There’s been a lot of talk lately about this thing called sequestration. What is it, what does it mean, how does it affect me?

Sequestration according to Dr. Paul Johnson of Auburn University was “originally a legal term referring generally to the act of valuable property being taken into custody by an agent of the court and locked away for safekeeping, usually to prevent the property from being disposed of or abused before a dispute over its ownership can be resolved.” Nowadays the term has been high jacked by congress to mean a certain type of financial policy. “If congress cannot agree on ways to cut back the total (or does not pass a new, higher Budget Resolution), then an "automatic" form of spending cutback takes place. This automatic spending cut is what is called sequestration" Johnson says.

Suddenly in March of 2013, only 3 months into the New Year – all hell (fiscally speaking) has suddenly broken loose. Has US President Barack Obama put the ball in the court of Congressional Republicans, or is it the other way around? No one seems to know. “I don’t know whether it’s going to hurt the economy or not” says House Speaker John Boehner R-Ohio in an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press about sequestration 2013. GOP members of Congress have indicated that they’d be open to granting the Obama administration flexibility in choosing what to save and what to cut. President Obama however has maintained that he does not want to be made the sole decision maker of difficult or painful budget cuts.

The problem with a potential automatic form of spending cutback (or any cutback for that matter) is that nobody wins in the end. Services that are already flesh wounds get cut to the bone, and agencies that are underfunded fall by the wayside. The people who often work with the least end up getting cut into the most. These potential automatic federal budget cuts would affect among other things social service programs, and education. It remains to be seen what specific effects the sequestration would have on Buffalo NY, but it doesn’t take a mind reader to figure out that it wouldn’t be good.

When big corporations don’t pay their fair share the pie is undone. Would you eat a cherry or an apple pie with just the filling and not the crust? It’s not a pie then, is it? Now add to our revenue crisis, a budget crisis, and a sequestration, what do we do now?

Plain faced wickedness, political gamesmanship, or a sincere gentlemen’s disagreement – whatever it is we have to figure something out quick.

PS. You can check out this link to see who pays the price for these cuts and to take action against them.