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Life Happens: Defining America’s sequester

SPRINGVILLE — Ah, the economy. It seems like only yesterday that we were worried about the fiscal cliff. It came and went, more like a speed bump, than a cliff. At the last minute, patches were put into place, which lessened the blow, although I did notice a significant drop in my take-home pay, as a memento of this momentous event.

Now, the sequester is looming ahead. I have to admit, it takes me a while to learn the strange names that someone keeps giving these harbingers of economic disaster. To me, sequester means to hide or isolate something or someone. It has always been a verb, as in, “the judge sequestered the jury.”

But, apparently, the word can also be a noun. When politicians use this word as a noun, what they actually mean is a serious cut in government spending.

In this case, on March 1, when the sequester is set to take place, $1.2 trillion will be cut from domestic and defense programs and budgets. This would cause thousands of people to lose their jobs.

I’ve been reading and reading about this sequester, and it’s hard to figure out the particulars. It really depends on the partisanship of the news group that is doing the reporting.

The Chicago Tribune said that President Barack Obama set the sequester in motion, because he expected Republicans to counter with more taxation for the wealthy, based on the fact that they would not want to see defense cuts.

ABC News implied that the Republicans are standing in the way of progress, because they will not explore options like eliminating special interest tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy.

USA Today contributor David Jackson said, “Obama wants to reduce the debt with both budget cuts and tax revenues, by closing loopholes; some Republicans said the emphasis should be on spending cuts, not higher taxes.”

That is a lot of back and forth. Is our country in debt? Yes, it is. Does something need to give? Yes it does. But should the people who are already hard-pressed to make ends be the ones who bear the brunt of it?

As a member of the beleaguered middle class, I can see the writing on the wall. If the sequester does go into effect on March 1, people will lose their jobs and upper class citizens will not lose their loopholes and tax protections.

If the sequester does not go into effect, it will be because of a compromise of budget cuts and increased income taxes.

Which way will it go? Does it matter? Either way, it does not sound very good for ordinary citizens who are just doing the best they can, in today’s economy.

There is another definition for the word sequester. According to, sequester can also mean to seize property and income from a person.

Now, there’s an interesting definition.

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