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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Kent Bush: No winners in legislative 'chicken'

  • I've never been sequestered
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  • Wow.
    I've never been sequestered before. I've been over fiscal cliffs, but I've never been sequestered.
    These deep budget cuts for most government agencies will inflict some damage into an already struggling economy. The stock market has almost inexplicably pushed all-time highs while businesses continue to sell more hope than products.
    Many have seen their businesses rebound from a tough recession. But with gross domestic product barely growing and interest rate hovering just above all-time lows, it doesn't exactly feel like we are seeing the return of the better days.
    Just like last time, even with doom and gloom looming overhead, Congress and the President failed to reach any agreement to avoid negative financial repercussions.
    Don't forget, we went over that fiscal cliff. It was only for a few days, but the stock market took a hit, tax filings were delayed, and other negative effects set the economy back unnecessarily.
    With no thanks to Washington D.C., the country continued on a good trajectory. Now, after weeks of talks – talks with the media, never with each other – President Barack Obama and the Congressional Republicans once again replayed the final scene in Thelma and Louise and drove the country over the edge.
    I'm sure this is just more posturing. But no one wins a game of legislative chicken.
    It's funny, the sequester will affect the military, social programs, even the offices of those who serve in Congress, but Congressional salaries were not included in the mandated austerity measures.
    Interesting stuff. Congressional staffers may be laid off or forced to endure furloughs while their bosses' checks still clear the bank with no problem.
    That's real leadership.
    The problem is that everyone in Washington (and most other places around the world) knows that we are spending more than we are bringing in.
    I am not a proponent for higher federal taxes. I know there is some inequitable tax rates being charged where some corporations benefit and others do not. Close the loopholes. That's not rocket science.
    Also, we waste a lot of money. Some cuts are obviously necessary.
    I know that the two parties will never agree on exactly how that can happen. But it would help if they could at least make an intellectually honest attempt at it and not just say what they think voters want to hear.
    Incumbents have a huge advantage even when Congress has an approval rating of only 14 percent.
    If the country's senior legislative body could handle any issues without some form of crisis developing, the job security they would be giving themselves would be incredible.
    Page 2 of 2 - But instead, they all hunker down and wait for a dire situation before they can even begin rational discussions.
    That's not governing. That's reactionary pandering. People are hurt by these ploys.
    Hopefully, by Monday morning we will be reading the headlines about how out leaders have finished making the rounds on Sunday morning political posturing programs and pushed back sequestration putting the government back in business.
    Kent Bush is the publisher of the Augusta Gazette, the El Dorado Times, and the Andover American newspapers. He can be contacted at: publisher@augustagazette.com.
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