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August 12, 2013

Told you so! (on the sequester)

 
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So IPI went out on a limb on the sequester. We wrote a paper praising the sequester and explaining that the sequester represented the mildest down payment on the kind of spending restraint that is necessary if we have any hope of setting our fiscal house in order. We created charts to explain just how small the sequester restraints were. We blogged and gave speeches and did TV and went on the radio to sell the sequester. We got coverage in print media. We did our part--we more than did our part.

And we were right.

Check out Steve Moore's piece in today's Wall Street Journal.

The $150 billion budget decline of 4% is the first time federal expenditures have fallen for two consecutive years since the end of the Korean War.

This reversal from the spending binge in 2009 and 2010 began with the debt-ceiling agreement between Mr. Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in 2011. The agreement set $2 trillion in tight caps on spending over a decade and created this year's budget sequester, which will save more than $50 billion in fiscal 2013.

As long as Republicans don't foolishly undo this amazing progress by agreeing to Mr. Obama's demands for a "balanced approach" to the 2014 budget in exchange for calling off the sequester, additional expenditure cuts will continue automatically. Those cuts are built into the current budget law.

. . . 

The sequester cuts in annual budgets for the military, education, transportation and other discretionary programs have also been an underappreciated success, with none of the anticipated negative consequences.

. . . 

The sequester is squeezing the very programs liberals care most about—including the National Endowment for the Arts, green-energy subsidies, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Public Radio. Outside Washington, the sequester is forcing a fiscal retrenchment for such liberal special-interest groups as Planned Parenthood and the National Council of La Raza, which have grown dependent on government largess.

As we said in our advocacy, not only should we be fearless about defending the sequester, we should be planning Sequester #2 and Sequester #3. The sequester has been a very rare but very dramatic policy success by Republicans. Praise them for it.




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