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TARGET PRACTICE

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Focus on short-term problems first of all

SEQUESTRATION IS going to be a major problem for our current economy. The target is $85 billion in cuts. At $100,000 per job, which is a little high for federal employees and defense contractors, that is cutting over 850,000 jobs or about six months worth of last year’s job growth. …

Sequestration is a bad solution to the wrong problem. The immediate problem is not the deficit and the budget. It is jobs and getting back to full employment, which by itself will significantly reduce the deficit by generating more tax revenue and less unemployment payments.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, as a percent of GDP the 2013 deficit — 5.3 percent — is only half of what it was in 2009. The budget cutters have not pointed out that improvement.

Loss in production and income caused by high unemployment is the critical short-term problem and what is lost now cannot be recovered in the future. Cutting 850,000 jobs is not the way to grow our way out of our economic problem. Once that short-term problem is fixed, then we need to address our long-term budget and debt problems.

Consider a medical analogy. Your blood pressure may be too high and in the long term you need to get it down. However, you have had an accident and are bleeding to death — loss of production and income. You don’t want the doctors arguing about the best long-term blood pressure treatment — sequestration — at least not until they stop the bleeding.

Solve the immediate short-term crisis and then address the long-term problems.

OLIN BRAY

Albuquerque

Let politicians take a cut in their pay, too

INSTEAD OF JOB cuts, which will leave many families devastated, why not an across-the-board 10 percent cut for everyone and let people keep their jobs. I’ll take a 10 percent cut in my retirement income, but the politicians have to do it as well. Nowhere have I seen the politicians, who earn more money than they are worth, agree that their jobs should be cut or even that they’d be willing to take a cut in salary.

BETTY J. HAWLEY

Albuquerque

Obama just wants to blame Republicans

ANY REASONABLE person faced with diminishing revenues and forced to reduce spending on their household budget would cut down on ice cream and soda pop before cutting the baby formula, or not paying the electric bill.

President Obama seems intent on making the sequester as painful as possible for Americans by making cuts to essential programs rather than cutting fat, waste and non-essential spending.

What does he stand to gain by doing this? Two things. First, he can blame the Republicans for all the pain and suffering that will follow these cuts, and second, if any Republican should have the audacity in the future to call for spending cuts the Democrats can point back to this event as evidence of the pain that spending cuts bring.

It is a shame and disgrace what American politics has become.

STEVE YOUTSEY

Edgewood

Hmmm. Maybe cuts weren’t end of world

WHEW! WE survived the dreaded $85 billion “sequester” and America’s walls didn’t come tumbling down as our president and many of his Democratic allies had obsessively predicted, however they will keep beating that drum. …All the terrible consequences that would ensue if the sequester were not lifted proved to not be as dreadful as we were led to believe, and although it may be temporary, the stock market has even rebounded.

Our president says he is bracing for the impact of the cuts, because he “can’t force Congress to do what is right,” so to justify his continuing spending of over a trillion dollars more than the economy produces each year, knowing who must pay the tab, he has decided the Democrats must now take back complete control as they did in the past when they passed the Obamacare 2,500-page healthcare bill without reading it, and who haven’t presented a federal budget in over four years.

Our Democrat Sen. Tom Udall wanted to avert the dreaded sequester with “responsible spending restraint.” If so, why does he continue to approve of over a trillion dollars of deficit spending each year with no future let up in sight?

Our newly elected Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich’s answer to averting the cuts are by pairing sensible spending reductions with reasonable revenue increases — tax increases. (I would like to remind) Senator Heinrich that our national debt is now over $16 trillion!

America’s glaring catastrophic “gorilla in the room” is not the $85 billion sequester, but our ever-escalating national debt, which is bankrupting our great nation. While working Americans have to bear the monstrous debt, in addition, taxpayers, working or not, are being charged hundreds of billions of dollars of yearly interest on that national debt and the debt isn’t being reduced one single penny.

