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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016


2/27/2013 6:02:00 AM
Delinquent Congress will cost us

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter


When $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts take effect Friday - and they will - the harm to Arizona will be significant.

According to the White House, which posted on Sunday a state-by-state breakdown of the impacts sequestration will create; the Grand Canyon State will not emerge unscathed.

The biggest hit, of course, will go to education, which stands to lose nearly $18 million in funding for K-12 schools.

That could mean 240 teachers and their aides lose jobs. Another $10 million used to pay for 120 additional teachers who help children with disabilities will also swirl down the drain.

About 1,000 children will be pushed out of Head Start, 2,300 fewer low-income students will get help paying for college and 330 fewer students will be provided work-study jobs to help pay for their higher education.

More than $2 million in environmental funding will be lost - this is money that pays for efforts to protect the state's air and water.

Nearly $300,000 in law enforcement grants will go away.

About $781,000 in job-search assistance funds will evaporate.

Up to 500 vulnerable children will lose access to child care and roughly 2,500 others will not get vaccinations for a host of diseases like mumps, measles, tetanus, hepatitis B, rubella, whooping cough and influenza.

Then there is the military in Arizona. About 10,000 civilian military workers face mandatory furloughs. Collectively, they will lose about $52 million in pay.

Should we wonder what impact 52 million fewer dollars will have on the local economy?

Sequesters by definition do not discriminate. They were first created in 1985 in an effort to encourage Congress to play nice. It worked for nearly 30 years.

It worked until Congress became a lot like eighth grade, where being loud equals being right and where bullies push aside the weaker kids - until a bigger bully comes along.

And just like eighth grade, finding blame instead of solutions is the norm in D.C. these days.

According to a recent poll from the Pew Research Center, half of Americans intend to blame congressional Republicans when the sequester goes into effect while only 31 percent would point the finger at Democrats and President Barack Obama.

But it's not just Congress that's misbehaving. Most of the country is back in eighth grade.

According to the same poll, we're not paying attention in class. Just 27 percent of those polled said they heard "a lot" about the sequester and 29 percent said they had heard "nothing at all."

To be fair, more Republicans than Democrats are aware of sequestration, 36 percent to 23 percent. Of those 36 percent, 54 percent want the automatic spending cuts to go into effect with no debate whatsoever, while 38 percent favor delaying them lest the cuts set back a deeply wounded but slowly recovering economy.

So when is a deadline not really a deadline? When Congress imposes one on itself.

On March 27, Congress must approve its so-called continuing resolution in order to fund the federal government. Expect the two sides to forge a new deal at the 11th hour.

In the meantime, this tiring, ongoing game of political brinksmanship will needlessly worry millions of Americans who will lose something significant through this sequester - but not all of us.

Because there are exemptions to the rules of sequestration: First off, don't expect the country's national security apparatus to lose a dime. Neither Republicans nor Democrats want to face that nightmare.

Medicaid and Social Security are also exempt, but Medicare is not.

Can you guess what else is exempt from sequestration? Congressional salaries. Of course they are.

Where's a spitball when you need one?


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"You obviously mistake this comment section for a debate class. You maintain my facts are false. Prove it if it bothers you that much."

You would have to provide facts first. You yourself said what you posted was your take, meaning your opinion. Your opinions, while you are certainly entitled to them, does not mean they are facts. Sorry.


Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@Chuckles

You obviously mistake this comment section for a debate class. You maintain my facts are false. Prove it if it bothers you that much.


Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"I am within my rights to state my take on events without providing links, or proof that such events occurred. If anyone is interested in investigating further, they are welcome to do so."

Nobody is saying you are not within your rights to state your opinion without backing it up. However, when you falsely claim your opinion is fact, it IS up to you to prove it. Again, you have obviously never been in a debate class.


Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Chuckles

It is not my responsibility to convince Anson of anything. He asks for definitive proof of anything that is stated by everyone with whom he does not agree.

As far as I am concerned, he is not interested in the truth, he is blindly stuck to the liberal mindset and has no intention of considering anything else.

When someone makes a claim that I am suspicious of I investigate it myself, I don't rely on others to provide me with links to their sources. It is a simple enough matter to look anything up on Google and find numerous links.

Any of the current events that I reference are readily available in any number of places. Anson is being facetious when he claims that he hasn't heard of them, and I don't play that game.

I am within my rights to state my take on events without providing links, or proof that such events occurred. If anyone is interested in investigating further, they are welcome to do so.



Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"You still haven't clarified your comment that we need to learn from the past so we don't make the same mistakes, while, at the same time you excuse the abuses of power of the current president because, "other presidents have done the same thing in the past"."

Nothing to clarify since I am not excusing his actions. I am merely chiding you and others for crucifying him for doing the exact same actions as his predecessors, many of whom are looked upon as some of the greatest Presidents of all time, which our current holder of the office is not.

