The Dumb Sequester Cuts Are Only For 7 Months

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I’ve actually made this point twice today already, but both times it’s been buried in a longer post. So here’s a post that just says one thing:

Yes, it’s a dumb idea for the sequester to make equal, across-the-board cuts to every single agency in the U.S. government. But those dumb cuts are only for this fiscal year, which ends in September. For the following years, the cuts will be made mostly through the normal appropriations process. Congress and the president will have lots of freedom to make the cuts exactly where they want to, and to spare whatever programs they can agree on.

Just keep this in mind. It’s dumb to cut R&D spending, for example, but it’s only being cut for seven months. After that, normal funding will be restored if Congress can figure out someplace else to make the cuts instead. They can even do this in a limited way via the continuing resolution scheduled for a vote later this month. The sequester is dumb, but it’s slightly less dumb than people are making it out to be.

NOTE: Of course, the main reason the sequester is dumb is because we shouldn’t be cutting spending at all right now. We should be spending more. But that’s a whole different issue.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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