Well, it’s Washington Post official: the sequestration wasn’t all that bad after all. In fact, you could classify it as a dud, according to none other than Ezra Klein, a favored pet pundit of many a liberal MSNBC panel.
In a June 30 item at his Wonkblog, Klein concluded that the experts were “mostly wrong” concerning the impact of the cuts. At the same time, conservatives saw from the beginning that the actual amount of cutbacks, which was only $44 billion, would have a de minimis impact on the economy. However, government spending increased over the past year, just at a lower rate of growth than originally planned, so in real terms, there were no real cuts to speak of in real terms.
Klein's colleagues David A. Fahrenthold and Lisa Rein noted:
Sequestration did hit, on March 1. And since then, the $85 billion budget cut has caused real reductions in many federal programs that people depend on. But it has not produced what the Obama administration predicted: widespread breakdowns in crucial government services.
The Washington Post recently checked 48 of those dire predictions about sequestration’s impact. Just 11 have come true, and some effects are worse than forecast. But 24 predictions have not come to pass. In 13 cases, agencies said it is too soon to know.
The Obama administration still gives credence to estimates that sequestration might cost the country up to 750,000 jobs. Research by Goldman Sachs has shown declines in federal payrolls and layoffs at defense contractors.
But sequestration has not become a daily hassle for most Americans, and its effects on the economy have been softened by a stronger job market and low interest rates.
After all the panicking, the Post finally says definitively that sequestration was much ado about nothing. It wasn’t a meat cleaver to the economy, and Americans have felt little, if any, of its detrimental impact.
Of course, this is something that intellectually honest liberals told us at the time. You may recall that back in February, liberal contributor Juan Williams said on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace that “the news media will play into [the liberal sequester panic]…at every level.” Williams was right, as was every conservative who noted that the baying from sky-is-falling liberals would be worse than the advertised bite.