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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.