The Edmond Sun

Opinion

February 25, 2013

Get ready — sequestration will hurt us

EDMOND — We are stronger as one. Americans are entitled to willing compromise among leaders. The Congress and elected are caught up in their beltway power forgetting who they serve: All of us, not just a few. The principles of our government have been of and for the people.

American families struggle daily, making ends meet and working hard. Some parents hold down two jobs to get by and provide their children hope for a better tomorrow. Obtaining health care and just paying the utilities is a constant challenge. Too many are at or below the poverty level. They don’t know what it is to walk the corridors of power in Washington. They do know the decision makers trusted with their votes are acting like children on the playground.

However, politicians think no action is safer than any, but at great price and for whose benefit? This is on both parties. In business, we could never get away with — let alone survive — gridlock and failures in deciding actions.

Make no bones about it, sequestration is a bad idea. Its fiscal damage will be long-term. It doesn’t have to be. Incredibly, it is the product of congressional imposed “no decision.” In the defense industry, people paying the price of this “no call” include shamefully hundreds of thousands of civilian workers. Oklahoma will be hit hard as a result of an insulated Congress, polarized and obsessed by political outcomes.

Besides cutting defense deployments and orders for aircraft and equipment, more than 800,000 employees nationwide will be furloughed for 22 days. At some installations, salaries will be reduced by 20 percent and part-timers will be laid off. Congress is playing with people’s lives. This translates to a potential $129 million in lost payroll for Oklahomans alone.

Politicians hold their fates in their hands but don’t have to worry about salary or benefits with a Cadillac health-care option, a great salary of $ 174,000 and a guaranteed pension. They do not face the same future uncertainty as the people they represent. So why bite the bullet or reach any solutions? They are OK, regardless.

Sadly actions and entrenchment on party and political ideologies has far-reaching consequences. America will not decline because of its people, but possibly as a result of lack of expected leadership. Again, we sit at the brink of a self-inflicted crisis that can lead to billions of cuts, job loss and economic set back. This is squarely on the administration and Congress’ inability to find the guts to compromise. The world wonders why American leaders cannot lead. So do Americans.

Together, the American people have endured countless tests — as one. The words now for politicians  are “accountability” and “responsibility.”  The people make life-changing decisions daily. So must Congress — now.

PHIL G. BUSEY SR., an Edmond resident, is chairman and CEO of The Busey Group of Companies.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Loosening constraints on campaign donations and spending doesn’t destroy democracy

    Campaign finance reformers are worried about the future. They contend that two Supreme Court rulings — the McCutcheon decision in March and the 2010 Citizens United decision — will magnify inequality in U.S. politics.
    In both cases, the court majority relaxed constraints on how money can be spent on or donated to political campaigns. By allowing more private money to flow to campaigns, the critics maintain, the court has allowed the rich an unfair advantage in shaping political outcomes and made “one dollar, one vote” (in one formulation) the measure of our corrupted democracy.
    This argument misses the mark for at least four reasons.

    April 23, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 23, 2014

  • Free trade on steroids: The threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Many supporters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade agreement are arguing that its fate rests on President Obama’s bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan this week. If Japan and the United States can sort out market access issues for agriculture and automobiles, the wisdom goes, this huge deal — in effect, a North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids — can at last be concluded.

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 22, 2014

  • Chicago Tribune: If Walgreen Co. moves its HQ to Europe, blame Washington’s tax failure

    The Walgreen Co. drugstore chain got its start nearly a century ago in downstate Dixon, Ill., before moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago and eventually to north suburban Deerfield, Ill.
    Next stop? Could be Bern, Switzerland.
    A group of shareholders reportedly is pressuring the giant retail chain for a move to the land of cuckoo clocks. The reason: lower taxes. Much lower taxes.
    If Walgreen changes its legal domicile to Switzerland, where it recently acquired a stake in European drugstore chain Alliance Boots, the company could save big bucks on its corporate income-tax bill. The effective U.S. income-tax rate for Walgreen, according to analysts at Swiss Bank UBS: 37 percent. For Alliance Boots: about 20 percent.

    April 21, 2014

  • Sulphur a future major tourist destination?

    Greta Garbo says, “I want to be alone,” in the 1932 film “Grand Hotel.” That MGM film starred Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery and a young actress from Lawton named Joan Crawford. It told the stories of several different people who were staying at an exclusive hotel of that name in Berlin Germany.
    It was critically well received and it inspired more recent films such as “Gosford Park” and television shows such as “Downton Abbey” in that it detailed the relationship between powerful and wealthy people and those who served them. The film opened amidst much fanfare and it received the Oscar for best picture in the year of its release.

    April 21, 2014

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

    A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, whose job at the U.S. Agency for International Development is to lead a federal bureau spreading democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world.
    That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level crises combining military conflict with humanitarian catastrophes affecting millions of innocents in Syria, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    But back to that child.

    April 18, 2014

  • Government leadership complicit in overfilling prisons

    One of the thorniest problems facing any society is the question of what to do with transgressors. Obviously, the more complicated a culture becomes, the more factors come into play in trying to figure out what to do with those who choose not to “play by the rules.”

    April 18, 2014

  • My best days are ones normal people take for granted

    It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen.
    “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months after I was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, I often slept 15 hours a day. The doctors said my body needed to heal. It must still be healing because I hardly ever see 8 a.m. anymore.

    April 18, 2014

  • Instead of mothballing Navy ships, give them to our allies

    A bitter debate has raged in the Pentagon for several months about the wisdom of taking the nuclear aircraft carrier George Washington out of service to save money. The Washington, at 24 years old a relatively young vessel, is due for a costly refit, a routine procedure that all of the 11 large carriers in service undergo regularly.

    April 18, 2014

Poll

Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

Agree
Disagree
Undecided
     View Results