9:30 AM CST, February 25, 2013
Sen. Ben Cardin's fear-mongering article about the threat of budget sequestration was appalling ("No to sequestration," Feb. 20). He of all people should know that the sequester was proposed by President Obama himself to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in 2011.
It was agreed to by Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress and signed into law by the president. Why didn't Senator Cardin raise his doomsday scenario 18 months ago?
The U.S debt is $16.5 trillion, of which $6 trillion was created under President Obama over the last four years. The deficit in all four of those years has exceeded $1 trillion because the president and Senate Democrats, including Mr. Cardin, are allergic to any reductions in government spending.
The sequestration calls for a spending cut of $85 billion, but in reality it only slows the rate of growth in government spending.
Mr. Cardin is proposing a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes both increased revenues and cuts in spending. But has the senator forgotten that the president already got an increase in revenue from the top 1 percent of earners on Jan. 1 — with no cuts in spending?
House Republicans twice passed plans to replace the sequester with common-sense cuts to domestic spending, along with reforms that protect national security. Yet the president rejected those plans, and Senator Reid has refused to allow any debate on them. Why hasn't Mr. Cardin called on his Democratic colleagues to look into the House Republicans' plan?
The fear-mongering over sequestration by Mr. Cardin and President Obama is shameful. They and Senate Democrats are for big government and high taxes, and they have no intention of cutting spending at all.
If our politicians cannot even slow the rate of spending increases by a mere $85 billion out of a $3.6 trillion federal budget, we are indeed headed for a disaster like Greece's. This country's future depends on small government and lower taxes, not big government and high taxes.
Bharat B. Agrawal, Mount Airy