We've lived through massive cuts in air traffic controllers before. On Aug. 5, 1981, President Reagan fired 11,000 striking air traffic controllers, members of the PATCO union. I remember it well because my dad was an air traffic controller. He'd quit the union in disgust a few years prior, and was one of seven out of 17 that stayed on the job at his facility. They worked seven days a week for a while. I didn't see my dad very much during that time. He saw a lot of friends and people that he trained lose their jobs, misled by a union. That was the tragedy there. But as a nation, we survived and moved forward. We'll survive sequestration, too. Our elected officials decided what the "punishment" would be, and we need to experience it. We've allowed them to spend $3.6 trillion per year, too much of which is borrowed, and they can't find $85 billion in cuts? They've failed us. Bring on the punishment, if for no other reason than to see if they are telling us the truth, and that this will be the end of the world. So far the markets are unimpressed by all the talk of calamity. Follow @jonmhellerCFAThis article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.