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The many definitions of ‘sequester’

Ah, the economy. It seems like only yesterday that we were worried about the fiscal cliff.

Well, maybe it wasn’t yesterday, but it was only a few short weeks ago. It came and went, more like a speed bump than a cliff. At the last minute, there were patches put into place, which lessened the blow, although I did notice a significant drop in my take-home pay as a memento of this momentous event.

Well, now we have the sequester looming ahead. I have to admit, it takes me awhile to figure out all these strange names that someone keeps giving these harbingers of economic disaster. To me, sequester means to hide or isolate something or someone. It has always been a verb, as in, “the judge sequestered the jury.”

But, the word can also be a noun. When politicians use the word “sequester” as a noun, what they actually mean is some serious cuts in government spending.

In this case, on March 1, when the sequester is set to take place, $1.2 trillion will be cut from domestic and defense programs and budgets. This would cause thousands of people to lose their jobs.

I’ve been reading and reading on this sequester, and it’s hard to figure out the particulars. It really depends on the partisanship of the news group doing the reporting.

The Chicago Tribune says that Obama set the sequester in motion because he expected the Republicans to counter with more taxation for the wealthy, based on the fact that they wouldn’t want to see defense cuts.

ABC News implies that the Republicans are standing in the way of progress because they won’t explore options like eliminating special interest tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy.

And, USA Today states, in an article by David Jackson, that, “Obama wants to reduce the debt with both budget cuts and tax revenues by closing loopholes; some Republicans said the emphasis should be on spending cuts, not higher taxes.”

So, that’s a lot of back and forth. Is our country in debt? Yes it is. Does something need to give? Yes it does. But should the people who are already hard-pressed to make ends meet be the ones who should bear the brunt of it?

As a member of the beleaguered middle class, I can see the writing on the wall. If the sequester does go into effect on March 1, people will lose their jobs and upper class citizens will not lose their loopholes and tax protections.

If the sequester does not go into effect, it will be because of a compromise of budget cuts and increased income taxes.

Which way will it go? Does it matter? Either way isn’t very good for the ordinary citizens who are just doing the best they can in today’s economy.

There is another definition for the word sequester.

According to, sequester can also mean to seize property and income from a person.

Now there’s an interesting definition.

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