I don’t want to write about the sequester; I was hoping I wouldn’t have to.
But here we are as the two sides in Washington bicker like toddlers. Well, one side is bickering like toddlers, but they can hold things up all by themselves, which is what they intend to do.
They’re protecting their rich and powerful friends and ignoring their constituents.
So, what will the sequester do? Well, it will hold up your tax return for a few months or more for one thing. I hope you weren’t depending on that money for anything, like to help pay off a maxed-out credit card or supplementing your unemployment check.
It will send less money to things like public health, so we’ll all be more vulnerable to outbreaks of various illnesses that can kill us. Fewer people will be able to get vaccinations to keep them from getting sick and response to outbreaks will be slower.
It will cause the layoffs of 30,000 teachers and teacher assistants.
Defense contractors will face layoffs.
Unemployment benefits will be cut.
And on and on …
This is exactly what the Republicans want to happen. In fact, they’re trying to force the cuts to last a year, even if a compromise is reached.
Their rich friends won’t be hurt because those people can afford whatever they need. But what about hungry children? What about people who depend on government-funded clinics or adult day care for elderly parents who have dementia and can’t be left alone?
They like to claim it’s all about choices, but I don’t know any children who chose to have parents whose living-wage jobs were shipped overseas and who now have to work at Walmart, where 70 percent of workers are paid so little they have to rely on government assistance.
That’s right, you and I subsidize the disgustingly rich Walton family with our tax dollars so they can keep getting richer while their workers go hungry.
The Republicans don’t care about us; they don’t care if we lose our homes, go hungry or die. If they can get rid of birth control, the poor will keep pushing out babies — cogs for the money-making and war machines. We live in poverty and they get fatter.
We MUST get rid of these clowns in 2014, both at the national and state levels. They’ve done enough damage. In fact, it will take generations to fix their damage.
We need to start organizing NOW.
Leslie Boyd, a former newspaper reporter, is president of the health care advocacy nonprofit, WNC Health Advocates, founded in memory of her son, who died in 2008 because he couldn't access health care. E-mail her at leslie at lettersfromtheleft dot com or follow her on Twitter @leftyletters1, visit Letters from the Left on Facebook. For more information about WNC Health Advocates or to read Boyd's health care blog, visit wncha.org.