The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

July 12, 2013

We can’t continue living beyond our financial means

ENID, Okla. — Due to furloughs being implemented for Department of Defense civilian employees, the Vance Air Force Base commissary started closing an extra day each week because of federal budget cuts.

The commissary, which normally is closed on Mondays, began closing Tuesdays, too, on July 8.

The Tuesday closing of the commissary will continue through Sept. 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.

Commissary cuts are being implemented throughout the military.

The announcement of commissary closures is part of the Department of Defense protocol related to the automatic federal budget reductions, known as sequestration, which began March 1.

While we wish there was a better way to deal with cutting the federal budget than temporary furloughs, it also is wrong to pretend the federal budget deficit and massive federal debt are somehow acceptable.

They are not acceptable; the massive existing federal debt and continuing to add to the problem are significant issues that may jeopardize our entire economy, not just tens of thousands of jobs one day a week.

While we have sympathy for the people who work there and are taking the pay cuts, federal commissaries are not mission critical to the nation’s military. At least not domestic commissaries. And that’s just one example.

Cuts almost by definition involve some pain. But not cutting would be foolhardy, reckless, irresponsible and ultimately cause much, much deeper distress.

Apply this principle to the farm program just passed by the House. Apply this, to a greater or lesser degree, to almost all areas of federal government spending.

We can’t continue living beyond our means.

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