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.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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