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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.

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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