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We Must Compromise to Prevent Harmful Budget Cuts

The across-the-board budget cuts known as "sequestration" would hurt our economic recovery and middle class families. We must find a smarter solution to the deficit dilemma.

We should all be alarmed and dismayed that the House GOP leadership has embraced the harmful cuts to the federal budget known as “sequestration” that will take effect on March 1st unless Congress acts.

The impact on our economy would be devastating: according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the sequestration cuts would eliminate at least 750,000 jobs from the economy in 2013 and cut economic growth in half. George Mason University has estimated that 70,000 jobs would be lost in New York State alone. Many in my party and in the GOP have also cited the damaging impact it would have on our national defense.

The local impact would be unacceptable: hundreds of research and construction jobs at Brookhaven National Lab could be jeopardized. School Districts across Eastern Long Island could see their federal Title I and Special Education aid slashed or even eliminated, forcing the schools to reduce services or turn to local taxpayers. Cuts to the Army Corps of Engineers could leave important harbors and inlets un-dredged or under-dredged and slow the environmental permitting process.

We should all be working feverishly to avoid sequestration. Instead, the House GOP leadership seems to be more focused on avoiding the blame for the negative effects of a policy they endorsed. We must reduce the deficit, but there is a better way: I support a balanced approach that combines targeted (as opposed to across the board) reductions in expenditures with closing tax loopholes for the wealthiest Americans and most profitable corporations. This would prevent the most harmful cuts to defense readiness, education, law enforcement and border protection, air traffic control and many other aspects of the federal government that are vitally important to our nation.

A Pew Research-USA Today Poll released today shows that most Americans favor the balanced approach I am pushing for, with 76% or respondents saying that the president and Congress should focus on a combination of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the budget deficit. Only 19% agree with the GOP position of inflexibly opposing any attempt to raise revenue by closing tax loopholes.

