If the federal spending cuts known as "the sequester" go through beginning Friday, it will be a terrible calamity, the White House warns.
Really? A spending cut of nearly identical magnitude kicked in Jan. 1, and it didn't seem to upset anyone in Washington.
Perhaps that is because the Jan. 1 cut forced you, not Uncle Sam, to tighten your belt.
During 2011-12, we taxpayers got a bit of a break in the amount of our paychecks withheld to help pay for Social Security. For two years, 4.2 percent of our pay was withheld for the purpose.
But Obama and Congress allowed that to expire Jan. 1, letting the withholding rate go up to 6.2 percent. Washington is keeping 2 percent more of what you earn than it did last year.
That means the approximately 143.3 million Americans who have jobs were forced on Jan. 1 to cut our spending (or saving) by 2 percent - nearly the same rate of belt-tightening Uncle Sam faces from the sequester.
You don't recall White House wailing and gnashing of teeth about that, because virtually nothing was said in Washington when we taxpayers were told we had to make do with less.
Puts anguish over the sequester in a different light, doesn't it?