Lessons from the Sequester and the Shutdown

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At a press conference this week, President Barack Obama imagined the possibility of a government default in personal terms.

"Imagine, in your private life, if you decided that I'm not going to pay my mortgage for a month or two," the president said. "First of all, you're not saving money by not paying your mortgage. You're just a deadbeat. And you can anticipate that will hurt your credit, which means that in addition to the debt collectors calling, you're going to have trouble borrowing in the future."

The truth is that during the Great Recession, a number of Americans had to make tough choices on whether and how to pay their debts, and the best ways to cut household spending, without automatic cuts through sequestration or shutdowns.

As for the federal government, while few economists would argue that automatic spending cuts are the best way to reduce wasteful spending, the cuts are in effect.

Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason.com and Reason TV, and Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, examine what the federal government has learned from the sequester and the shutdown, with regard to government waste versus programs that are worth it.