The political world is aflame with debate about the upcoming sequestration cuts and how they will bring about the end of days. But from a liberty point of view, I for one cheer the sequestration cuts. If they go through (they won’t), I shall be throwing an official “Sequestration Celebration.”
We already covered how the poor widdle military is wringing its hands over its impending inability to be the world’s police force, sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong every day and making us terrorism-friendly enemies at every stop along the way. However, the budget cuts to the defense fund wouldn’t even bring us below the spending levels for the Cold War. We’re still $600 billion strong – roughly 6 times that of our nearest competitor, China (roughly $110B). The cuts would force a necessary thinning of our bloated military budget. It would cost jobs, but the DOD should not be looked upon as a means of creating jobs and perpetual war as a salve to soothe America’s rash of unemployment problems.
The defense cuts are but one aspect of the sequestration cuts – the others are in the social sphere, where healthcare and education are on the block (handy but anti-cut biased guide here). The Statists will argue that we must keep these budgetary items in place to assure that our elderly have all the motorized scooters and viagra that they can obtain, and that the government must keep its iron grip on our epically failed educational system. Yes, that same system which has failed time and time again ever since the Federal government took over.
Relying on the government to shepherd us socially is one of the driving forces that has brought the U.S. to the cusp of bankruptcy and caused this current fabricated crisis. This Statist mentality that the status quo must continue needs to end. As a culture, Americans are becoming reliant on the government to care for them whenever they encounter hardships, but that is not the function of government.
Government is here, at best, to protect our liberties and our borders – not to make sure that every person has a job, or that every person has enough to eat, or that every person has a place to sleep. Charities and free markets function to serve that role and having government waste billions of dollars in taxpayer dollars every year to take care of people who need to learn to care for themselves is ludicrous. It is not only impossible to keep everyone alive and happy, but illogical from several standpoints – financially, socially and ecologically.
The sequestration cuts are something I am rooting for – the government and the country will not force itself to cut back – these mandatory reductions are what are needed to reign in a ravenous beast that can’t control its own appetite. As I have written before, the largest and most dedicated voting block is comprised of those voting to keep their own benefits coming, and this block is growing by the minute.
Let’s break down the cuts with some help from this document (decrying the very notion of cutting from these oh-so valuable social programs!) from Senator Tom Harkin’s office:
Head Start – provides grants for facilities to provide early childhood services for low income families. These services have been shown to save taxpayer money in the long run by reducing costs for welfare, criminal justice, etc. However, providing care for children, that were ill-advised in the first place, is not the government’s responsibility, and fosters more of the same as the government has become the de-facto nanny for these children.
Maternal and Child Health Block grant – “This block grant provides funding to States on a formula basis to target their most urgent maternal and child health needs, including prenatal care, well child services, infant mortality, injury and violence, oral healthcare, racial and ethnic disparities, and comprehensive care through clinics, home visits.” How does any of this fall under the guidelines for government as laid out in the Constitution? Racial and ethnic disparities? What does that even mean?
AIDS Drug Assistance Program & HIV Prevention and Testing – providing highly-expensive drug cocktails to fight AIDS to those without insurance. AIDS is a disease that has been on the decline for decades, and even at its height affected less than 1% of the population. There are numerous nonprofit organizations providing testing and help for HIV. This is not something government should be funding.
Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening – Provides screenings and testing for women who are poor. Again – this is not something that should fall under federal or state funding. This is the domain of charitable organizations.
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Grants – States should have their own preparedness handled and not be reliant on Federal support when dealing with emergencies.
National Institutes of Health – funding for NIH research. This can be undertaken by private companies and the free market will find solutions to health issues, as it benefits them to do so.
Survey and Certification of Health Care and Long-Term Care Facilities – This program provides funding to States to conduct routine inspections of healthcare and long-term care facilities to support their certification and licensing. The free market also would rule this – if a facility isn’t doing its job properly, it will be sued and forced out of business by citizens.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment – there is no way the government should be involved in this, as the government shouldn’t be involved in anything having to do with substances a person puts into their body. It should not be governed nor should the Feds play a role in assisting those who have substance problems. Freedom is choosing to take the risk and living with the consequences.
Senior Nutrition – would receive cuts eliminating at-home meal delivery for seniors. Why is the government responsible for this when family members are responsible or charity can assist? This is not the government’s purview.
There are a litany of Department of Education cuts, all of which I’m for, as the Federal government should have no role in education. The efforts have failed and created a worse system than the one which existed when states ran their own educational systems. I am also highly opposed to Federal money paying for secondary education, which is highly overvalued and provides no guarantee of an employment advantage. They include cuts to:
School Improvement Grants
Improving Teacher Quality State Grants
21st Century Community Learning Centers
Special Education Grants to States
Special Education Preschool State Grants
Special Education Grants for Infants and Families
English Language Acquisition State Grants
State Grants for Career and Technical Education
Federal Work Study
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
The Department of Labor is also taking some hits, but that organization has been gifted so much money, which has done so little, that any and all cuts to it are a good thing. Just throwing money down a hole. VIVA LA SEQUESTRATION!