Unfortunately, the House is not in session this week and only four legislative days remain until sequestration is scheduled to take place. I’m ready to work on a solution but time is running short. I urge the GOP leadership to work with the Senate on a balanced approach that solves the deficit problem without crippling our economic recovery and punishing middle-class families. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Drtee-Dancer February 23, 2013 at 08:52 AM
HH - your thoughts are a disgrace - please understand the situation.
Sticks60 February 24, 2013 at 04:42 PM
If you look at the numbers even if we get into Sequestration we will still be spending more money then last year. How in bad times can any organization feel it prudent to spend more then they did the year before. Here is one for the books, the federal government has been so successful in getting people on food stamps that the number of recipients of that program exceed the population of Spain.
EG February 25, 2013 at 02:11 AM
HH, you are full of bull and know it. Fear Mongering over a this insignificant sequester is contemptible. You should be ashamed of yourself.
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 05:31 AM
to Drtee-Dancer & EG: Sequestration will be bad. I believe that it will be very bad. Ironically, if it is not, it will be because the financial markets have such confidence in the Democratic recovery that they see sequestration as tolerable. Nonetheless, there is a real chance of a double-dip recession. Yet the House Republicans are willing to gamble the country's economic recovery to protect the multi-billion dollar tax loopholes of their patron corporations. They are guaranteeing a fat bottom line for their financial sponsors at the expense of the commonweal. Everyone else (including Defense, Education and Public Safety) must suffer so that GE, ExxonMobil and Koch Industries fly high.
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 03:45 PM
to Sticks60 Thank god for food stamps! At least all those people who lost their homes thanks to George the Worst won't starve. More than the population of Spain, you say? The breadth of his incompetency become ever more startling.
North Fork Bob February 25, 2013 at 04:18 PM
Heat or Eat
Mary Beth February 25, 2013 at 05:02 PM
Food stamps don't feed dependency, they feed children. As Jon Stewart said so brilliantly, "Why is it that if you take advantage of a corporate tax break you're a smart businessman, but if you take advantage of something so you don't go hungry, you're a moocher?" Here's another right on observation: "While you were complaining about the guy who bought a Snickers with his food stamps, Exxon pocketed $9000 of your tax dollars."
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 05:17 PM
the only impact to our economy that we should worry about is you and your miguided policies dictated by your leader.
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 05:19 PM
Ahh, typical lib and his hate speech filled with name calling and insults.....rememember when your teens acted like this????
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Hey HighHat, Wasn't sequestration your leaders idea????ie our Pres "Four iron" Obama AKA the hawaii kid! 20 million alone in taxpayer funded flight costs for him alone to Hawaii. "LET THEM EAT CAKE" And Bishop comes out screaming after he voted on every nickle spent to date by Obama and gang! What a liar! I heard some Fed hack screaming this am on the radio that the Republicans are endangering the lives of MILLIONS of children. REALLY???? I am sick of the left insulting the intelligence of even the least educated members of society. What are these libs=dems doing to us. Bishop is a hack controlled and kept in party by the Manhatten million elite that votes in the Hamptons rather that for libs in Manhattan......why waste the votes...the libs have a lock on Manhatten so lets heist the election in the Hamptons despite the local full time residents hating this hack that wants to flood the east end with slaves....ie illegals for the upper class snobs.
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Here's another right on observation: "While you were complaining about the guy who bought a Snickers with his food stamps, Exxon pocketed $9000 of your tax dollars." REALLY: Sounds great....justifies your arguements that big oil is evil....sounds so good to you....now prove your lying statement with facts and show me exactly how they took 9000k form each taxpayer in this country. Lies, or ignorance??? Not sure anymore. MaryBeth.....yes, food stamps are great for emergency aid. Check the facts and see how many families have received these benefits for generations? Check how many illegals in this country get food stamps despite the fact they are criminals and stealing every minute from this country they are here illegally. While your at it researching the facts...ie truth....check how much our Cong. Bishop voted for...spending wise....and ask yourself is this sustainable? No it is not.
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 05:36 PM
Tim Said: Unfortunately, the House is not in session this week Snoop Asks.... WHY?????
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 05:57 PM
HH spewed: Thank god for food stamps! At least all those people who lost their homes thanks to George the Worst won't starve... The breadth of his incompetency become ever more startling. More of the same from the lefties.....LMAO we all know who was guilty of the Housing Crash....the lefties who love giving people a class of living they never worked for or deserved.....Schumer, Cuomo(yup, when he was a crook working for HUD), Dodd, Barney"I Dont know what pot looks like"Frank. They forced banking institutions to write risky mortgages so people who could never ever afford these homes could get one". Mr Responsible taxpayer who paid his mortage by purchasing a modest home ...gets to 1) Pay for someone who doesn't work 2) Pay these hacks salaries and bennies 3) bail out the banks who were essentially extorted by the Feds to loan to risky borrowers 4) bail out the homeowner who doesn't deserve the house in the first place 5) pay for their housing assistance when they get the boot upon forclosure starting to see the pattern and why.....Socialism equals dependency on the Govt. Dependency equals votes for the liberal democrats and a growing percentage of our population that have become vote slaves to the liberal dems....gee how do thesse Dems sleep at night???? Addicting people to crumbs so they get to stay in power.....the crumbs paid with others money(ie taxpayer=productive memeber of society)....an hence destroying a human's spirit and reason for being in the process
Patchogue Snoop February 25, 2013 at 06:00 PM
HH here is the question of the day for you!!!!! Who asked for a complete audit of the mortgage debacle before he left office? I will give you ten chances, list your answers and we will se a fact that proves your staement is a complete fabrications cause it sounds oh so good to say it.
North Fork Bob February 25, 2013 at 06:44 PM
