Monday, March 4, 2013

Sequestered and Abandoned


Phil Gramm
Sequestering is a curious word that has replaced fiscal or cliff as le mot du jour. It’s a curious choice  considering the pickle the economy is in. Sequestering is what juries usually go through when there’s a case that calls for a high degree of neutrality. Sequester also has connotations of recuse. A jury may be sequestered, as a judge may recuse his or herself when he or she doesn’t feel he can be impartial. But what does sequestering actually mean? When you sequester a jury, it is for a limited period of time. At a certain point, if you have 12 angry men and women who refuse to come to a verdict, the jury is deadlocked. A new trial results. So are we to take it that the federal funds that will be sequestered will eventually be released? If so when? Paul M. Johnson’s A Glossary of Political Economy Terms defines sequestration this way: “The term has been adapted by Congress in more recent years to describe a new fiscal policy procedure originally provided for in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings Deficit Reduction Act of 1985...Under sequestration, an amount of money equal to the difference between the cap set in the Budget Resolution and the amount actually appropriated is 'sequestered' by the Treasury and not handed over to the agencies to which it was originally appropriated by Congress. In theory, every agency has the same percentage of its appropriation withheld in order to take back the excessive spending on an ‘across the board’ basis.” What’s the bottom line? Well according to AnnArbor.com here is how sequestration will affect Head Start programs in its state:  “About $20,944,350...could be cut from the Head Start program...that provides early childhood education for low-income families. The cut would mean about 701 jobs would be eliminated from the program’s staff and 3,364 fewer children would be served in Michigan, according to a report from the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee.” What will the verdict be? Will the $20,944,350 find its way back into Michigan’s Head Start program when a verdict is reached, will the jury be deadlocked or the case dismissed?

1 comment:

  1. jylle benson-gaussMarch 5, 2013 at 3:21 PM

    A big problem with our democracy is that it allows nitwits to vote fellow twits into office and keep re-upping them. There is no guarantee that good governance follows when the majority in any district has its say. Thus fanatics and obstructionists are entitled to their representation in the place of power, to the detriment of us all.

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