The sky is not going to fall
To the Editor:
Rarely has the Presidential bully pulpit been used as effectively as by the cunning, current resident of the White House! Sequestration and Republicans are the new Armageddon. To quote Henny Penny of folklore, “The sky is falling ….” But truth is, the sky is firmly set in the firmament — and by the grace of God, so are the people of this nation.
The same cannot be said of our government. The president has travelled near and far (at exorbitant expense) via Air Force One to spread his scare message to adoring fans who take each word out of his mouth as gospel. Truth is despite his accusations against the Republican Congress, the use of sequestration as a bartering rod in the 2012 budget battle is the result of Obama’s own administration.
Late in 2011 Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors convinced the president to use the sequestration automatic cuts as leverage. After getting Senator Reid’s acquiescence, the plan was put into effect. As for the cuts themselves, we are talking of a mere 2.3 percent of the current expenses. Social Security, Medicare and certain other entitlements will not be affected.
So, the President is being less than honest with us when he predicts dire results such as loss of first-responders, teachers, medical facilities, air-traffic controllers, etc. First of all, first responders and teachers (among others) are the responsibility of local jurisdictions — not the Federal Government. The current Congress passed two budget bills which are gathering dust in the Senate because Reid refuses to let them come to the Senate floor. Wake up citizens!
Grace M. Alvarez
Weekly Arts and entertainment guide for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties