Nutrition Programs
  7. Small Business Adminstration (SBA)
  8. Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
  9. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  10. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  11. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  12. The National Science Foundation (NSF)
  13. FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) and other operations of the FDA
  14. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA),
  15. Department of the Interior (DOI) and other agencies that plan for new projects, conduct environmental reviews, issue permits and inspect operations.
  16. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
  17. National Park Service
  18. Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Care and Development

    Fund

  19. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD)
  20. Emergency Unemployment

    Compensation benefits

  21. Mental Health Block Grant program
  22. Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  23. Indian Health Service

When you read the list, some of it sounds really bad and some sounds not so bad.  We could spend less money in some of those places.  The fact is that every one of those agencies will always want more money.  Now, lets take a look at the words for some of these items that justify wanting more money.

Several of the sequster “items” listed are actually listed more than once, but reworded to make it look worse than before.  A thinly veiled scare tactic.  Here is one example:

Homelessness programs – More than 100,000 formerly homeless people, including veterans,
would be removed from their current housing and emergency shelter programs, putting them at risk
of returning to the streets.

This snippet is actually covered under other programs previously listed in the document.  By adding it again here with the phrase ” including veterans”,  Mr. Obama wants you to feel shock, sadness, anger and maybe even guilt if you do not do something to prevent the our heroes from being on the streets.    What can you do?  Other than telling your representatives to do get off their tails and do something, not much.

There are other fear generating phrases in the document.  Here is one about mental health issues expecting to tug at your heart strings for people of all ages who suffer mental illness:

Cuts to the Mental Health Block Grant program
would result in over 373,000 seriously mentally ill adults and seriously emotionally disturbed
children not receiving needed mental health services. This cut would likely lead to increased
hospitalizations, involvement in the criminal justice system, and homelessness for these
individuals. In addition, close to 8,900 homeless persons with serious mental illness would not get
the vital outreach, treatment, housing, and support they need through the Projects for Assistance in
Transition from Homelessness (PATH) program.

And to make sure he hits all the notes he throws in this one:

Tribal services – The Indian Health Service and Tribal hospitals and clinics would be forced to
provide 3,000 fewer inpatient admissions and 804,000 fewer outpatient visits, undermining needed
health care in Tribal communities.

At the very least, it is the intent of these documents to bring fear to people and make Republicans feel shame for standing their ground.   They are standing their ground because that is exactly why they were elected.  Sequestering Fear TacticMr. Obama admits the Democrats are also standing their ground and that is why they were elected.  There isn’t a problem with people doing what they were elected to do.  The problem is when one group stands before the nation and says one half of the members of a society are the problem.  Mr. Obama says he wants unity.  This document does not reflect this.  In fact, this document clearly states his willingness to divide the nation.

Most people will agree that some of these agencies should receive funding cuts or be removed completely.  The problem is, people can’t agree on which agencies to reduce or get rid of completely.  No one wants “their piece of the pie” thrown out.

The simple fact is that all of congress didn’t act in a way that would further the purposes of a government.  Instead, if they do not come to some agreement soon they will deliberately, as a single unit called congress, allow sequestering to take place.   Why shouldn’t they?  As noted in yesterday’s article, they have done it before.  

 

Image:  White House Web Site

States Show Concern about Automatic Budget Cuts Effects

Every where you look, the politicians and economists are talking about how their own state and/or city will be affected by the automatic budget cuts set to begin in March, 2013.  Indeed, every state and territory has some to reason worry.  The purse strings may not be totally cut, but they will be shortened.

This isn’t the first time sequestering happened.

In 2003 the military came to a complete stop unless a particular unit was deployed to action.  Training exercises ceased.  Funding for repairs stopped.  Indeed, this process was first described and put into effect in 1985 as a means to enforce budget constraints when congress failed to do its job.  Consider this from the CRS Report for Congress, March 8, 2004:

“During the period encompassing FY1986-2002, the budgetary decisions of
Congress and the President were guided in part by specific goals in statute enforced by
a process known as sequestration. The statutory goals initially took the form of deficit
targets, but later were changed to limits on discretionary spending (first effective for
FY1991) and a “pay-as-you-go” requirement for direct spending and revenue legislation
(first effective for FY1992). Five sequesters were triggered during years in which
Congress and the President did not adhere to these statutory goals, three under the deficit
targets and two under the discretionary spending limits. No sequester occurred,
however, after FY1991.

In many of the years since FY1991, Congress and the President were able to avoid
a sequester by ensuring that it did not enact spending or revenue legislation in violation
of the statutory goals. At times, Congress and the President had to take advantage of
flexibility in the procedures, such as the ability to designate certain spending as
“emergency requirements,” in order to achieve this outcome. In other instances,
however, Congress and the President prevented a sequester that otherwise would have
occurred by enacting into law provisions that intervened in the normal operation of the
process.”

The point is that Congress anticipated not doing its job in 1985 for which they created a plan by which they could forever blame for the resulting sequestering.

Now, the budget cuts won’t be the “fault” of congress.  Instead, they will say they can’t help it when laws take effect.  Members of congress can still sit in their offices with a smug little smile and blame the members of the other parties for not agreeing with them.  Neither party wants to budget.  Both parties are willing to let the sequester happen.  They did it before and will do it again.  After all, it isn’t their fault, is it?

Blame?  The Democratic party, starting with President Obama, flat out blames everything on the Republican party.  The “list” posted on the White House website consists of 52 documents, one for each state or territory.  Paragraph three of each and every document says:

“Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress refuse to ask the wealthy to pay a little more by closing tax loopholes so that we can protect investments that are helping grow our economy and keep our country safe. By not asking the wealthy to pay a little more, Republicans are forcing our children, seniors, troops, military families and the entire middle class to bear the burden of deficit reduction. The President is determined to cut spending and reduce the deficit in a balanced way, but he won’t stick the middle class with the bill. The President is willing to compromise, but on behalf the middle class he cannot accept a deal that undercuts their economic security.”

Seriously?  Does President Obama expect us to believe 100% of the fault lies with one party?  The stark reality is that Republicans, Democrats and President Obama are all to blame.  They have created amongst themselves an environment that in any other work place could be called unfriendly at best and hostile at worst.  It didn’t just happen during this presidency.  It has happened more than once.  It seems when people get elected to the highest offices in the land, they become difficult personalities.  Working with them has to be a nightmare.

How does all this affect Preppers?  Tune in tomorrow for a run down of how fully prepared Preppers will be affected.

 

References:

The White House List

CRS Report for Congress

“How Automatic Budget Cuts Could Affect Minnesota.” The Journal. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.

“Automatic Budget Cuts Find Few Fans.” Casper Star-Tribune Online. N.p., 24 Feb. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.

“A Look at Automatic Budget Cuts in Florida.” Atlanta News, Sports, Atlanta Weather, Business News. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.

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