Updated: March 21, 2013 6:31AM
Republicans sitting on their hands despite so much work to be done
With the March 1 deadline for sequestration approaching, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and his tea party supporters adjourned for a 10 day-vacation. Don’t worry about high unemployment or the slipping economy. Just go home and blame it all on President Obama.
Republicans refuse to act on anything Obama proposes. Block his Cabinet nominees, ignore proposals on creating jobs, let infrastructure deteriorate further (25th in the world), forget about improving the electric grid (33rd in the world), delay immigration reform, cut education and research-and-development funding, object to limits on assault weapons and, of course, refuse to close tax loopholes for the rich and giant corporations.
While the economy is going into a tailspin, GOP conservatives are expending their energy refusing equal pay for women, defunding planned-parenthood and attempting to repeal Obamacare (33 times so far). That’s an example of priorities only Rush Limbaugh and Fox News can support.
Next, we’ll hear the Republicans want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to make up for the massive debt caused by Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and three tax breaks for the rich prior to Obama’s first term. The GOP wants middle-class Americans — who suffered through Bush’s Great Recession and then watched Wall Street fat-cats make huge bonuses again (without a prosecution for fraud) — to cough up our lungs while they sit on their hands.
Boehner and the GOP are a disgrace to democracy.
‘Sequestration’ not great, but it’s better than no budget cuts at all
Because Congress cannot agree on a deficit reduction plan, sequestration — or automatic spending cuts — will go into effect on March 1, 2013.
In 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which gave the Treasury additional borrowing authority, but it also put into place a requirement that Congress achieve $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. Because Congress has been unable to reach agreement on a deficit reduction plan, sequestration — or automatic spending cuts — will begin on March 1.
With a $1.3 trillion budget deficit in 2012 and a $16.5 trillion debt, it is obvious that the only way that spending will be ever be cut and deficit reduction achieved is by forcing Congress to do so through sequestration/automatic cuts. Congress and the president simply do no have the stomach to cut military spending and other non-defense discretionary spending. Defense, Social Security, Medicare and welfare accounted for 82 percent of government spending in 2012.
Is sequestration a good way to cut spending? No. But, unfortunately, it is the only way that wasteful spending will ever be cut. We have a $16.5 trillion debt and a $1.3 trillion budget deficit. And Congress is unable achieve $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years, which is really a sad commentary on our inept Congress.
Republicans do not want to cut defense, and Democrats do not want to make the needed changes to social programs. So unless we want to have a $25 trillion debt in the near future, sequestration — while not the best way to cut government spending — is the only way that deficit reduction will be achieved.
And even if $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction was achieved over 10 years, the normal growth of government will exceed the reduction, and we will continue to have huge deficits.
Hampshire-Burlington seniors grateful for luncheon treat
A bright, sunny day greeted the Hampshire-Burlington Senior Citizens Club as we gathered for our regular monthly potluck luncheon, on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The tables were beautifully decorated in a Valentine’s Day theme, and the huge serving table could hardly hold the amazing collection of everyone’s “favorite recipes.”
As the tables were cleared, Jim Struyk and his talented musicians from Central High School near Burlington set up their keyboard and amplifiers, and proceeded to present a beautiful afternoon concert for the 50 seniors in attendance
The ensemble was composed of John Smith, Rachel Rodewald, Nate Trevino, Anthony Brancato and Kathleen Ratzek.
The seniors wish to send a most heartfelt thank-you to all of you for taking the time from your busy schedules to come and entertain us. It is greatly appreciated!
We would also like to invite everyone who is 55 or older and lives in the Hampshire-Burlington area to come and join in the fun at our regular monthly meetings. We meet the second Wednesday of every month, except July and August, at the new Hampshire Township Administration Building, 170 Mill Ave., in Hampshire.
For information, call 847-683-0904.
Again, thanks to Struyk and his talented musicians. You were truly appreciated!
Dale A. Dopkins
President, Hampshire-Burlington Senior Citizens Club