The Times West Virginian


March 3, 2013

Sequestration: Not catastrophic enough?

There have only been a few times in the history of the Times West Virginian’s poll analysis when a question has an answer before the week’s end.

This week is one of those rare cases.

Last week on our website,, we asked our readers to cast a vote in our online poll question. We asked, “Do you think that Congress and the president will come to an agreement on federal budgetary cuts before sequestration kicks in, prompting automatic and across-the-board budget cuts?”

Of course the deadline hit at 12:01 a.m. Friday, March 1.

And the answer was “no.”

Sequestration means that mandatory and across-the-board spending cuts will occur because of a bill that passed prior to the last debt-ceiling increase. These automatic cuts would amount to $1.2 trillion over 10 years — $600 billion in national defense and $600 bil­lion in non-military programs. Sequestration is primarily a deterrent — meaning that these automatic cuts seem so cata­strophic that Congress does what it can to avoid the situation.

Or maybe not catastrophic enough.

When congressional leaders met with President Barack Obama Friday morning, everyone walked away without any resolution other than $85 billion in cuts to the federal budget.

This could mean furloughs for hundreds of thousands of federal employees. And everything from education to air traffic control could be affected over the next seven months.

But it all can stop if Congress and the president can agree on an alternative. Maybe we should have asked just how likely that would be.

The president seemed resigned on Friday morning when he addressed the press pool.

"Not everyone will feel the pain of these cuts right away. The pain though will be real. Beginning this week, many middle class families will have their lives disrupted in significant ways," Obama said. "Even with these cuts in place, folks all across this country will work hard to make sure that we keep the recovery going, but Washington sure isn't making it easy.”

And party politics what they are, Democrats are saying that tax loopholes forced shut would bring in more revenue. And Republicans are saying we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem in this country.

And both sides are right. Boy, wouldn’t it be great if they could see that and meet someplace in the middle?

Anyway, back to the results of our online poll question, which almost everyone seemed to agree on. Here are the results when readers were asked if we would avoid sequestration.

• Maybe — Sometimes an impending deadline forces a commitment to working across party lines — 7.58 percent.

• Yes — There’s no way Washington, D.C., is going to put thousands of federal employees out of work in an economy like this — 20 percent

• No — While sequestration should be “end game” these politicians can’t agree on which direction the sun sets — 72.73 percent

This week, let’s talk about the one most important characteristic that the next chosen pope should have.

Log on. Vote. Email me or respond online.

Misty Poe

Managing Editor


Text Only
  • Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial

    NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
    And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.

    July 25, 2014

  • Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives

    It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
    We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely

    The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
    It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
    It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life

    Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
    And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads