The Kuyperian Commentary

Politics, Economics, Culture, and Theology with a Biblical Viewpoint

What is Sequestration?

A mirage, wrapped in propaganda, surrounded by demagogues. It is Chicken Little running around crying out that the end is near because she stubbed her toe, while the sky was actually falling. It is sound and fury, signifying nothing, while MacBeth hawks the crown jewels to buy more knives to kill more enemies.

Not long ago the Republicans and Democrats could not agree on how quickly to file for bankruptcy. Unable to agree, but needing to move on, they agreed that if they couldn’t agree on when to file for bankruptcy, they would spend a week buying Grande’s instead of Venti’s (that’s mediums, instead of larges for those who don’t speak Starbucks). Their reasoning was two-fold. On the one hand, the horror of going down a size on our coffee was thought to be a great motivator to settle the issue. Second, if the issue wasn’t settled, when we should file for bankruptcy, prudence would mean getting the smaller cup of coffee. (Or in this case, to cut $85 billion from an unpassed budget that was more than $85 billion dollars bigger than  the last unpassed budget.)

The agreement wasn’t reached, which ought not to surprise us since the last time we had a budget (that is, had a budget, not had a balanced budget) was the last year of the Bush II administration. That meant the $85 billion had to come out. Automatically. No ifs ands or buts about it. No exceptions for Pumpkin Spice lattes. And nothing happened. Well, nothing of substance happened. There has been plenty of histrionics fromWashingtonpols. “$85 BILLION!!!!!” they scream. “THE END IS HERE!!!” they scream.  “WE WANT OUR VENTI!!!!” they scream.

When what they ought to be screaming is $16 TRILLION!!!!” $85 billion does not likely even cover the interest on the national debt (the $16 trillion) for two months. The economic sky is falling, but not because of sequestration. It is falling because the federal government is eating all our pie. They consume part of it in taxes. They consume part of it in destroying the currency (what political correctness now calls “quantitative easing.”) We poor citizens fall into debt when we consume more than we produce. The state falls into debt when it consumes less than it steals.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media, on both sides of the aisle, use the circus to distract us from all the sawdust in our bread. Both sides stand aloof and judge the political theater. Both sides try to frame the non-story as proof positive that our guys are the good guys, and their guys where black hats. It’s as if the economic train is bearing down on an atomic powder keg, the Republican brakeman and the Democratic engineer have an argument, a little coffee get’s spilled, and we are all supposed to worry about the stain it’s going to leave.

Do not pay attention, do not negotiate, do not engage with anyone, in Washington or in the media until they at least begin here- the federal government must be cut in half in order to have a chance of averting real, lasting calamity. Anything else is political theater. Sequestration? Meh. Wake me up when we start talking defenestration.

Dr. R.C. Sproul, Jr. teaches at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida where he also serves as a teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries. He is a contributing scholar to Kuyperian Commentary.

What is Sequestration? was originally published here.


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