Sequester Would Have Minimal Impact On North Dakota

There’s a lot of media hype about the “sequester” spending reductions (we really shouldn’t call them cuts) and their impact, but here in North Dakota it doesn’t appear as though there will be much of an impact at all.

According to this summary from the Williston Herald, we’re looking at about $33.4 million in lost funding, the bulk of which is a $26.9 million reduction in funding for the state’s military bases and a furlough for civilian defense department officials in the state.

Given the enormity of our national spending problem, those are some pretty trivial spending reductions. Unfortunately, to hear the folks in the media talk about it, you’d think the world would stop spinning if the sequester goes through.

That’s just not true. I think it’s a fair argument to note that the sequester targets discretionary spending when our real problem is non-discretionary entitlement spending, which is a point I made earlier today, but there is plenty of fat to cut in the discretionary budget, and if anything the sequester doesn’t go nearly deep enough.

Rob Port is the editor of, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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