In today's editorial, the New York Times does an awful job of striking fear in the public's heart by listing several examples of government jobs that will be lost should the U.S. go over the so-called "fiscal cliff."
You might never spot an air marshal on your flight, but it’s reassuring to know one might be there. In a few weeks, though, many of them are likely to get pink slips — along with food safety inspectors, border patrol agents and countless other government employees who play a crucial if hidden role in everyone’s lives.
These and many other cuts to important programs like child nutrition and low-income housing are part of a giant buzz saw known as the sequester, which will indiscriminately slash $100 billion in discretionary spending beginning in January and will continue for nine years.
Things Americans should worry about sacrificing, according to the Times: The possibility of not having an air marshal on their flights (We already face that possibility.); fewer food safety inspectors (In a country that bemoaned the loss of the Twinkie, I think we'll be okay without someone making sure what we eat is fit for consumption.); fewer border patrol agents (Could the border's security possibly get any worse?); child nutrition programs (I've yet to see the positive results from those); low-income housing (Won't that just become "even lower-income housing"?); and finally, "countless other government employees."
The Times notes that entitlements and Social Security will be left alone.
Maybe we should take our chances with the fiscal cliff.