Sequester hardly the bogeyman Obama and his ilk painted it as
Let’s establish a perspective. First President Obama proposes sequester; then he and his surrogates spend a month or more fear-mongering and blaming the Republicans for the impending sequester.
Lies are spread, the White House says police, firemen, and air traffic controllers will be gone; U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan makes up a story about teacher layoffs, a congresswoman says 170 million jobs will be lost (more, of course, than exist).
Why create anxiety? Pressure to force Congress to increase taxes and spending! That way, we can follow in the fiscal footsteps of Athens! For now, we will happily fiddle as Washington burns!
A 5 percent spending reduction in discretionary spending (about $85 billion annually), properly allocated, will be hardly noticeable. If any necessary cuts started at the top — as common sense would suggest, rather than at the bottom, as our president suggests — then we would still have police and fire protection and open airports and schools.
That is a lot of money to remove from the economy, and there will be some effect, but keep in mind that we recently injected $65 billion extra into the economy as a result of [Hurricane] Sandy. So, the economy is pretty much even for the first year at least.
Perhaps the clearest indicator of impending economic doom created by reining in spending is the financial market. The fact that the Dow has been moving up since the discussion began (and now approaches a record high after sequestration) belies the doomsday predictions!
The 10 percent defense reduction may have a more significant impact on that sector, but this is tempered by the reduction in commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is likely that many, if not most, local politicians — [Gov. Andrew] Cuomo, [Mayor Jerry] Jennings, [Rep. Paul] Tonko et al. — will blame any fiscal problems (even the ones they’ve created) on sequester. Medicaid corruption, unfunded mandates, reduced state aid will all be the unfortunate by-products of the budget cuts. And the story will be spun that it’s all the fault of those damned Republicans (maybe not Bush this time, and certainly not he who proposed it)!
It is refreshing to see a more balanced allocation of criticism emerging; hopefully this will lead to more rational compromise!
Corporal punishment leads to violent adults
Following the death of an 8-year-old bright and happy child, apparently at the hands of his custodial grandmother [March 3 Gazette], we must ask ourselves if it is time to end the practice of corporal punishment in our homes.
Raising children with nonviolent methods of discipline is not an impossible dream. Many parents have learned to raise respectful, happy children by using thoughtful, calm, consequence-based methods. Beating a child, spanking a child, slapping a child — any physical punishment — does very little to promote strong character, and in some cases is the impetus for creating an angry, resentful, dangerous adult.
Not every child who is hit will die, and not every child who is hit will become a violent adult, but virtually every violent person lived a violent childhood.
It is time to grow beyond a physically punishing family culture into a culture of nonviolence. Let this be the legacy of Sha’Hiim Nelligan.
Rev. Valerie Mapstone Ackerman
Third party needed to break selfish logjam
The recent fiasco in Congress over sequestration shows a critical need for a third party to represent the ideas of a majority of Americans with moderate political views.
Congress is broken and run by selfish elitists, who only want what’s good for their party. They hold their views with a sickening air of self-righteousness, and therefore they do not represent a majority of Americans.
Both parties are unreasonable, illogical and run by greedy and corrupt politicians. This is not true democracy. Until more voices are heard outside the two major parties, yours won’t [be heard], either.
It’s time the American people understand this, or the consequences will be a continuously dysfunctional government that will not do their only job, which is to serve the people. Until that day, the government will only serve itself.
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