Congress, president have failed our nation, economy

Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 04:12 PM.

Tomorrow, our nation achieves what is called in Washington D.C.-speak the sequestration milestone. Using the words "achieved a milestone" is a bit of stretch for some because "achieving a milestone" are words generally reserved to describe positive events. Some would prefer to call sequestration a "millstone" instead of a milestone — and a very negative budget event.

Clearly sequestration will have an impact on our nation. Just how much is yet to be seen. Milestone or millstone, something needs to be done about our uncontrolled spending, if not the meat cleaver approach that sequestration poses.

Simply, sequestration is nothing but cutting an unaffordable budget. Tomorrow nearly a trillion dollars will be, somewhat indiscriminately and with insufficient forethought, axed incrementally from a budget that Congress hasn’t formally approved in years of unapproved budgets that we can’t afford.

Sequestration was conceived by the Obama Administration’s so-called "Super Committee" as a means to overcome earlier budget crises our nation had created for itself and to force a decision. It is comprised of budget cuts so distasteful to both Republicans and Democrats — slashes to both defense and entitlement programs and other Republican and Democrat sacred cows — that it was envisioned by both the executive and legislative branches of our government as unlikely to ever happen.

As I write this, sequestration appears as if it will happen. The Obama Administration is, Chicken Little-like, claiming the sky will fall tomorrow. The Republicans who control the House of Representatives but don’t have the presidential bullhorn or the media attention are pooh-poohing the dire warnings of the president and depending, it seems, on the public to blame Obama for sequestration’s impact whatever it may be. Both parties seem willing to let it happen.

There will be impact in Eastern North Carolina, but not immediately felt. Late April, furloughs of federal employees at Cherry Point, including those at Fleet Readiness Center East, Camp Lejeune and New River could cause a 20 percent pay cut, at least for the time being.

The threat is serious enough that the Commandant of the Marine Corps recently sent a letter to what he calls his "civilian Marines" — federal employees working for the Marines — writing, "With or without sequestration, challenging fiscal times lie ahead. The Marine Corps, like the rest of our armed forces, will have to find ways to accomplish missions within reduced budgets. Some form of reduction of civilian personnel accounts is likely unavoidable. As a result, there may be administrative furloughs." Sequestration will cause real impact to real people.

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