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Voice of the people: Laird Bagnall




Believes salaries of politicians should be 'sequestered' 


As a result of House Republicans holding the debt ceiling hostage and refusing to raise the debt limit in the summer of 2011 (paying the bills they had already approved)...the United States credit rating was immediately lowered, causing borrowing costs to increase for everyone and slowing growth. To get them to agree to pay their bills, the "Budget Control Act of 2011" was signed into law. A compromise was struck between the administration and the House Republicans. This was the deal: 


If a bi-partisan super committee could not agree to compromise on revenue and spending in the fall of 2011, a sequester would go into effect in March 2013, forcing across-the-board cuts of $85 billion. John Boehner walked out of those talks boasting he got 98% of what he wanted.  


Republicans now say that the sequester was Obama's idea, (fault) but at that time, they were more than pleased with the plan. No wonder. They wanted spending cuts and they got them ... immediately. In fact, as a result of the Budget Control Act of 2011, the budget was cut a total of $1.6 trillion over 10 years with an added savings of $200 billion from reduced interest on the saved money. At that time the Republicans gave up nothing.  


Later, in January 2013, to avoid another "fiscal cliff" of their own making, the Republicans, in the "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013," gave up only 18% of the Bush tax cuts for a total revenue increase of $600 billion over the same 10-year period, raising taxes on only .7% of the wealthiest without any cuts to tax loopholes, such as carried interest. 


Clearly spending cuts have vastly outpaced revenue increases almost 2.5 to 1, and the sequester will make those totals even more lopsided. It's no wonder Republicans left Capitol Hill smiling on the first of March. When our economic recovery lags in future months and years, be sure to know whom to thank, remembering that Republicans told us that the government doesn't provide jobs. Tell that to the military and defense contractors in our area. If nothing else, those responsible for this debacle should have their salaries and staff "sequestered" for their intransigence and refusal to govern.  


Laird Bagnall 





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