Where's the pain?
To the Editor:
I just read an article reporting that Republican Party leaders have recognized a situation, now that sequestration has become reality. Ostensibly (the article reported) GOP leaders can feel the pain of budget cuts. The story lead-in sounded uncharacteristic to me ... and awfully suspect. I read further.
Sure enough, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, and other intransigents, are not actually feeling pain. They have become concerned about reduced spending for U.S. military operations, military weapons development and global military deployment. Recognizing a painful situation for the Pentagon, they have persuaded colleagues in Congress to restore approximately one-third of military expenditures slashed by sequestration. And to ensure that Pentagon leaders do not lose sleep and develop migraines, GOP leaders promised to restore the remainder of military spending cuts, sometime later.
The story continued and touched briefly on the sort of spending cuts that do not cause pain for Republican leadership. The vast majority involved expenditures that interfere with a free-wheeling, laissez-faire private sector, such as inspecting for mad cow brain matter in slaughter houses, snooping around for robo-signer signatures on homeowner eviction notices, and in a few, seriously draconian instances, eliminating all candy wrapper/trash pick-up patrols in otherwise pristine national parks, patronized by American pigs gone feral on family vacation.
What the article did not touch on is the definition of painful austerity. Admittedly, one person's painful austerity is another person's mild inconvenience is another person's cardboard house under an Interstate highway bridge. The article also did not mention why the GOP considers mandated descent into another recessionary economy to be the best medicine for a just now recovering, very sick state of economic affairs.
So in sum, I must state the obvious and ask the question that seems farthest from the collective mind-meld of GOP headliners. First, the statement: No U.S. citizen has mandated that Congress inflict pain and possible chaos upon this nation. Second, the question: Why not formulate a basic plan for fiscal operation, resulting from rational negotiation and see how responsible, democratically elected governance works, for a change?
I apologize for following an obvious statement with a serious question with an obvious answer.
Jerry Shafe Jordan