The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 2, 2013

Sequestration, also known as across-the-board budget cuts, affects national defense


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Sequestration.

We’ve heard that word a lot lately. What it means is across-the-board federal budget cuts that are affecting every facet of our lives.

We reached that point because the politicians in Washington, D.C., couldn’t agree to anything, much less how to get the federal budget under control. Sequestration was supposed to be so awful, there was no way anyone in either party would allow it to happen.

Well, we know how that worked out. The budget cuts took effect and sequestration has become a part of our vocabulary.

Already, though, we’ve seen cracks appearing and politicians back-tracking, particularly with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Before the budget cuts took effect, FAA officials announced their plans to deal with the loss of money. That included furloughs of air traffic controllers, the possible closing of towers and other measures.

Then, when the results of the furloughs became apparent — as in flight delays across the country — the politicians suddenly stepped up. In the name of public safety, politicians came up with the money to bring controllers back and end the furloughs.

We have to wonder, though, whether it was all about public safety or whether lawmakers didn’t want to have to wait in line like the rest of us as they headed out of Washington for their weeklong spring break.

Meanwhile, our national defense suffers from sequestration. The Air Force, for instance, has grounded a third of its fighters and bombers because of the cuts. Not flying consistently is going to affect those pilots’ abilities and in the long term hurt readiness.

Maybe if it inconvenienced a politician, something would be done.