The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 14, 2013

Marilyn Beasley, guest columnist: Obama trying to benefit from sequestration

By Marilyn Beasley
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Nearly a month ago, President Barack Obama started his campaign to scare the American people with a list of things that would happen as a result of the sequester.

That list included: cuts in education, cuts in food inspection, reduction in law enforcement and first responders, cuts in workplace safety inspections, cuts to senior citizens meals and cuts in nutrition for Women, Infants and Children.

These were just a few of the threats spouted by this president. He traveled to various states saying that the sequester was a terrible idea that would cause pain for the people and blasted the Republicans for letting it happen. Some of us were aware, but others have just recently learned, that the sequester was Obama’s idea in the first place.

Since it was evident the sequester was going to happen, Obama starting changing his tune and saying the pain wouldn’t be felt all at once, that it might take some time to feel its effects. We’ve become aware of an email that was leaked from the U.S. Department of Agriculture responding to a director who inquired about the amount of latitude he had in making cuts. The response he received from the Agriculture Department’s budget office stated, “However you manage the reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.” In other words, make it painful.

What we are witnessing is an administration that cares less for the people of this country and more about how it can benefit politically from the so-called pain.

If this administration were serious about cutting spending instead of scaring people with all the threats, it should look at the amount of money wasted each year by the federal government. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., does a report on government waste each year.

Here are just a few examples of the wasteful spending of tax dollars in 2012: $27 million grant for Moroccan pottery classes, $300,000 for efforts to promote caviar consumption and production, $325,000 grant for a robotic squirrel named “RoboSquirrel,” $505,000 promotion of specialty shampoo and other beauty products for cats and dogs and a $350,000 government–funded study on how golfers might benefit from using their imagination, envisioning the hole is bigger than it actually is.

This is just a small sampling of how our tax dollars were wasted. Let’s not forget about the various government departments that spend millions of dollars holding meetings in Las Vegas, Hawaii, etc.

Although the sequestration was not the best way to cut government spending, it is a start. We need legislators who are serious about cutting spending and getting our nation back on a firm financial footing. We don’t need individuals who play the blame game, are more concerned about their political ambitions than the citizens of this country, who continue to say “more taxes” instead of “less spending” and who try to scare people into submission.

The hardworking people of this nation are taxed by their cities, their counties, their state and the federal government. We don’t need more taxation; we need less government.

Marilyn Beasley lives in Joplin.