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SEQUESTER SECRETS AND SURPRISES: Financial Experts Explain and Expose the Sequester- Category:Politics
SEQUESTER SECRETS AND SURPRISES: Financial Experts Explain and Expose the Sequester


We are being told that the coming Sequester on March 1 could shut down large parts of the Federal Government and plunge America into economic chaos.

Is this true? Two widely-quoted financial explain what the Sequester really is, and is not, during their national Talk Show speaking tour.

“The Sequester was designed to impose cuts so deep to national defense and social spending that, to avoid it, Republicans and Democrats would feel compelled to make wiser changes to government taxing and spending instead,” says Craig R. Smith, a monetary expert frequently interviewed by Fox's Neil Cavuto and other major business journalists.

Craig tells WebToday that “This Sequester – from the Latin word Sequestrare (See-kwes-TRAR-a), meaning 'to set aside or surrender' – is a share of expected government budget money that was set aside and would be surrendered if no political budget deal was agreed to.

“In theory, these sequestered cuts over 10 years were supposed to add up to as much as $1.2 Trillion, yet nobody actually believes that this could happen,” says Smith, whose latest, just-published book is “The Great Debasement: The 100-Year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America's Money Back.”

“If nothing is done to erase, modify or delay it, the Sequester supposedly cuts the Federal Government's budget by $85 Billion,” says Smith. “The real cut, however, will be closer to $44 Billion, which is a relatively tiny amount – less than 2.4 percent of the government's annual budget, and only one-quarter of one percent of America's Gross Domestic Product or GDP.”

“The government's nearly $3.7 Trillion annual budget is so huge, and the Sequester is so small,” says Smith, “that the Sequester cuts, as several economists have noted, are little more than a rounding error for Federal bookkeepers.”

“In fact, the Sequester does not shrink government at all,” says Smith, “because even if Sequester cuts kick in, Federal spending in 2013 will increase by at least $15 Billion.”

“The Federal Government uses a form of 'baseline budgeting' that assumes its budget will automatically grow each year, typically by as much as 7 percent,” says Smith.

“All that the Sequester does is (to) reduce this automatic rate of government spending increase,” says Smith. “The government will still be spending more money in 2013 than it did in 2012, no matter what happens.”

“The politicians created such 'baseline budgeting' to make it easier to grow the government,” says Smith. “You and I have to tighten our belts in tough economic times like today, but this budget gimmick punches a new hole in Uncle Sam's belt so he can automatically grow fatter every year.”

“This deceptive budgeting is like a cost-of-living increase for government to offset the inflation caused by government spending and paper money printing,” says Smith's co-author Lowell Ponte, a veteran investigative reporter and think tank futurist.

“So consider this: the Federal Government claims that there is no inflation in today's economy, that your fuel and food prices haven't been going up,” says Ponte. “This is how President Barack Obama's Administation denied cost-of-living increases to Social Security recipients in 2009, 2010 and 2011...and only in election year 2012 gave those dependent on Social Security a meager increase.”

“If Social Security recipients have needed no increase to offset inflation, then why does the government need more money than it already has?” asks Ponte.

“The Sequester – which was originally proposed by Gene Sperling, the head of President Obama's National Economic Council, on July 12, 2011, and therefore came out of the White House, not Congress – does make unbalanced cuts in government spending,” says Ponte.

“The Sequester will not touch what the politicians now call 'Mandatory Spending' such as Social Security and Medicare. It would only cut 'Discretionary Spending' such as national defense, which America's Founders would not have deemed discretionary,” says Ponte.

“The Sequester would cut many government offices equally, and this is unwise,” says Ponte. “It would trim funds alike for offices that run a tight ship and do not waste taxpayer funds, and for offices that squander taxpayer money crazily. This will impose financial pain on the best government offices and persuade them never to practice frugality again.”

“Republicans have offered to give affected branches of government 'transfer authority,' so managers can shift money among their offices to minimize layoffs and other problems the Sequester might cause,” says Ponte, “but thus far President Obama has refused to permit such 'transfer authority.'”

“President Obama's behavior leaves us wondering whether he actually wants this Sequester that his White House invented and he signed into law,” says Ponte.

“Does Mr. Obama think that he and his party will gain politically from letting his Sequester do as much damage to our nation and defense readiness as possible – because he believes his media allies will blame this devastation on Republicans who, in fact, have offered compromises to prevent this?”

“Thus do we government in today's Crisisocracy, government by the pressure of deliberately created crises and emergencies,” says Ponte. “This is a wasteful, reckless and foolish way to run a government, an economy and a culture. No wonder people are reluctant to invest in America anymore.”

Bob Woodward, “Obama's Sequester Deal-Changer,” Washington Post, February 22, 2012. URL:

George Will, “The Manufactured Crisis of Sequester,” Washington Post, February 22, 2013. URL:

Bill Frezza, “After the Sequester, Bring on The Blame Game,”, February 20, 2013. URL:

Fords O'Connell, “Shutting Down Government For Sequester May Backfire on Obama,” Investor's Business Daily, February 22, 2013. URL:

Grace Wyler, “Republicans May Have Found A Brilliant Way to Win the Sequester,” Business Insider, February 22, 2013. URL:

Chris Good, “57 Terrible Consequences of the Sequester,” ABC NEWS, February 21, 2013. URL:

“The Face of American Small Business”

Craig R. Smith is an author, commentator and popular media guest because he instantly engages audiences with his common-sense analyses of local, national and global trends.

