I’m more than a little annoyed that the whole sequestration process is refereed to as a cut in funding. Washington is referring to the budget action in this manner and worse, the media is reporting as a cut in funding as well. The truth is that spending will not be cut but will. in fact, increase. The difference is that the level of increase is less than it might otherwise have been.
Only slightly less annoying than this detail is the rhetoric coming out of the White House regarding the impacts of these cuts. Everything from having to mothball an aircraft carrier to the FBI losing agents to DHS releasing illegal immigrants to teachers and first responders getting fired. Heck, even traveling is going to get harder with TSA agents facing shortages.
I suspect precious little of this will actually occur. Take for example, teachers:
The good part is at 1:30.
The sequestration is SO bad that teachers are already receiving pink slips; they are already being fired.
But, is it true:
Near the very end, the Secretary gets into a little detail. The teachers in jeopardy of losing their jobs are Title I teachers; folks who are funded through the federal government. But right after that, at about 1:50, he also mentions a teeny tiny piece of information:
The cuts may not be related to sequestration.
When he was pressed in a White House briefing Wednesday to come up with an example, Duncan named a single county in West Virginia and acknowledged, “whether it’s all sequester-related, I don’t know.”
And, as it turns out, it isn’t.
Officials in Kanawha County, West Virginia say that the “transfer notices” sent to at least 104 educators had more to do with a separate matter that involves a change in the way West Virginia allocates federal dollars designated for poor children.
The transfer notices are required by state law and give teachers a warning that they may be moved to a different position next school year. They don’t necessarily mean a teacher has been laid off, said Pam Padon, director of federal programs and Title 1 for the Kanawha County public schools. “It’s not like we’re cutting people’s jobs at this point.”
She said those 104 notices will ultimately result in the elimination of about five to six teaching jobs, which were likely to be cut regardless of the sequester.
“The major impact is not so much sequestration,” she said. “Those five or six jobs would already be gone regardless of sequestration.”
So we have increases in spending referred to as cuts in spending. Then you have cuts in services turning out not to be true. I’m beginning to believe the reports that more frightening to the democrats than the actual sequestration is that the impact won’t even be noticed. America is going to wake up on Friday and realize that we can cut $85 billion and not even know we did it.