Sequestration: Here we go again [Financial Perspectives]

If you have been watching any TV news or been reading the paper, you know that we are facing another fiscal cliff on March 1.

Both sides are positioning themselves for some significant sparring this week. The truth is that the cuts will take some time to implement, and the reality is that they will not even bring the overall U.S. budget back to where it was for all of 2012. In short, the cuts will only reduce some of the growth in this year’s budget.  

The approach being taken by both sides is really discouraging.  Last week, I happen to catch Sen. Alan Simpson and Sen. Erskine Bowles, who were being interviewed on C-Span about the current situation. These senators were appointed by President Obama to lead the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform in 2009.  They and the other members of the committee went through an exhaustive analysis and developed a set of recommendations that would have dramatically helped to put on a course for fiscal solvency.

The president opted not to follow through on any of their recommendations. These recommendations were truly bi-partisan and would have addressed our entitlement programs. Both sides would not have been happy with them, which means it was probably the right thing to do.  The president even employed a second commission to do essentially the same thing and he did not follow through on their recommendations, either.

I would encourage him to take the recommendations from his two commissions and put together an action plan to save our country from a major fiscal calamity.  His job is to convince the Democratic Senate to come to the table with the Republican-controlled House. To go through a full eight years without addressing this issue could give his presidency a failing grade.

Whatever side of the aisle you are on, we owe it to our children and grandchildren to demand nothing less from our elected officials.

The views expressed are not necessarily those of Cambridge and should not be construed as an offer to buy or sell any security.

Jim Heisler, CFP®, CDFA™, CASL™ Family Wealth Services, LLC 8725 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136 215-332-4968

Jim Heisler is a Certified Financial Planner with Family Wealth Services in Holmesburg. You can read all his Financial Perspective columns here.

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