Some Ohio residents voiced their disappointment Tuesday because Congress has not been able to reach a deal to reduce the federal deficit, a move that could trigger automatic spending cuts through a process called sequestration.
“It simply means that with the coming new year, unless we come to a compromise in the Congress, the budget is going to go off a cliff and a 10-percent slash across the board,” said David Little, spokesman for ProgressOhio, a liberal think tank based in Columbus.
“We believe that in current circumstances, the top 2 percent are not paying their fair share and that seniors, people on fixed income and Medicare, and veterans should not be paying to make up that budgetary deficit.”
Little was one of the speakers at a ProgressOhio event held outside Tuesday at Sinclair Community College while U.S. Rep Mike Turner, R-Centerville, held a town hall meeting at the downtown Dayton campus.
“Unnecessary and harsh cuts will damage the quality of life in this community and across Ohio, will cause us to lose vital jobs and, frankly, there are plenty of people in Montgomery County and beyond that cannot afford those kind of cuts,” Little said. “We believe there should be a shared sacrifice at this point and we have not seen that yet.”
The speakers said they are particularly concerned with the impact sequestration will have on benefits for veterans and seniors.
“Just sitting there and cutting budgets is not a solution that generally brings a good end for all of the citizens of this nation,” said Norm Wernet, a spokesman for the Ohio Alliance for Retired Americans.
“We want to make sure that they are balanced cuts,” Little said. “If people are not here to stand up for others who don’t have a voice, then the cuts are going to go to the little guy. They are going to go to the people who can least afford to have those benefits and services cut.”
“I’m very frustrated that my civilian leadership and government leadership, they can’t compromise,” said Paul Worley, a former Army Infantry Captain from Adams County. “They can’t work together to find the common good and help everyone out.
“We’re here today to stand up for our veterans and make sure that the promises that we were given by our government are held … They out of anybody have earned their benefits and (those benefits) should not be cut.”