The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 19, 2013

Your View: Authors of sequestration

By Dick Thompson
Special to The Globe

PITTSBURG, Kan. — Joplin Globe guest columnist Marilyn Beasley badly misrepresented the origin of the “sequester” we are now suffering (Globe, March 14).

Sequester legislation resulted directly from U.S. House Republicans’ refusal to raise the national debt limit in mid-2011. Our debt rating was lowered by Standard & Poor’s. World markets became more volatile than at any time since Bush’s 2008 Great Recession. Raising that debt limit simply allowed our country to pay spending already authorized by Congress. Real statesmanship.

To heal this Republican-inflicted wound, the president worked with Congress on a debt-reduction plan. That plan became the Budget Control Act of 2011, passed by the Republican-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate. That act established the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction and sequestration.

The Joint Select Committee failed to produce legislation. Sequestration remained law. Throughout 2012, House Republicans refused to accept balanced federal revenue increases coupled with spending cuts. Sequestration went into effect March 1, 2013.

Had House Republicans not acted like petulant children over the debt ceiling, we’d have no sequester. Google “debt ceiling crisis 2011” for facts.

Dick Thompson

Pittsburg, Kan.