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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, March 01, 2013

Cartwright: Sequestration Is No Game

Draconian. Irresponsible. Ridiculous. Indiscriminate.

These are just some of the words that the Lehigh Valley's other Congressman, Matt Cartwright, used to describe sequestration, an across-the-board, massive $1.2 trillion cut in federal spending scheduled to take effect today. As usual, Congress is playing what Lehigh County Exec candidate Tom Muller calls "cliffsmanship," and yet another Congressional crisis looms.

Cartwright delivered a moving and powerful speech from the House floor, wasting it on members who spend most of their time meeting with lobbyists and attending fundraisers. It meant nothing to them, but away from the beltway, his message resonates. He advocated "getting rid of it completely" if Congress is unable to come up with a compromise.

He likes sequestration to taking out a cancer "with a meat cleaver instead of a scalpel."

His district includes economically depressed Schuylkill County, where 38,000 of its 149,000 population subsist on social security payments. They will be delayed because of losses in manpower in those offices.

At the Tobyhanna Army Depot, where 5,400 civilian workers refurbish military electronics, there will be $309 million in cuts over the next ten years. Layoff notices will go out to them today. Cartwright noted these are "real people" who have to plan on how to feed their families and keep gas in the car. "It's cold comfort for them to hear this may not happen," he noted, especially when they're looking at a hard copy of a furlough notice.

Seventy thousand children will be kicked off Head Start, including 2,300 in Pa.

Emergency responders will lose jobs, which will affect us all.

"This isn't a game we're talking about," he argued. "Hundreds of thousands of people will lose their jobs."

I fully support a reduction in federal spending. But not indiscriminately, across the board. That is what will happen unless Congress acts, and the clock is ticking again.


Anonymous said...

Who cares about this issue. Its all a joke. People suckling off the federal tit should view this as a wake up call. Don't rely on the government for you very subsistance. The country is viewing this issue as boring and tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you realize that the cuts for this year represent the equivalent of 25 cents out of $3,700. Do you mean to tell me that this represents some kind of disaster? C'mon,man!

Anonymous said...

It's not the cut itself, it is WHERE they are cutting it from.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Its all part of obamas master plan. Continue to divide the country - the entitled vs those who believe your own hard work will lift you. And unfortunately, the entitled are growing, thanks to the dems ridiculous spending and an impotent rep party not willing to go all in and stand by their principles.

Anonymous said...

Its not a cut of anything. Its a 2% +/- reduction of future projected spending. With the fed buying 80% of the T bills to cover deficit spending we have $17 Trillion in debt over $50 Trillion in unfunded liabilities paid for with money printer out of thin air.

Anonymous said...

Finally people are waking up. Obama(aka chicken little) has cried wolf once too often. If our budget can't be reduced by this amount we are going to be the next Greece.

Obama won't even accept the offer to make the cuts where he feels they are least painful.

It always more revenue(taxes) or I'll punish you. I've had plenty of experience dealing with federal agencies. Any one who couldn't reduce the year to year growth
(called a cut somehow) by this amount should not be president.

There is 20% waste at a minimum in federal work!!! It's considered a place to make middle income jobs availabe to lots of people who should be flipping burgers.

There are plenty of good hard working federal workers and in confidence they will tell you the staff has been stuffed with dead wood.

Just tell Os wife to get off the travel circuit. Tell the VP his plane is grounded. Cut the expensive exotic conferences.Cut legislative staffs 20%. I could fill volumes with no pain reductions.

Anonymous said...

I we can't handle relatively minuscule cuts to rates of spending increases, we'll never get out of the hole. Meanwhile, Cartwright's House has no official business scheduled today. But he's being paid.

Anonymous said...

Fear mongering at its worst.

You're a piece of shit, BOH.

Bring it on. The Sequester. Let's see if the world will REALLY collapse, as the asshole Obama says.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Bernie, you realize that the cuts for this year represent the equivalent of 25 cents out of $3,700. Do you mean to tell me that this represents some kind of disaster? C'mon,man!"

Don't be an idiot. These are across the board cuts, hurting people in the safety net as well as programs that could absorb some cuts. And the fact that it will take about 90 days to kick in does not mean it is meaningless. Starting today, when furlough notices go out to Tobyhanna and other federal workplaces, it starts affecting real people who help sustain our economy.

Anonymous said...

Where was all this angst earlier in the month when 700 billion dollars in spending ability was shifted away from Medicare Advantage to help make Obamacare work?

Money is moved around for a variety of reasons, and can be moved around, even in this situation, by each affected department.

Anonymous said...

Cartwright's hero Obama OWNS the sequester and the bullshit surrounding it. He is the author and demagogue-in-chief, even R killer Bob Woodward knows and has said as much. That got Woodward nothing less than a threat from the petulant president's henchman.

Bernie, you are always preaching compromise and bi-partisanship. The opposition (such that it is) has already conceded on tax increases for those who already pick-up the lion's share of the tab.

When is it teh Won's turn?

