President Barack Obama was in Newport News yesterday, where he asked thousands of workers at Huntington Ingalls (the old Newport News Shipbuilding) to lobby members of Congress to compromise on what would halt an $85 billion dollar budget cut. This budget cut is set to begin on Friday.
President Obama says, “these cuts are wrong.” The cuts will threaten thousands of jobs in Virginia, harm educational programs and the national defense. He spoke in a hangar that is used to assemble submarines. President Obama praised Republican Scott Rigell during his 21 minute speech for his willingness to avoid the cuts with a combination of new revenue and eliminating tax loopholes. Republican Scott Rigell and Democrat Bobby Scott accompanied President Obama on the flight from Washington.
I personally heard through the grapevine, from an employee of Huntington Ingalls that they are having issues with the John F. Kennedy and money being allocated to complete the building of this air craft carrier. Additional evidence of this can be found on the link below:
Also, from personal experience, when the Government does not allocate the money to complete these projects, they still expect these contractors to continue as normal. Not allocating this money will cause delays in the purchasing of essential materials needed to complete the building of the USS John Kennedy. The article above does state that this problem has been resolved.
It has also been said that during this entire time of talking about budget cuts the President and his family have taken 16 vacations. Further information regarding President Obama's vacations can be found here:
The President wants to replace automatic cuts, with a fairer approach to lowering deficit spending by raising taxes on wealthier Americans and corporations, and by making smaller budget cuts.
This sequester was set in motion by Congress and the White House in 2011 as a way to bring about a more acceptable way to reduce deficit spending. To date no plan has emerged. Anyone that knows anything about preparing a budget, knows that it is an educated guess. What happens when the budget is prepared is that these people take the figures from last year and add to them for inflation. It's out of control and the Government needs to come up with actual realistic figures for the budget. When some of these different Government departments do not use the money they have budgeted by they end of the year; they go on a spending spree to make sure they can increase the budget in the upcoming year, or at least have the same amount allocated to their departments.
The Department of Defense has said that most of it's 800,000 civilian employees, which includes tens of thousands in Hampton Roads, will have to take unpaid days off. Well in the private sector we do not normally get paid for days off, the private sector does not get a entire load of the benefits that Government workers receive. In addition, they are saying Military operations would have to be scaled back, and that there will be layoffs at local civilian shipyards. In addition, this will delay maintenance contracts, which is not good for the Government in the long run. We can compare that to not changing the oil in your car. If you do not do regular maintenance on your car you stand a chance that your engine will blow up.
The reduction that begins on Friday means cuts in education, law enforcement, public health, national parks and environmental protection. Well we have too many people working in education and law enforcement. Environmental protection laws are cumbersome on companies and they are expensive. Not that we shouldn't protect our environment, but we need to find ways to make it more cost effective. As for public health and national parks I am sure we can find places to cut expenses there too. The bottom line is that the Government costs the tax paying citizens loads of money.
Obama called sequestration “a dumb way of doing things.” It means making unacceptable choices. Do we really want to choose between, do I close funding for a disabled child or a poor child or do I close this Navy shipyard?
Republicans are opposed to raising taxes. Is there a choice, either we cut Government or raise taxes. Rigell says he is willing to consider new revenue but the President is not doing anything to broker a compromise. Rigell says, “President Obama is an ineffective leader and has no specific plan to avoid automatic cuts.”
Later in the day, the President said he would support two dollars in budget cuts for every one dollar in new revenue. There are some in Congress that want nothing new in revenue. Rigell also stated that he is not hearing anything specific from the White House on how to avoid the automatic cuts.
The Congressional effort to stop sequestration is said to begin in the Senate on Thursday. Democratic leaders are proposing to raise taxes on people with incomes of $1 million or more, and they want to cut agriculture funding and change some defense cuts. Farmers can not afford any cuts, the price of fuel just went up to $4.00 a gallon here and they are imposing new environmental regulations on them that cost loads of money.
Shipyard workers stood for hours in the hangar waiting for President Obama's arrival. They are saying the impending budget cuts are a major topic of conversation. Anna Yarashus, who is a 22 year veteran of the shipyard says, “leaders in Washington will not find a way to settle their differences, it's just getting pushed down the road and it will be left to our children to have to deal with the mess, it's frustrating.”
We need to find some common ground, it's an American problem.