3/2/2013 By David Walker
The dreaded deadline for the federal "sequestration" spending cuts has now passed... and we're still here.
That's the good news.
The bad news is that the $85 billion hatchet-chop is now leading to indiscriminate furloughs, job losses, and spending reductions across almost the entire federal government, including in programs that most Americans love.
Related: The Sequester Jeopardizes the Recovery: Koutoulas
Why did it come to this? Why did we just enact a policy that almost everyone hates?
Because our government is too dysfunctional to do anything else.
David Walker, Founder and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative and the former Comptroller General of the United States, is appalled by the lack of leadership and cooperation in Washington.
"We are here because of failure of the president, a failure of the Senate and a failure of the House to reach a reasoned and reasonable to avoid the sequester," he says. "It is a global embarrassment."
He says it's time for Americans to come together and insist that our elected leaders start to actually lead, instead of intentionally putting us into crisis after crisis. "We the people have a responsibility to put pressure on our elected officials whether they be democrats, republicans or independents to do a deal and if they don't do a deal, to throw them out," he says.
And if Congress cannot make a deal, Walker is among a growing contingent who believe lawmakers should not be allowed to go on break. "No deal. No break," he demands.
To address the real drivers of our structural deficits Walker suggests America first address demographic trends, health care costs and an outdated tax system.
Related: Don't Underestimate the Economic and Financial Effects of the Sequester: Nouriel Roubini
With another huge deadline coming up--the March 27th deadline for the government to agree on a new continuing resolution that will avoid a government shutdown--this pressure on our leaders can't come soon enough.