No doubt about it, this sequester is going to happen, and it's going to pinch. The Internet is awash with people protesting the sequester in Chicken Little-like fashion, but this is one reality that isn't going anywhere. The nation's leaders have spent foolishly and recklessly for decades, and sooner or later the piper had to be paid. It's just simple math.
After the so-called fiscal cliff was averted in January, many people forgot about our economic woes. Out of sight, out of mind. The crisis, however, had never gone away; it was only kicked under the rug. Now trouble is back — with the considerably less interesting name sequester — and he's brought baggage and plans to stay awhile.
The American people are struggling to come to terms with the idea of a government that will not be paying for everything, and we seem to be progressing through the stages of grief collectively.
1. Denial — The sequester isn't going to happen because Congress and the president will do something to stop it:
Photo Credit: Abellman
People don't want the sequester to happen, and interestingly, the media has not forced this crisis on Americans, as they did with the fiscal cliff in December. The denial stage must end soon, since the cuts go into effect today. You're about to see this seeming apathy come to a screeching halt.
2. Anger — [Obama/Bush] spending forced us into this position! It's the [Republicans/Democrats] fault!:
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There are always a few people ahead of the curve, and even though most Americans are still in denial, a handful have passed on to anger. Here's some fuel for that fire: When Obama initially suggested the idea of a sequester, he took the precaution of drafting a list of individuals and organizations who are exempt from any budget cuts or other ill effects of the sequester. Unsurprisingly, his own compensation is listed as untouchable. And of course, Congressional pay is also exempt.
3. (Last minute) Bargaining — Congress, do something! Make it stop!:
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Congress has been besieged by letters, phone calls, and emails this week from constituents who realized this is really about to happen. They are demanding Congress and the president come to an agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
The people who are urging Congress to cut a deal need to face reality. This must happen, and the only surprising thing about it is that it hasn't already happened.
4. Depression — Why is this happening? What will we do?:
Photo Credit: Kennedy
Our country is blessed with more natural resources than any other place on earth, and thanks to the founding fathers, we were once the freest people in the world. Now the average citizen's share of the debt run up by the president and Congress is $52,820.43, and Big Brother is everywhere, watching.
A wise man once said, "Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread."
5. Acceptance — What must be shall be. And maybe that's not so bad:
Photo Credit: Hector Garcia
The sequester is going to happen, and when it does, Americans will realize that an all-powerful, caring government that ensures all your needs are met is nothing more than an illusion.