MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

March 7, 2013

THE PEOPLE SPEAK — Budget crisis Republicans’ fault 03.08.13

— We hear a lot about the word “sequestration.” Just what does it mean, and what effect will it really have?

Because the Republicans in Congress refused to close the tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans, hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their jobs, or see their paycheck reduced and middle class families will hurt.

The New York Times has reported that 600,000 food stamps recipients will be cut from the program. There will be massive education cuts, affecting both teachers and students, and parents will scramble to find child care for their children. There will be $12 billion in Medicare cuts, with more after 2013. Funds to state governments will be cut creating deficits for the states and municipalities. It is estimated that 700,000 jobs will be lost, and 70,000 youngsters will be kicked off the Head Start program.

The current plan is that for the austerity ahead cuts of $100 billion will take place every year for the next 10 years. This will completely destroy federally funded social programs, jobs, Medicare, and education. It is estimated that 171,900 people will lose AIDS medication, the cuts will cause 39,200 deaths and 77,200 children will become orphans.

This didn’t need to happen. It was the choice of the right wing members of Congress. Congress could have chosen aid to education, health care, and jobs, instead of insisting on tax breaks for the wealthiest and protection of the corporate tax loopholes.

The Republicans insist that it was Obama’s fault, because he insisted that an increase in taxes was to be part of the resolution. The Republicans insisted that the rich would pay no more taxes. We face an age of economic transformation, where the poor are becoming poorer and the rich are becoming richer, while the middle class is shrinking.

GEORGE M. KESSELRING

Muskogee

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