Children, Women And Working Families Will Be Hurt By Sequestration - And Response (3)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

On Sunday, the White House released a list for each state of cuts that will take place if sequestration goes into effect. 

Of the 14-point list for Tennessee, it’s easy to see who will be disproportionately affected by these cuts: children, women, working families and those currently out of work. And that’s exactly why it’s no surprise that Republicans in the House and Senate have apparently now decided that letting drastic cuts occur is fine with them—who cares about the 49 percent? 

Some examples:  

• Tennessee will lose approximately $14.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 200 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 32,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 60 fewer schools would receive funding. (But if your kids and those of your donors are all in private schools, who cares?) 

 • Around 1,660 fewer low-income students in Tennessee would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 720 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. (Republicans, yawning, “Who cares? Our kids are all at Harvard—yearly tuition $37,576—and Yale—yearly tuition $42,300.”) 

• Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,200 children in Tennessee, reducing access to critical early education. (“Who cares whether the nanny’s children get access to early education?”) 

• Tennessee will lose about $681,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 24,050 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment. (“Who cares? The 49 percent don’t want to work anyway.”) 

On top of this, major reductions will occur to programs Republicans do claim to care about: In our state alone, approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $36.9 million in total. Military base operation funding would be cut by about $1.9 million, reducing readiness. Tennessee will lose about $367,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives. 

But clearly, for Congressional Republicans, it remains more important to attempt to thwart anything proposed by a president just re-elected with a majority of more than five million votes, than to come to the table and negotiate about revenue. 

A balanced budget is an important objective for thinking people of both parties. Hard decisions will need to made, and some painful cuts will undoubtedly be necessary. Republicans, however, see no problem with balancing a budget on the backs of the people who can least afford it, and who have no SuperPACS and lobbyists to manipulate the political process for them. 

We will fight to make sure that does not happen. Ask yourself: Do you care? If you do, stand with us as we stand up for those who need our voice. 

Paul Smith, Chairman

Hamilton County Democratic Party 

* * * 

Mr. Smith,
Add me to the list of one that “cares,” but make careful note of the first sentence in your letter: “On Sunday, the White House released a list for each state of cuts that will take place if sequestration goes into effect." 

Not only did they release the list, they chose the cuts on the list. 

Yes, I care. I care about the future of this country which looks bleak without some cost cutting. For anyone to think that the government cannot find a way to cut the relatively small percent of expense represented by sequestration, is foolish.

The problem is politicizing it by selecting the areas you listed rather than demand that every agency take a cut and allow that agency to select appropriate items.  

No, I don’t want little “Missy” to go hungry because her food stamps were cut, but Is sure don’t mind the food stamp office not getting new furniture this year or Michelle missing one of her vacations. 

Gus Bryan 

* * * 

While I am so very put-out with the Republican Party, I can't fathom why the White House would cherry pick services to cut for political gain and why the local Democratic Party would spout such silly vitriol. I am from a working family and my kids go to public schools. I don't have a nanny and Harvard or Yale is totally out of the question. I am a registered Republican who has voted for local and national Democrats who think my way and there are millions like me out there. These cute comments that follow the scare facts are almost as repugnant to me as legitimate rape. 

It's clear now, folks. It's happened. The worm has turned. From whichever side of the aisle you reside, you must now know that our great nation's juggler is in the firm grip of a political system that can only be described as "dumb and dumber."

Savage Glascock, Sr. 

* * * 

Did anyone catch the line Mr. Bryan just wrote?” Not only did they release the list, they chose the cuts on the list.” What else have people not heard much about? 

At 2:30 p.m. on July 26, 2011, former Chief of Staff Jack Lew and White House congressional-relations chief Rob Nabors visited Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid. This is the reported conversation. “We have an idea for a trigger,” Lew said. “What’s the idea?” Reid asked skeptically. “Sequestration.” That’s the beauty of a sequester, they said, it’s so ridiculous that no one ever wants it to happen. It was the bomb that no one wanted to drop. It actually would be an action-forcing event. “I get it,” Reid said finally.”  

Washington Post writer Bob Woodward explained in a Feb. 22 Washington Postop-ed. ”Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,” Woodward wrote. “Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid.” 

The Washington Post awarded Obama four out of four Pinocchio’s for his blame-shifting on the sequester, indicating a very long-nosed lie. 

Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus echoes Woodward’s account. “The president is part of the sequester,” the Montana Democrat said on Feb. 20. “The White House recommended it, frankly.” 

“The White House never expected that the sequestration actually would happen. They looked at it as a negotiating strategy,” former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) told Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity on Feb. 22. “This idea started with the White House. They took it to the Democratic leadership in the Senate. The leaders in both the Democrat and Republican parties in the House and the Senate signed onto this, and the president signed it into law.” 

Even White House press secretary Jay Carney was forced to concede his boss’s deceit.
“The sequester was something that was discussed,” Carney admitted last week “and, as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.” 

Remember, careful what you ask for… and four Pinocchio’s to the Pres. 

Please do your homework on all such topics, news is coming from Washington… and it’s here to help. 

Stan Conner

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