No one likes the sequester, but we should use our current predicament as an opportunity to make some smart decisions, cut wasteful and unnecessary programs and tighten our belts, not kick the can down the road. Extending the deadline for the sequester is unlikely to suddenly inspire Congress to act. The “supercommittee” failed to find an alternative budget a year ago. We haven’t come up with a reasonable alternative in the meantime, and if we delay sequestration further, our negative bank balance will continue to weaken our economy and make us less economically competitive.
The responsible next step is to negotiate an alternative. Republicans need to realize it is impossible to implement one-sided cuts without any compromise on the enormous and unwieldy Pentagon budget. Democrats need to offer up domestic spending programs. The only way to avoid a bad outcome for the country is to work together toward a common goal instead of merely assigning blame.
Michael Ostrolenk is a conservative national security consultant.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.