April 17


Will sequestration inspire innovation on the border?

We’re only days away from sequestration, the automatic across-the-board spending cuts that were supposed to have been so awful, so distasteful to lawmakers and the president that there was no chance we’d ever reach this point. And yet here we are.

Don’t get me wrong: I won’t defend a dysfunctional federal budget that is bleeding red ink as Congress and the administration avoid the tough choices over entitlement program reforms and fails to engage in a real debate over the size and scope of government.

But as other commentators and even the President have noted, sequestration takes a meat cleaver to core government services where a scalpel is what is needed.

Most of the press coverage of sequestration has focused on its effect on the defense sector, and rightly so. After all, defending our country against foreign threats is a constitutionally mandated duty, not some experimental program in an obscure government agency. The Department of Defense is preparing plans to furlough 800,000 civilian workers, which is a hit to our economy as we claw our way out of the Great Recession.

But less publicized has been sequestration’s effect on our border agencies: Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol.

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