The Corner

Sequestration Devastation in Two Charts

The horror! The horror!

Obama is right: Sequestration means apocalypse now. Unless Congress stops the $85 billion in spending cuts that kick in automatically on Friday, Granny’s walker will collapse from rust, first thing Saturday. Sunday morning could witness a sudden outbreak of smallpox or even the Black Death after the Centers for Disease Control’s Atlanta headquarters is auctioned off and re-launched as a giant, non-union Wal-Mart.

Heritage Foundation researcher Romina Boccia and chartmeister John Fleming have captured the carnage to come:

This first graph shows the deep, machete-like chop that sequestration would inflict on America’s government finances. By 2023, one clearly can see the colossal damage caused 10 years hence by what Obama has denounced as a “meat-cleaver approach” to the budget.

The second chart details the $85.3 billion sequester. Compared to the $3.553 trillion federal budget, this amounts to a 2.4 percent decrease in projected spending. This figure may look small, but it will trigger mass destruction. Think of it as a guillotine masquerading as a butter knife.

Obama has warned that the sequester will mean steaks with botulism sauce, as USDA meat inspectors stay home and stare at their ceilings. Meanwhile, airplanes will circle overhead until their fuel tanks evaporate, since FAA control towers will be padlocked at airports from coast to coast.

It’s easy to see why these horrible things have to happen.

Sequestration would leave Washington just 97.6 cents out of each dollar to deliver the urgent federal services on which the American people rely. Imagine such a thing! With such limited resources at hand, is it any wonder that America’s southern frontier soon will go unpatrolled, and vaccines will go the way of the iron lung?

Clearly, the Department of Homeland Security had no other option but to release last weekend — one week before the sequester actually hit — several hundred illegal aliens whom it held in custody. As Secretary Janet Napolitano explained, thanks to the sequester, DHS “would not be able to maintain the 34,000 detention beds as required by Congress.” Freeing these illegal aliens even before sequestration kicks in, Napolitano said, would keep her soon-to-be emaciated agency “in line with federal spending.”

What other choice could Napolitano possibly have made under these harrowing circumstances? Lincoln would have done likewise.

The end days are upon us. If only Washington did not have to face this budgetary sword attack.

America: It was nice while it lasted. 

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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