Letter to the Editor: Fingerprinting the sequester
March 13, 2013
To The Editor:
I was very disappointed to see our newspaper passing along the Obama administration’s fear and fingerprinting about the sequester budget cuts with little balance in a front page article (March 6), “Park expects $623K in cuts from sequester.”
The worst case scenarios were passed along with frequent quotes from federal bureaucrats. The potential closing of Trail Ridge Road, campgrounds, BLM/Forest Service public lands, fire fighting/mitigation, education, training, law enforcement and public health are all included in the fear factor. The writer’s quote, “without a foreseen compromise in Congress” injects the fingerprinting into the piece – as though the administration had no hand in the cuts and bureaucrats have no choice about what to cut.
The president started the sequester “solution” (just ask Bob Woodward of Watergate fame), the Congress passed it and the president signed it. Now the administration is trying to use it to blame “Congress” – a claim directly aimed at Republicans for 2014 congressional campaign fodder.
The article does point out that the cuts are projected to be about 5 percent of operating funds – a projection from the Democrat administration which may or may not come about. The sequester is 2.4 percent of the total spending. The article uses many modifiers – “suppose,” “may,” “could mean,” “may mean,” “perhaps,” “may lose,” which are certainly in order. The article failed to mention, however, that the president “may” close the White House to tours. Another threat of a purely political nature.
Since federal spending has doubled in the last 11 years, if there exists a federal agency that cannot absorb a 5 percent cut in current spending without “closings” … I would hope that we will change the administration to people who can.
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Editor’s note: The cuts are in fact 5 percent of federal spending, but only about 2.4 percent of them are projected to occur by the end of this federal fiscal year, which ends Sept. 31, with the rest coming after that absent a new agreement.