Well, because the U.S. Congress and the Obama Administration couldn't produce a budget deal, automatic spending cuts commenced March 1. This occurrence is known as "sequestration." From what I've learned, this word is rooted in the idea of "following" as in sequel.
We could, I suppose, take that to mean sequestered funds are in the safekeeping of a trusted follower. Of course, as it's Congress we're trusting... so much for that idea.
Those of us who passed "Budgeting 101" know that when income drops, expenses have to decrease as well or a family incurs a deficit (possibly even a debt) which affects all family members. We know then, that we have to reduce our expenditures or increase our income, or both. Our Congress, unfortunately, does not grasp that concept for one very simple reason ... they don't have to. This is why our nation is burdened with yearly deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars and a debt of between 16 and 17 trillion dollars and rising with no end in sight.
Deficits, debts, sequestration, and all we know about any of these for certain is, they have little or no negative financial effect on the 535 members of Congress, the administration, or the 3,700 (plus) lobbyists (some of whom are family members of our representatives and senators) who lavishly compensate the people we elect to represent us but whose loyalties must be considered (at the very least and most kindly) divided.
That having been said, I believe John Boyle (columnist for the Asheville Citizen-Times) has a great idea for Congress. He thinks Congressmen and women should sequester themselves, noting that in their having imposed billions of dollars in cuts, one area was noticeably "left unscathed — themselves." Boyle's theory is, if they included massive pay and staff cuts for themselves in the next round of automatic cuts, they'd quickly make a deal to avoid those cuts.
As I see it, every American needs to let his or her Congressman or Senator know that we insist they do their job in representing all Americans, not just the wealthy and those who represent the wealthy, and that further dithering, at our expense, is no longer an option.
David L. Snell — Dillsboro, N.C.