It seems to be of no concern to our president and many of his political brethren. Regrettably, both political parties that steer our financial ship are guilty of unconscionable fiscal misconduct. …

FORREST GREEN

Albuquerque

Our debt problem will destroy our country

THE LATEST manufactured “fiscal crisis” known as “sequestration” will cut less than $60 billion in spending, which is hardly more than a rounding error in the $3-plus trillion federal budget. What the (media) and most of the ruling class of both parties will not say, is that due to “baseline budgeting,” the federal budget automatically increases across the board by over 7 percent per year.

Thus, sequestration “cuts” are merely a temporary cut in the rate of growth, and federal spending will still grow by $15 billion in 2014, and we will spend over $1 trillion more than we take in, and the national debt will still increase to over $17 trillion by the end of 2014. …

Meanwhile the U.S. Senate has violated the law by failing to pass a budget for over four years, preferring instead to go from one “fiscal crisis” to another, thanks largely to a compliant and complicit media that acts as partisan lap-dogs for the ruling class rather than true investigative journalists, thereby keeping most of the voting public, who depend upon a so-called “free press” for their information, in abject ignorance.

Our massive and ever-increasing federal debt, which dwarfs that of Europe, will almost certainly lead to a downgrade in our credit rating, thereby increasing the interest rate we pay to service this debt and causing a “debt spiral” whereby the interest paid on our debt exceeds the government’s ability to pay. This will destroy our economy and our national security, and will hurt the poor and the middle class far more than any modest, but real, cuts in spending would ever have done.

ANN CHERRY

Sandia Park

Let’s do transaction tax on everything

SEQUESTRATION AND other useless tactics would be unnecessary if we could muster the political will to reinstate a transaction tax. There are sales taxes on most purchases, however on the sales of stocks, bonds and other financial instruments there currently is no tax.

The European Union is considering such a tax. We should do the same. A transaction tax could go a long way toward reducing our annual deficits as well as our long term debt. Wall Street is nervous at the thought of the EU adopting a transaction tax since it would mean that we might also. This would cut into their huge profits.

If the tax included speculative trades in foreign exchange, the biggest financial market on the globe, as well as derivatives, we could actually wipe out the 10 trillion dollars of debt we accumulated over the last decade. Here is a how: Tax all stock, bond, and foreign currency trades at 1 percent. Tax all derivative trades at 0.1 percent. This would result in revenue of approximately a trillion dollars a year.

We would not need any further new taxes! We would not need to cut useful programs needlessly. And a further bonus: it will slow the speculation that will very likely lead to another financial crash.

BILL SWIFT

Albuquerque

Democrats have pushed too far

IN OUR GOVERNMENT numerous bills and laws have passed, but have failed to go anywhere as a result of Congress’ refusal to appropriate the funds needed to enact them.

In November 2011, Obama proposed a 1 percent cut across all government agencies to occur over a 10-year period with a few exemptions. Congress authorized these cuts as a political ploy in an effort to have Obama take responsibility for his policies.

In summary, all monies allocated are under the control of Congress. Obama really has little control. The cuts were determined by Obama, not the Republicans. He bears the responsibility. One percent over 10 years is minuscule. It’s not even equal to one cent on a dollar. The cuts are coming out of the government, not the private sector. The government needs to be cut even if it is only a small fraction. … (And) the agencies to be cut will determine where or what area within the agency will receive less money, not Obama.

In conclusion, these threats and scare tactics are foreshadowing of what a socialistic government can do. “He that giveth can taketh away.” In other words, do what you’re told or suffer the consequences. If Americans are smart, they will see this as a gift because Obama and his regime are vividly displaying what will be in store for us if we follow their lead. Polls are showing the majority of the public are not paying attention to sequestering shenanigans and do not believe they will be affected.

Democrats are used to a captive audience, but they have overplayed their hand. They are fit to be tied. We the people are ignoring them. He that cries wolf is always ignored in the long run. Perhaps, the left was never taught this fact.

PAULA DAVIS

Corrales

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