Stanley Jasinski: Stop fearmongering on impact of US budget cuts
To the editor:
There has been a lot of news about cuts of $85 billion to this year’s $3.6 trillion federal budget — a 2.4 percent cut. There’s more than enough finger-pointing as to who’s at fault and if these cuts are necessary.
At the forefront of this debate is a campaign of fear and misinformation.
When these cuts are talked about by President Obama and others who oppose them, their words are filled with doom over all the programs and jobs that might have to be cut. But they’re always careful to start these projections with words like “could,” “possibly” and “might.” This leaves a lot of room for error if none of these things actually end up being cut. If you read the list of cuts the Gazette published Feb. 25, who wouldn’t be full of fear?
An example of fearmongering is what Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says will happen to our beloved national parks. There might be shorter hours, few rangers, closed campgrounds, no food or lodging and the most spectacular parts of these parks will have to be roped off for security and safety reasons.
What he fails to mention is that some years ago, the National Park Service gave up running all the concessions. Outside companies run them for some of our biggest national parks. The concessions include gas stations, lodging, showers, food, campgrounds, medical stations, golf courses, guides of all sorts, retail and rentals, marinas, pet kennels, wedding packets and perhaps a toilet or two.
The point is that the national parks can draw on entrance and parking fees.
When President Obama recently stood onstage with police and firefighters, he failed to mention their pay comes out of local and state budgets, not the federal budget. This is the same for our teachers, and their aides.
It is our military and soldiers who will really be hurt, the very people who protect our freedoms with their lives. If we cut $85 billion we will still be spending more than we did last year. Stop the fearmongering and misinformation. You are employed by the people to lead!