"I guess my examples of unconstitutional executive orders are like the case of Gifford's husband buying an AR15. Your only defense of your position is to claim that the facts don't exist. I am not playing that game with you. If you are interested in finding out the truth you can research it yourself. "

I understand this is from AN, who is on the annoying side at times, but I have to speak here. You make a claim, he asks you to back it up, and you tell him to research the proof of YOUR claim himself. Obviously you have never taken a debate class I see.


Posted: Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@ OKR

“But you are not interested in the truth, which is why I won't waste my time providing links.”

If I were not interested in the truth I would not be requesting you provide the information. But since you are unable to do so, I can only presuppose that you have no proof.


Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Anson

I guess my examples of unconstitutional executive orders are like the case of Gifford's husband buying an AR15. Your only defense of your position is to claim that the facts don't exist. I am not playing that game with you. If you are interested in finding out the truth you can research it yourself. But you are not interested in the truth, which is why I won't waste my time providing links.


Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Chuckles

You still haven't clarified your comment that we need to learn from the past so we don't make the same mistakes, while, at the same time you excuse the abuses of power of the current president because, "other presidents have done the same thing in the past".


It is odd how you can not tell the difference between a non-emotional statement of dislike for the policies of a president and hatred toward the president. You are sounding a lot like Lori G-D.

As long as the president continues to engage in decisions and policies that I see as counter to the Constitution of the United Stated, I will continue to speak out against the decisions and policies. It has nothing to do with hatred toward a person that I have never met.


Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"I was not commenting on this board during the Bush administration or before, so you have no idea of my thoughts on his or his predecessors' actions while in office.

Let me put this very clearly so you will not be confused. I am dealing with the present. The past is the past.

You still haven't clarified your comment that we need to learn from the past so we don't make the same mistakes, while, at the same time you excuse the abuses of power of the current president because, "other presidents have done the same thing in the past"."

Nice try, but you have made your feelings about Obama known over and over. This is just another verse in the same old song and dance folks like you keep putting out there.

I was honest and made my feelings about Obama known and why. You, and others however, keep spewing fresh hatred every day, never with an explanation. Nice Try though.


Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ Chuckle

I was not commenting on this board during the Bush administration or before, so you have no idea of my thoughts on his or his predecessors' actions while in office.

Let me put this very clearly so you will not be confused. I am dealing with the present. The past is the past.

You still haven't clarified your comment that we need to learn from the past so we don't make the same mistakes, while, at the same time you excuse the abuses of power of the current president because, "other presidents have done the same thing in the past".


Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@ OKR

“You can begin your search for Obama's executive orders there.”

So you are unable to provide any evidence of the claims you continue to make. Thank you for that clarification.


Posted: Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"You are correct in saying that those who forget the past are going to repeat it, but your whole argument has been to overlook Obama's unconstitutional executive orders because other, (unspecified) presidents have done the same thing in the past.

As a result, you are not wanting to learn from the past in an effort to avoid past mistakes, you are excusing current abuses of power based on the fact that similar abuses occurred in the past.

Your position is a little confusing."

And yet, yours is not, you are crucifying Obama for doing the same things every other President has done, which you call unconstitutional and could be treasonous. No mention of punishment of the others, just Obama. Made your position very clear.


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Chuckle

You are correct in saying that those who forget the past are going to repeat it, but your whole argument has been to overlook Obama's unconstitutional executive orders because other, (unspecified) presidents have done the same thing in the past.

As a result, you are not wanting to learn from the past in an effort to avoid past mistakes, you are excusing current abuses of power based on the fact that similar abuses occurred in the past.

Your position is a little confusing.

@ Anson

There are a number of search engines on the internet. Google and Bing come to mind. You can begin your search for Obama's executive orders there. Once you find them. all you need to do is a little research to determine if they were put in to effect to bypass current federal law.Stop expecting the other posters at this web site to do your research for you.


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“I made a very straight forward case as to why it is dangerous to accept presidential abuse of power.”

And yet – although asked at least a dozen times – you have been unable to post any actual facts.


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"There is no spin in my comment. I made a very straight forward case as to why it is dangerous to accept presidential abuse of power.

You are correct, I am not an Obama fan. I am not a fan of Obama because he is in violation of the Constitution that he swore to protect.

If you see any spin here, you need to get your inner ears checked."

Again, you are singling out just one President, regardless of the fact that you admit others have been just as guilty of the EO. That is spin. If you punish one, punish all, but that is not what you are saying.

I am with you on one thing though, I am not a big fan of Obama either, he has not kept promises made to get elected, but I guess that is par for the political course anymore.

As to you saying live in the present...keep in mind....Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it. That was a paraphrase, did not feel like looking up the exact quote.


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

@ chuckle

There is no spin in my comment. I made a very straight forward case as to why it is dangerous to accept presidential abuse of power.

