Unwisely, during one of the manufactured budget crises of 2011, President
Much of the stupidity – though certainly not all – has been exhibited by the most conservative members of the Republican caucuses in the House and
In the last few days, I've seen anecdotal evidence about how the cuts are going to hit real Americans – a nephew who has a new job with an import/export firm anticipating a drop in business because federal inspection and approval processes will be stalled; a first-year teacher who may not get a second-year contract because of federal education funding cuts; Navy shipyard workers facing furloughs and small businesses in the surrounding communities losing customers as a result; a research university retrenching and cutting jobs because federal funding will no longer be there. In most communities throughout the country, such stories will be repeated thousands of times in the coming months if nothing changes in Washington.
Too ignorant to understand the damage they are doing, zealots on the right are congratulating themselves for being so bold and principled. Yet, as irresponsible as Republicans have proven to be, Democrats are not without blame. There are more than a few on their side of the aisle who are pleased that the military budget has taken a big whack. Never before would Republicans have allowed such a thing to happen, so Democrats who have long wanted to reduce the
The problem is that cutting in this manner, indiscriminately and with no focus, is simply a terrible idea. The jobs that will be lost among the military's civilian employees will boost the unemployment numbers, just like any other jobs. Communities that are most severely affected by reductions in defense programs will suffer just as much as communities that lose factories.