Banks own Obama,Congress and us.They steal without consequence and laugh at us.1.6 billion still missing from Corzine and he "doesn't know where it is" while he suns himself on the Caribbean
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 06:48 PM
to Patchogue Snoop: They were far too courteous to behave so. However, you do remind me of them by your habit of avoiding responsive answers. Who posted, "hate speech filled with name calling and insults". Mine was a polite description of symptomatic House Republican behavior.
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 06:55 PM
to Patchogue Snoop: Quote: "Check the facts and see how many families have received these benefits for generations? Check how many illegals in this country get food stamps despite the fact they are criminals and stealing every minute from this country they are here illegally." I'd like to. Please post a citation that attests to the accuracy of your assertion (as you asked of Mary Beth.)
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 07:06 PM
to Patchogue Snoop: Rarely have I come across a post that is so completely false. The housing crash was caused by an unregulated investment banking industry being allowed to fraudulently inflate the value and safety of mortgages on a massive scale by a spectacularly dim president and his equally thick Federal Reserve Chairman and guru. If you can authenticate any of that nonsense about "forcing" mortgage bankers to issue bad mortgages, post your cites.
Hazel Wilkonson the First February 25, 2013 at 07:09 PM
Hah! Who asked BEFORE he left office? The answer is the same moron who allowed it to happen while he was IN office through deregulation.
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 07:18 PM
to Patchogue Snoop: Sequestration was the alternative that the Democrats got the House Republicans to agree to, thus preventing them from carrying through on their lunatic plan to put the nation into default on the public debt. It was a choice between shooting oneself in the head or cutting off a leg. The Democrats didn't want to do either but both were perfectly okay with the Republicans. Sorry that you feel your intelligence has been insulted.
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 07:24 PM
to Patchogue Snoop: Quote: "HH here is the question of the day for you!!!!! Who asked for a complete audit of the mortgage debacle before he left office?" George H.W. Bush, yet another Republican president who presided over a financial meltdown due to massive bank fraud cause by bogus mortgages (in which his son, Neil, George the Worst's brother, participated?)
Argile February 25, 2013 at 07:39 PM
I would have rather the democrats shut down those kind of corporate perks rather than ram Obamacare down our throats. But who's kidding whom? They wouldn't have done it anyway.
Rich from the East End February 25, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Both political parties were derelict in allowing the housing crisis to explode. What President signed the law ( Democrat Senate, Republcan House) that droped 60 year old restrictions on Banks being coming investment houses? Answer:Bill Clinton. And what role did Rahm Emanuael play ? First he was the senior fundraising adviser for Clinton's campaign, then served as Senior Advisor to Clinton in white House.After the law was signed by Clinton, Rahm left the White House and took a position with a major investment firm in Chicago. Clinton appointed him to the Board of Freddie Mac which shortly loosened rules for buying or insuring those mortgages that Wall Street so desperately wanted to float to "investors" as guaranteed. Blaming the republicans is like blaming the GOP for Corzine. The Democratic "pols" are just better at pretending they care about the citizenry. So they are able to take so much more .
Rich from the East End February 25, 2013 at 08:25 PM
Check the history of the Glass-Steagall ACt and see how the Clinton White House Team usehered it into oblivion.And see how many millions of $$$ Rahm Emanuel was paid by the investment house he went to work for - with NO Financial Education! Let's examine tax "reform". How does Hollywood exploit tax avoidance by setting up shell corporations in off shore locations to attribute the vast bulk of their revenue as not in the US. Does anyone wonder why Hollywood "loves" the current administration. Because our "leader" does not use his bully pulpit to shine a light on their practices. NO it is the unnamed "wealthy" who need to pay their fair share. Both parties are enjoying the donations from lobbyists.
EG February 25, 2013 at 09:10 PM
You're forgetting the most important thing HH. Cutting the rate of growth across the board via sequestration would not be happening if the leftist's made the promised spending cuts. They are incapable of spending reduction’s. It's easier to get a crack addict to quit smoking crack than it is to get a Liberal to stop spending other peoples money.
highhatsize February 25, 2013 at 09:40 PM
to North Fork Bob: I agree with you but for limiting it to banks. Banks own their share due to their immense wealth but other institutions and organizations own their share as well, in proportion to their political contributions. Notwithstanding the fact that the TARP program worked, it was a disgrace. The public will never forget that the architects of the worldwide economic collapse not only went unpunished but were made whole at the expense of the people upon whom they preyed. Permitting the banks to go bankrupt would have been the ethical democratic response.
Rick Hoyt February 26, 2013 at 04:56 AM
Attention sheeple of earth, the entire government needs to be "sequestered", you can't cut 87 billion a year out of a 17T debt ? Lame ribbon-cutting,can kicking,plug-n-play empty suits we have.The only 2 "politicians" that I had any respect for have left the room - Ron Paul & Dennis Kucinich, they would vote on principal,and not be in the Republican Or Democrats conga lines, of course, they were marginalized by their respective parties.Please register as an Independent, we all need to lift many rocks and plainly see that both parties, with the help of banksters are Not in it for the people's interest.The media injects fear tactics, circular blame,sorry this schtick has been obvious for many many years.There are a few posters who "get it", vast majority are cheerleading, partisan and oblivious to the globalist bankster infestation.Tim, why not show some leadership - start with announcing you will cut your and all politician's salaries, since you're into "Shared Sacrifice" and all.My mind has spoken, peace out.
PatP. February 26, 2013 at 12:52 PM
An honest politician soon turns into a crooked politician, that's why they want to get into office in the first place and make us believe it's to help the people !!!!
Rick Hoyt March 01, 2013 at 01:45 AM
We need the dissent is patriotic stickers back, what the hell is wrong with people to accept the politician's scare tactics and subterfuge.I smell BS Tim
Patchogue Snoop March 02, 2013 at 01:15 PM
HH You need to state facts not feelings.

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