You are correct, I am not an Obama fan. I am not a fan of Obama because he is in violation of the Constitution that he swore to protect.

If you see any spin here, you need to get your inner ears checked.


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

@ FLS

“Because it is NOT the same pay for exactly the same job. It is equal pay for ‘like’ work.”

You continually post the above mass of mis-information for … who knows what reason?

Now for the facts. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was named for a female employee of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company who was paid 40 percent less than male colleagues for doing the exact same job for 19 years.

Pesky thing those facts

LOL


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

Nice attempt at some spin there. You could have saved time and said "I just hate Obama and everything he does is wrong". That is pretty much what you just said anyway, I just said it easier.


Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

"And why do you feel that ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work is wrong?"

Because it is NOT the same pay for exactly the same job. It is equal pay for "like" work. And who will decide which jobs are "like" some other? Why some Washington paper pusher, of course.
LOL


Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Chuckles

At least there is some common ground. Neither of us voted for Bush, or approved of some of his acts while he was in the White House.

If the mis-use of presidential powers was not acceptable for Bush, or any other past president, it should not be acceptable for Obama, or any other person who is elected president in the future.

The big picture is that as each successive president over-reaches the presidential powers a little more than the last, you and I and all freedom loving American citizens are the losers.

I, personally, did not know about this on-line comment forum during the Bush administration or prior to that. I can only speak to what is occurring now.
I don't live in the past, nor do I use the abuses of the past as a reason to accept abuses in the present.

It is a waste of time to whine about all the past presidents who may have abused their powers in the past. The past cannot be changed.


Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@Jeff

"Yes, I hold today's sitting President responsible for actions he's doing today. You saying we shouldn't because past Presidents have acted the same way?"

I am saying he should be held to the same standards his predecessors were. That is something that folks like you just can't seem to do, way too much hatred coming out instead.


Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jeff Stoneberger

@Nice Chuckle....

Yes, I hold today's sitting President responsible for actions he's doing today. You saying we shouldn't because past Presidents have acted the same way?

I can't change what happened in the past. sorry, my DeLorean is busted. No time travel this week!


Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“You only use that tactic because you don't have any substantive facts to support your blind allegiance to all things Obama.”

Facts – here you go –

DOW at the highest level in history.

36 months of positive job growth.

Consumer confidence at a five year high.

More illegal immigrants captured and deported (more than 450,000 last year) over the past 4 years than during the entire Reign of Error of The Criminal.

American auto industry on verge of collapse four years ago was saved. Hundreds of thousands of jobs saved.

Osama bin Laden killed.

95% of Americans paying a lower rate of taxes as compared to four years ago.

War in Iraq ended with all combat troops now out of the country.

Ended DADT with no negative impact to the troops.

Tax credits for businesses that hire returning veterans.

Health care reform—no more refusal of coverage of preexisting conditions, children can stay on parent’s insurance until 26, closed prescription donut hole for seniors. More reforms to come.

Financial industry and credit card industry reform which led to the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

And why do you feel that ensuring women receive equal pay for equal work is wrong? Health care for children is wrong? Enforcing fraud laws is wrong? Protecting Americans from the abuses of the credit card industry is wrong? Shutting down off-shore tax havens used by drug dealers and thieves is wrong? Providing criminal penalties for mortgage fraud is wrong? Adding additional loan programs for small businesses is wrong? Shutting off access to federal contracts by tax cheats is wrong? Cracking down on high seas piracy is wrong? Bringing about reforms in the student loan program is wrong?


Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle

@OKR

"Jeff is correct. We need to focus on what is happening today and how it will effect our economy, freedom and society.

It is a pathetic liberal tactic to counter concerns about what the current administration is doing by simply repeating the line that other presidents did it too.

You only use that tactic because you don't have any substantive facts to support your blind allegiance to all things Obama.

This tactic that you engage in is called deflection. It is a sign of weakness in your argument and the only people who are fooled by it are people who don't do their own thinking.

People who do their own thinking don't live in the past and don't use previous bad behavior of others to justify additional bad behavior."

And refusing to accept responsibility for one's own actions is a common trait for those on the right.

Of course your statement is made additionally funny considering the fact I did not vote for Obama, either time. In fact, this last election I voted for Gary Johnson. You folks and your cherry picked facts are what moves me to post though.


Posted: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Chuckle

Jeff is correct. We need to focus on what is happening today and how it will effect our economy, freedom and society.

It is a pathetic liberal tactic to counter concerns about what the current administration is doing by simply repeating the line that other presidents did it too.

You only use that tactic because you don't have any substantive facts to support your blind allegiance to all things Obama.

This tactic that you engage in is called deflection. It is a sign of weakness in your argument and the only people who are fooled by it are people who don't do their own thinking.

People who do their own thinking don't live in the past and don't use previous bad behavior of others to justify additional bad behavior.




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