The latest unnecessary crisis in Washington will cost 750,000 people their jobs, according to President Obama. Federal agencies will now have to cut $85 billion from their budgets and that means lay-offs and furloughs for government employees including FBI agents, Border Patrol agents and air traffic controllers.
In a speech in the White House Briefing Room, the President told reporters, “At a time when our businesses have finally begun to get some traction — hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America — we shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on, like education, and research, and infrastructure and defense. It’s unnecessary. And at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work, it’s inexcusable.”
The President said he’ll continue to reach out to Republicans in Congress to try to reach a compromise. The main issue for Republicans is reduction of the $16 trillion national deficit caused by wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in part by the federal stimulus that kept the country out of another Great Depression. President Obama wants to reduce the deficit with a combination of spending cuts and tax increases on the wealthy. To get there, he wants to eliminate tax loopholes. But the Republicans resist efforts to tax the wealthy or cleanup loopholes that let some people skate.
Seems like it’s time for grownups to get serious.