The Founder and Chairman of Swiss America Trading Corporation, Craig for 30 years has helped many thousands of people hedge against the problems of a weakening U.S. Dollar. A monetary expert, Craig is the author of numerous books and articles including The Inflation Deception: Six Ways Government Tricks Us...and Seven Ways to Stop It! (June 2011), and Crashing The Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse (2010).

Craig is also author of The Uses of Inflation: Monetary Policy and Governance in the 21st Century, a White Paper (Feb. 2011).

Media clips:


Lowell Ponte (PON-tee) is a former think tank futurist and was an editor Reader's Digest Magazine for many years during its heyday when it was one of the most widely read publications in the world. Lowell is co-author with of The Inflation Deception: 6 Ways Government Tricks Us… and 7 Ways to Stop It! (2011), and Crashing The Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse (2010).

Ponte’s articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and many other publications. He is currently a columnist at Lowell has been a guest on "The Today Show," "Good Morning America," "David Letterman" and other programs.

Lowell has also been an aide in the California legislature, a reporter in Washington, D.C., a foreign correspondent reporting from 33 countries, co-partner in a successful Hollywood public relations firm, and a radio talk show host.

About the Book…

THE GREAT DEBASEMENT: The 100-year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America’s Money Back
“The greatest confiscation of wealth in human history.”

This is how business executive Craig R. Smith and futurist Lowell Ponte describe “The Great Debasement,” a manipulation of the U.S. Dollar that they calculate has since 1913 expropriated more than $222 Trillion from the American people.

Because of this deliberate century-long policy of debasing America's money, today's dollar has only 2 pennies of the purchasing power of the 1913 dollar.

The 2012 election and 2013 “Fiscal Cliff” of massive tax increases are ominous echoes of what happened exactly 100 years ago, warn Smith and Ponte.

The strange 1912 election turned America's government over to Progressives, who in 1913 imposed the Federal Reserve System and the income tax.

The 2012 election and 2013 Fiscal Cliff,” they say, could make Progressive rule permanent by turning a majority of voters into government dependents. America's central bank, the Fed, and income tax gave politicians almost-unlimited power to borrow, spend and expand government. The Federal Reserve was explicitly designed to turn the dollar into an “elastic” currency. The income tax forced Americans to accept and use this new ever-more-debased fiat monopoly money to pay their taxes. The 100th Anniversary of this Debasement brings America to a tipping point.

We are becoming “a 50-50 nation – half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits,” warns Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson.

Today 49.1 percent of households have at least one family member who gets a government benefit. More than 47 percent of adult Americans pay no income tax. Many dependents see government as a free goody-dispensing machine.

“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic,” warned Benjamin Franklin at America's birth.

If Progressives win even one branch of government in the 2012 elections, their vision of ever-expanding government could become permanent by creating a voting majority of those dependent on, and addicted to, government money.

The Great Debasement created today's upside-down, Alice-in-Wonderland economy in which the stock market goes up on bad news and down on good-- because major investors want whatever causes the Federal Reserve to conjure trillions more Quantitative Easing (QE) stimulus dollars out of thin air.

Modern Monetary Theory and neo-Keynesianism behind Fed and Federal policies teach that borrowing another $58,000 every second to fund 40 percent of Federal spending is good, but that people saving their money is bad. These theories teach that the dollar losing value (inflation) is good, but that the dollar gaining value (deflation) is bad. They teach that government should tax ever-more money away from productive business people to redistribute to the unsuccessful, whose faster spending supposedly accelerates economic growth.

After 100 years of the Progressive Great Debasement, paying off America's debts would require a stack of dollar bills stretching from Earth to beyond the planet Mars, 35.8 million miles away. Such astronomical debt is unsustainable. So many Americans are now unemployed or in poverty that today's Food Stamp recipients could produce a Progressive Depression soup line at least 17,564 miles long. Government checks conceal the Great Debasement's devastation.

This book offers vivid, dramatic examples of how today's increasingly-fragile economy could be shattered by a wide range of shocks – a new Middle East war, fuel shortages, high-tech terrorism, prolonged drought, collapse of the Euro, replacement of the weakening dollar as the world's Reserve Currency, or a continuing leftward shift in American politics that dries up investment and jobs in our formerly business-friendly nation.

The Great Debasement reveals how the dollar is already a dematerializing “ghost currency” as America follows the excessive spending-and-debt policies that undermined past empires. It shows how both prudent individual choices and restoration of the U.S. Constitution's standard for sound money could redirect our future away from a potential new Dark Age and toward a prosperous new Golden Age.

The Great Debasement book is available for purchase at:

© 2013 Special Guests, Inc.

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