The sequester is an automatic budgeting trigger that will kick in on Friday, March 1. The $1.2 trillion package will roll out slowly over the next 10 years, with roughly $85 billion in spending cuts kicking in immediately. But do most Americans know about the sequester, or even care?
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, about $85 billion in automatic spending cuts will hit both the Pentagon’s defense budget and domestic programs, which includes roughly $11 billion in cuts coming from Medicare. As a comparison, these spending cuts are a tiny 2.4 percent of the $3.6 trillion worth federal spending that comes out of $15.7 trillion generated by the American economy.
Both major political parties seem to want to avoid the sequester, with Republicans trying to pass bills to target the budget cuts elsewhere. In contrast, Obama and the Democrats are demanding higher taxes instead of the sequester as a “balanced” response, even though the Fiscal Cliff was already “avoided” by raising taxes.
According to a new Pew poll, less than 18 percent of Americans say they understand “very well” what would happen if the sequester went into effect. As a comparison, 40 percent of people said they were following the Fiscal Cliff negotiations closely, while roughly 30 percent said they had a very strong understanding of the Fiscal Cliff.
According to the Washington Post, Republican are being blamed for the sequester and the debt crisis:
“The [sequester] poll shows that 45 percent say Republicans in Congress should be blamed for the sequester, while 32 percent blame President Obama. That’s a far less sizable edge than the 26-point blame-game advantage that Obama enjoyed over congressional GOPers on the fiscal cliff.”
This public perception of the sequester is despite the House being largely controlled by Republicans and the Senate is controlled by Democrats. According to CBS News, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is clearly frustrated about how things are playing out:
“[President Obama] is going all over the country holding rallies instead of sitting down with Senate leaders. We have moved a bill in the House twice. We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something.”
Instead of the sequester, do you want higher taxes or should politicians find easier targets for spending cuts? Who should shoulder the blame for kicking the can down the road so that we face the sequester now?