Sequester Madness 2

This just came in over the transom via email.

WASHINGTON, D.C.///February 20, 2013///Sequestration will cut visitor access to the rim of the Grand Canyon, significantly delay the spring opening of key portions of Yellowstone and Yosemite, reduce emergency response help for drivers in the Great Smoky Mountains, limit access to the beach at the Cape Cod National Seashore, and impair the experiences in many other ways for millions of visitors at America’s national parks.   In addition, local, regional and state economies that depend on national parks will take huge hits as visitors are either turned away or skip visits due to the impact of the mindless sequestration budget cuts.....

CNPSR Spokesperson, Joan Anzelmo, former Superintendent of Colorado National Monument said:  “Congress might just as well put a big “Keep Out !” sign at the entrance to Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, the Cape Cod Seashore, and every other iconic national park in the U.S.   This foolhardy path tarnishes America’s ‘crown jewels’ and is a repudiation of the nation’s national parks often touted as ‘America’s best idea’.  Millions of Americans depend on national parks for their vacations and livelihood.  Those Americans are being told that national parks don’t count … that people who use national parks don’t count … and that people who live and work near national parks don’t count.”

A few observations:

  • It's a 5% freaking cut.  I bet Wal-Mart is a more tightly-run organization than the NPS, and I further bet if I forced an immediate 5% cut at Wal-Mart they would do it without cutting store hours or service to customers.
  • Again, we see government officials cutting the most cherished, visible services, rather than the chaff, in order to maximize citizen outrage rather than do their freaking job and set priorities
  • It's a freaking 5% cut.  Did I say that already?
  • I could cut huge chunks from the NPS budget while improving service by having private companies perform many operating functions.  Our company runs nearly 175 parks and in every one we have seen something like a 50% reduction in cost over government operation while simultaneously increasing staffing in the parks.
  • This is absolutely boilerplate from every single agency and constituency that gets threatened with even the tiniest budget cut -- "you are telling XXX group they don't count."  Barf.
  • I was going to make some observations about their budget over the last few years, but all their budget detail pages online seem to be down

I am currently as depressed and cynical as I have ever been today due to this absurd reaction to a trivial spending cut.  I have about zero hope that Federal spending will ever be reigned in.  Politicians of both parties and the special interests that support them will spend and spend until we find ourselves calling Greece asking for a bailout.


  1. Cardin Drake:

    It's not a 5% cut. It would only be about 3%, but that if they were doing zero-based budgeting. Right now, it's just phantom cuts on projected increases.

  2. ed johnson:

    This tendency has a name: the "Firemen First Principle."

  3. Dan Hill:

    I'm afraid you are operating under the illusion that government jobs are a means to an end - providing services to the public. When will you understand you exist for the sole purpose of paying taxes to create lots of unionized government jobs which are an end in themselves? What sort of American are you not wanting to carry a dozen goverment 'workers' on your back?

  4. herdgadfly:

    The $85 billion DOD sequester is only a 2.5% budget cut for the entire government but what does that have to do whooped the Park Service? Interestingly, when the Senate whomped up the $60 billion Hurricane Sandy pork bill, the House Republicans approved it. BTW, I thought funding bills had to start in the House.

    The Republicans are assuming their rightful place among America's Ruling Class and taxpayers are assuming the position!

  5. SamWah:

    Just like local gummints--got to cut cops, firemen, and teachers. Can't cut nobody else. Seen it too many times.

  6. mesocyclone:

    So what's the surprise? When the Republicans held Clinton's feet to the fire on spending, he shut down the most visible and popular functions of government - including national parks. Of course it's going to happen this time. Our Democrat masters are sending us a message: pay up or suffer.

  7. MNHawk:

    Heh, I always have seen it in practice. I didn't know it had a tried and true name.

    Look at your local schools. Is it the 3rd assistant to the Vice Principle for Diversity that's cut? No, it's the Band teacher that's cut. It's the Football program. Rinse and repeat.

  8. morganovich:

    yup, that's been the bread and butter play in the california playbook for decades.

    i also note that the feds are threatening to cut TSA and create 3 hour lines at airports as an extremely visible way to annoy voters and make then hate the sequester. this seems, at it's core, to be simple pavlovian conditioning. cut funding, wait in line.

  9. marque2:

    Some of the hysteria is almost comical. 800,000 civilian jobs will be lost in the military alone - wait it costs about 100K per employee with salary and benefits.

    Wait a minute, that amounts to 80 billion in savings for the military alone! And the total cut is suppose to be 85 billion. Is someone lying to us?

  10. marque2:

    I believe that the government is based lined as 7% more than last year, and this sequester amounts to 2.2 - 3% reduction depending on how you count it. Making the INCREASE for this year only 4 - 4.8%

    If you look at inflation for last year 1.75% and add in population growth of 0.9% the government should really be growing only 2.65% this year to break even.

    2.65 vs 4%(sequestered) vs 7% (baselined)

    I think even with the sequester the government is still growing at least 1% too fast.

  11. Eris Guy:

    I see the federal government has a need for tough gun control laws.

  12. agassiz830:

    Other than defense, there were no spending cuts, correct? SO anything being cut by other agencies such as the park service is a cut made to enable larger spending increases by them on other things, correct?

  13. agassiz830:

    For something to be a service, there needs to be choice; true services may be declined.

  14. sch:

    Re the Smokies: they had a major landslide knocking out the main trans-park road Fed Hwy 441 this past month, maybe 100 acres of hill side slumped. Be interesting to see how the sequester affects repairs.