Sierra Vista Herald
Friday, during an interview with our representative in Congress, it became abundantly clear that he understands the potential catastrophe that will play out if the threatened across-the-board cutbacks are allowed to be carried out on March 1.
Barber — apparently with a number of fellow Democrats and Republicans — is working toward a plan that would address the nation’s deficit and debt by attacking the problem from two sides.
Instead of blindly cleaving spending from all federal agencies, the group Barber is working with would continue to stimulate small business growth to generate more revenue, while more precisely identifying where cutbacks should happen.
That’s responsible governing.
Unfortunately, the politicians leading this march off yet another fiscal cliff are in the leadership positions from both parties.
Instead of sincerely trying to find a solution, these elected representatives are tied to a position. They fear repercussions at the ballot box, they serve special interests, or they choose to put their own proposal ahead of the need to find compromise.
The consequences of doing what this governing body does best — nothing — will destroy the fragile and slow growth of the recovering U.S. economy, putting an estimated 750,000 people out of work. At the same time, it will cause small businesses to put off investment in people and equipment and it will stop consumers thinking of spending their tax refund on retail goods.
In Cochise County, the estimated $45 million impact on Fort Huachuca would dramatically change the economic outlook for the entire region.
Days remain for Congress to find a path that will avoid this consequence. Barber doesn’t see a viable long-term solution being devised, negotiated, then adopted by the House and Senate before it is sent to the president for his signature.
Instead, he hopes Congress will agree on the need to delay sequestration before committing once again to finding a solution that grows the economy — generating revenue for the government — and cuts wasteful government spending.
Let’s hope the leadership inside the Washington D.C. beltway finds the common sense to prevent this consequence, in favor of a less draconian and more effective solution to the national debt and deficit.