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How did 'sequester' come to mean budget-cutting?
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 02/27/2013 @ 8:50 pm In Front Page,Money,Politics,U.S. | No Comments
The fight right now in Washington is over the “sequester.”
That’s the “sequestration” that involves a reduction in the federal budget increase.
But dictionaries say the word means to “withdraw,” to “isolate,” to “hide away” and other similar situations.
The Merriam-Websiter online dictionary explains the word means to segregate, to set apart, to seclude, or to withdraw.
It also says “to seize especially by a writ of sequestration” and “to place (property) in custody especially in sequestration.”
The Law Dictionary explains it can mean “to renounce or disclaim.”
It also lists that as a noun, it is a “general cut in government spending” without elaborating on that use.
The Free Dictionary allows that the word is “to cause to withdraw into seclusion.” Or maybe “to remove or set apart; segregate.”
Also “to take temporary possession of (property) as security against legal claims.”
The online Dictionary explains it is “to remove or withdraw into solitude or retirement; seclude.”
This is the word that Congress uses to mean simply cutting back on spending.
The New York Times tries to shed light.
It says the term was used in 2011 when the House Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling without address the surging deficit under President Obama.
The result was an agreement between the parties called the Budget Control Act that cut the increase in domestic spending by $1 trillion over 10 years.
“Democrats refused to agree to more cuts without additional revenue from taxes, and Republicans refused to agree to more tax increases,” the report said.
“Instead, Congress set up a committee to find further deficit reduction. To push the committee to reach a deal, negotiators established a fallback mechanism meant to be so onerous it would never happen: $1.2 trillion in across-the-board, automatic cuts to both military and domestic programs, set to begin this year.”
The report continued, “In past decades, budget laws have periodically allowed the executive branch to make small across-the-board spending cuts to the levels initially appropriated by Congress. These cuts are known as ‘sequestration’ because the government withdraws the money after Congress has released it.”
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