LETTER: Sequester would not stop budget increase
To the Editor:
In the 1980s, I worked for the audit division of the Department of Defense as an auditor on an air base in the southwestern part of the U.S. During the first year I was with the agency, I asked my supervisor how he budgeted for upcoming years. His explanation: He had to submit to his superior a five-year request for expected monetary needs. He simply took the current year's allocation and added 10 percent to it, and an additional 10 percent for each of the out-years (two through five).
The boss explained that he, and his counterparts, had been using this method throughout his 20 years of government service. I have no knowledge if this is the current procedure but, if so, it might explain why the federal budget balloons every year. Come to think of it, I'm not sure if we have had an official budget for some time, or if the U.S. is being run by continuing resolutions (CRs).
With this preface (10 percent annual increases), what about the "sequester" problem? I believe most people, who are in the know, figure the money that needs to be withheld from a new budget (if the sequester comes to fruition) at $85 billion or, about 3 percent of what the current administration wants to spend over the next fiscal year ($3.5 trillion). That still would give the budget an increase of 7 percent over the dollars spent last year, yet we are hearing of the hundreds of thousands job losses and numerous programs jettisoned. Why?
If we could just once have a budget at last year's outlays, plus an inflation factor, maybe the country would rest easier. To heck with it, let the federal government do what our state legislators did -- cut everything by 10 percent for a year and see if the Ship-of-State still floats.