NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

November 25, 2013

A look at what others are saying

The following are excerpts of editorials from other newspapers across New England:

Watch out — here comes the sequester’s sequel. It’s not going to be pretty, say federal lawmakers and budget analysts. The sequester has slipped many an American mind, mainly because it didn’t really have much impact on ordinary people’s lives. For those who have forgotten, it goes something like this:

“In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that if they (sic) couldn’t agree on a plan to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion — including the $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction lawmakers in both parties have already accomplished over the last few years — about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary and across the board budget cuts would start to take effect in 2013. Unfortunately, Congress hasn’t compromised.” That’s right from the White House website, which neglects to point out the sequester was the Obama administration’s idea.

Andrew Taylor of The Associated Press, by no means the voice of the tea party, made this point about the sequester, now in its ninth month:

“The first year of the automatic cuts didn’t live up to the dire predictions from the Obama administration and others who warned of sweeping furloughs and big disruptions of government services.” Why? Mr. Taylor waxed metaphorical: “... (F)ederal agencies that have emptied the change jar and searched beneath the sofa cushions for money to ease the pain of sequestration have been so far able to make it through the automatic cuts relatively unscathed.”

Perhaps the solution here is not to panic over the next round of sequester cuts but to gaze with favor upon federal managers who were able to perform virtually the same amount of work despite enduring “about $1 trillion in automatic, arbitrary and across the board cuts.”

Why not give them some credit for that, rather than moaning in fear about the coming cuts?

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