Editorial: Americans ready for cooperation in Washington as sequester looms
BY World's Editorials Writers
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
2/27/13 at 6:53 AM
It's clear that the American public is fed up with lack of any cooperation in the nation's capital. It also seems to be just as clear that the folks running the government don't really care.
The sequester, a word once used mainly concerning a jury, takes effect Friday, unless Congress and the president reach some sort of bargain, which seems highly unlikely.
The sequester will set in motion $85 billion in mandatory budget cuts. Oklahoma alone will lose $137 million in federal aid. That will result in thousands of jobs lost or furloughed. Hardest hit will be education and defense.
Such disaster could be averted. It would, however, take compromise - and that's hard to find in Washington, D.C.
President Obama is calling for a mix of raising taxes on the rich and less damaging cuts in spending. Republicans are refusing to cut any taxes and seem determined to allow the automatic spending cuts to take effect.
Obama made the first mistake in this by kicking the fiscal can down the road before the November election. He agreed to delay the budget battle hoping that Republicans would, after the election, negotiate an agreeable alternative to the massive reductions.
He was wrong. The Republicans, fearing retribution from the no-tax cabal in the 2014 elections, are not ready to compromise at all. Their stance is no tax increases, no time, no way. The president does seem willing to compromise but is simply not getting any cooperation from Congress.
Despite the pending disaster the cuts will have on Oklahoma and Oklahoma families, the state's congressional delegation does not seem ready to give an inch. New First District U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine says that Republicans "cave in" too much to the White House. He must be seeing something that the rest of us don't.
No one wants Congress to "cave in." Most Americans do, however, want a resolution. They know that it will take a bipartisan effort to not only avoid the sequester but to really get this country back on its feet.
It's time for Congress and the White House to do what is best for the country. It will take some statesmanship to get that done. Sadly, that seems to be in short supply in Washington these days.
Original Print Headline: Sequester