Obama won't because Obama can't. He is completely incompetent at his job, so he just keeps running for it.


Lighthouse said...

Sequestration as a tool is nothing new. However, as with its earlier version, it has been a failed incentive to encourage cooperative governance.

The Balanced Budget Act of 1985 (Gramm-R--Rudman-D)"required that each year from 1986 to 1991 the budget would automatically be cut until the federal deficit had disappeared. What made the cuts automatic, its authors hoped, was a provision in the bill, called a sequester, that required across-the-board percentage cuts in all federal programs (except for entitlements) if the president and Congress failed to agree on a total spending level that met the law's targets". Deja Vu.

The Budget Control Act of 2011, which also created the Select Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (SuperComm), included sequestration if agreement could not be reached, hence all the hoopla about today.

With Congressional districts drawn the way they are (note how the status quo was reelected despite Congress' basement approval ratings), House members only need to keep keep their base constituencies happy, and they are safe, regardless of any harm their inaction may/may not cause the country.

In the end, Congress controls the purse. The House and Senate could exercise leadership and present the President something to sign or veto. Instead, all sides have their bogeymen ("Its all ----'s fault")and jack gets done.

Lighthouse said...

I am concerned of "crisis fatigue". The public is increasingly tuning out the hyperbole of "crisis" after self-imposed "crisis". Once that happens, who knows what lawmakers will do when the public has stopped caring enough to hold DC accountable.

Anonymous said...

The current administration is engaging in behavior that needs to be questioned. That's all.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, first, thanks for calling me an idiot. You should delete your own comment because right up there is says "I will delete personal attacks "

You said something interesting, though:"...it starts affecting real people who help sustain our economy."

so do you believe that federal spending is essential to keeping the economy humming? and, therefore more, spending, more humming? Is there a limit? Why doesnt the government spend lots and lots more, evidently under this logic, we'd all be rich.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I told you not to be an idiot. Anyone who supports across the board cuts that impact needed services, as well as those where cuts can be made, is either completely insensitive or an idiot. Take your pick.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Also, I am not interested in playing games with sophists. When you have massive cuts like these, that impact on everything, you are cutting into essential services that perform government's role, which is supposed to be helping people. You have children who will suffer from this. Children! Don't give me your crappy argument about federal spending and its relation to the economy. I am unwilling to see funds diverted from programs designed to help our most precious asset. And in case you haven't noticed, sequestration will impact our most vulnerable citizens. Not long after that, it will be you.

If you can't be responsible about this, expect to see your party voted out of office in the next election.

It's insanity.

Anonymous said...

Children: the last resort of a desperate Lib

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't see this as a "liberal" v. "conservative" argument. I see this as a dispute between intelligence and stupidity. You don't take a meat cleaver to a budget and cut essential programs that will actually prevent this country from maintaining its edge down the road. If our children fall behind, so does our country.

Don't be foolish.

Anonymous said...

Meat cleaver?

Two cents on the dollar? I don't understand.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Obviously, you don't. It's not two cents to the 100,000 children wh will be eliminated from Head Start. Use your head, not talking points.

Anonymous said...

how about you list what major programs are going to be cut, by what percentage their spending will be reduced, and when the cuts take effect

Anonymous said...

100,000 children removed from Head Start? How do we know this, and if such is true, shall our country be held hostage over such a severe crisis? Why not keep the kids in Head Start by eliminating politician travel and other perks? There's got to be a better way!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, there does, and that is the point.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"how about you list what major programs are going to be cut, by what percentage their spending will be reduced, and when the cuts take effect"

Watch the video, read the news accounts. I do not have time to answer your question.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone, we are getting a new multi-million dollar Human Services building in Northampton County. We won't have the money for services or staff but what a neat building.

Thank you John Stoffa and friends!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey asshole, our population is increasing, so even if the feds cut human services funding, we will still be getting more money.

You are so obsessed with your Stoffa hatred that your brain has stopped working, assuming it ever did in the first place.

Unknown said...

Aw, fer crisakes, this is all pure theater. This was Obama's idea(well, actually Lew) to do this. Now that it comes to pass, BHO has the opportunity to be given the permission to decide where the cuts must occur; but he declines.
He refuses to accept any responsibilty and threatens to make cuts that will hurt the worst. Pure theater from a community organizer that can't quit his old training.
How about cutting $700,000 for the Climate Control Musical production? That would pay for a lot of Head Start kids. There is SO much waste...he promised to cut.
Mayor Rudy G said it well - (paraphrase, not exact) - suppose you had a job that paid $100,000 and your boss told you that next year you would be making $110,000 but later came back to tell you that you would only be making $107,000. Good analogy!

Elected offical said...

When is our new Congressman going to open his Easton office? Soon..I hope. I like the guy and wish him well.

Elected offical said...

Chicken or the egg? Who cares? Stop pointing fingers and get busy undoing this terrible wrong. The FAR RIGHT has made their point..now sit down and work the problems..