April 1, 2013

This weekend, a friend of mine with two kids in college told me their family will be hit with a 20 percent pay cut because of the sequester. They were grateful to still have a job, but 20 percent is a huge cut to take when they're covering two college tuition bills and trying to get by. They had just started to climb out of their 2008 hole when the sequester took effect.

These are real people. Hard-working, middle class working people who pay taxes, pay their kids' college tuition, and are about ten years away from retirement.

Forgive me in advance for this rant, but I have had enough of the idiotic conservatives who think they can cover up their responsibility for this unnecessary sequestration by whining about White House tours, like this brainless Breitbot did on Sunday. My friends don't give a damn about White House tours and they don't begrudge the Obama family having Secret Service protection at all because they would expect our country to protect the person we have elected to run it.

It's not White House tours, you stupid, cynical conservatives. It's your fetish with "shrinking government" and serving your billionaires while decent, church-going, hard-working people take arbitrary pay cuts because conservatives are too full of their own hubris to pay attention to how they are destroying the country.

When teachers are laid off and federal employees are furloughed so they lose the equivalent of one months' pay, the economy will be destroyed. I understand that you selfish fools want to lay this at the feet of Obama and the Democrats, but I will make sure that doesn't happen if I have to shout from the top of every mountain in the country with my own mic.

I have had it with the mocking tone and the trivial focus, and not just from Breitbots, either. Where is the DC press on this? Where is the mainstream media? Have they bothered to even talk to one single person who is affected by this? Have any so-called "thought leaders" considered what this is doing to the economy?

That video at the top is about real people suffering because of this. Real people with real jobs who aren't billionaires and don't have the luxury of taking pay cuts. Like my friend, they're angry.

WHITNEY METZGER: This isn't a political game. And it's very frustrating to see so many politicians in Washington turn it into that.

CATHY LEWIS: Ten of the 11 members of Congress from Virginia voted against the bill that would have avoided sequestration. Metzger says trimming the staff now allows Davis Interiors to retain a smaller, but still highly skilled work force.

Keeping those skilled workers in the area when work is becoming more scarce is a concern shared by the region's leaders who, some say, haven't done enough to diversify the economy.

Craig Quigley says the potential loss of 12,000 good-paying jobs and more than $2 billion dollars in the local economy may be a wakeup call that's finally too loud to ignore.

CRAIG QUIGLEY: The day has arrived. OK? The federal spending in Hampton Roads is going down. So, we can accept a lower level of economic vitality, no growth, flat economy. Is that really what we want?

Or do we want to get serious finally about diversifying the economy, finding something to supplement, not replace -- I don't want to go to zero in federal spending, but I want to supplement it and reduce it as a percentage of the gross regional product, so that we are not totally drug-dependent on that.

Screw the teabaggers, the Brietbots and the merry gang of stupid pretend conservative media outlets. Especially, screw the sequester. I don't care if we have to be out in the streets with torches and pitchforks. Enough is enough. The billionaires have had their fun. Now let's please let the adults in the room fix this mess before it destroys the economy and the country right alongside it.

Also, to those cheering the across-the-board defense cuts, you should understand that the sequestration flavor of defense cuts is a bitter one for the economy. It takes a bite out of everything from shipbuilding to database development, IT services and routine maintenance of facilities. It doesn't take a bite out of security contractors' fees like Xe, and it won't stop drones from being built. So if you want actual cuts to defense that make sense, start making noise and putting pressure on Congress to do it right, to lose the budget-cutting fetish and actually do something that makes sense for the economy, stimulates growth and gets us back on track.

Are we really at a point where we have to take up collections for people who want their kids to get a college education without landing in a ton of debt, who want to hold onto their house and maybe even save something for retirement? Or maybe we could just tell the conservative echo chamber to take a long hike on the Appalachian trail and get something done for a change.

Can you help us out?

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