The Atlanta-Journal Constitution published Thursday evening two articles written by two Georgia congressmen, Republican Jack Kingston and Democrat Hank Johnson, commenting on the budget cuts caused by the sequester due to take place in April of this year.
U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga), who represents Georgia’s 1st congressional district, blamed the lack of compromise and the budget cuts on President Barack Obama who, as the congressman pointed out, included the sequester himself in the Budget Control Act of 2011.
Kingston said that instead of meeting with the lawmakers to work out a compromise, the President took his talking points on a campaign-style tour across the country where he demonized Republicans.
The congressman also mentioned that the cuts the President calls “devastating” are merely three cents on the dollar over the next 10 years and don’t include any programs that are the main “drivers of our debt.”
“[The sequester] was another boneheaded approach from a president and Congress afraid to take a tough stand,” said Kingston in his op-ed. “Despite dire warnings, sequestration is only a drop in the bucket in the context of our larger budget woes. The uproar over finding 3 cents on the dollar to cut belies the fact that our government has doubled in size over the last decade.
“Our country is broke. Our future is at risk. We are not Greece yet, but that’s where we are headed.”
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga) in his commentary on the sequester offered a more dire picture of how the cuts will affect Georgians.
Johnson pointed out that the cuts include education programs in Georgia, putting teacher’s jobs at risk, eliminating Head Start programs for some low-income children while less low-income college students will receive financial aid.
In addition, grants for Georgia Police Departments will be eliminated, job search assistance programs will see cuts as well as the Department of Defense- more than half of the sequester cuts affect the Defense Department.
Johnson, who represents Georgia’s 4th congressional district, blamed the situation on Republicans’ refusal to compromise.
“I hate to make my tea party friends uncomfortable by using a word they consider dirty, but with a little compromise, we can solve this,” said the congressman. “Without compromise, the $85 billion sequester could lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP), raise unemployment and flatten our fragile economic recovery.”
Johnson believes that Republicans have “boxed themselves in” with the obstructionist strategy of opposing the President regardless of the consequences, so they can blame Democrats for poor economic recovery.
“This is exactly the opposite of what Americans are demanding. The people know we can do better,” concluded Johnson.
Click here to read both op-eds.