February 26, 2013

Letters to the editor: Who's to answer for sequester?

The "Our View" editorial ("House Republicans created sequester crisis," Feb. 23) stating that Republicans are to blame for the sequester "crisis," besides being wrong and partisan, misses the point of out-of-control spending and lack of presidential leadership.

Barack Obama
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Readers debate whether President Obama’s policies are to blame for the looming sequestration.

The Associated Press

Since President Obama took office, the national debt has increased 60 percent, or about $6 trillion. By the time he leaves office, the debt will be more than $20 trillion.

The president and his liberal Democratic allies in Congress have shown zero leadership on budgeting, tax reform, supporting business, entitlement reform, spending reductions and sequester alternatives. (He probably has improved his golf game.)

There have been plenty of tax increases through Obamacare and the recent fiscal cliff deal. Spending is the issue.

While an $85 billion trim from a bloated budget may cause some near-term discomfort, it seems necessary to begin to head off a more serious fiscal crisis for our children and grandchildren.

Michael Fisette


"House Republicans created sequester crisis"? Apparently you are unaware whose idea it was in the first place.

Jack Lew proposed it. I'm sure you know who he is. He's President Obama's nominee to replace Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, the tax cheat.

And Obama with his "the sky is falling" speech about how first responders and teachers will be let go. Really?

Why is there not one brave soul in your organization who wants to report the real truth? Mr. Obama and his cronies are scam artists. All this fear-mongering, how pathetic! He is the most dishonest president who's ever lived.

Helene Hunter


The looming sequester begs the question – what got us into this mess in the first place?

President Bush the Second started his administration with a large budget surplus thanks to Bill Clinton's presidency.

As reported in the Nov. 10, 2012, Portland Press Herald ("Obama insists on higher taxes for the wealthy"), the top three reasons for our nation's debt are (1) the Bush-era tax cuts; (2) interest on the debt; and (3) the Afghan and Iraq wars.

The financial industry debacle exacerbated the debt crisis because tax revenues, already lower due to the Bush-era tax cuts, dropped even more when people lost jobs, and consumer spending, investment and the economy overall tanked.

Focusing spending cuts on the poor and the elderly is devious, to say the least. If the left rear tire of your truck goes flat, that is the tire you ought to fix. Otherwise, you will continue to have a "structural" problem. It is time to contact our congressional delegation and recommend that they focus on fixing the real cause of our debt crisis.

Jo Ann Myers


Sequestration: "A governmental term, used to confuse the general citizenry, meaning a reduction of budgeted expenses or a reduction in the rate of increase of budgeted expenses."

Furlough: "A governmental term, used to confuse the general citizenry, meaning a temporary layoff, without pay, of workers who will then be given said pay upon returning to work, when no one is paying attention."

This sequestration is much ado about what should be nothing. $84 billion of cuts out of $3.7 trillion of expenses (scheduled 2013 expenses) is less than 2 percent. $84 billion in Washington, D.C., is a rounding error.

On Jan. 1, 2013, the typical American worker got a 2 percent increase in his or her payroll taxes. Why wasn't that "the end of the world," as they would have you believe that a 2 percent sequestration would be? That's because the American worker is just supposed to "suck it up," but not the federal government!

If the sequestration was truly going to be "Armageddon," why, just 10 days before the March 1 effective date, was the president taking a long weekend to play golf with Tiger Woods, while Congress was on a week's-plus vacation? Crazy!

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