In case you haven’t heard, a number of self-inflicted budgetary cuts are on the horizon that could put thousands of Virginians into a less-than-savory economic position. President Barack Obama has been doing his best to remind Virginia that the looming sequestration could have an above-average negative effect on the state’s inhabitants.
So in the spirit of demonstrating how hard Virginia will get the budgetary shaft, President Obama visited Newport News Shipbuilding on Tuesday, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries in Newport News, Virginia.
According to the White House, if the sequestration occurs, the US Navy would cancel the maintenance of 11 ships in Norfolk as well as delay other projects in the commonwealth.
Over the next decade, the sequester would chop off $1.1 trillion and $85 billion this year alone.
But ship building and maintenance would only be one aspect of defense spending that takes a big ding in the pocketbook. The following statistic is shocking: “Even though national defense accounts for about 20 percent of federal spending, it accounts for 50 percent of the sequester cuts.” The thinking here was that the extreme right-wing Republicans wouldn’t be so brazen as to risk their precious spending on defense, would they?
The extreme right’s nuttiness was unfortunately underestimated. Indeed, those on the extreme right appear more than ready to witness the sequestration bury a hole in America’s economy and particularly defense.
Frankly, I don’t really care who’s to blame. All I’m concerned about is seeing our “leaders” finally have a serious discussion about a long-term compromise deal that a majority in both major parties can live with. In a past not too long ago there was such a thing as compromise…
For all of the discussions about the Chinese overtaking American economic supremacy or North Korea sending a nuclear weapon towards America, the greatest threat America faces is its own hubris, its own inability to set one’s own particular interests aside for the sake of the entire country.
Sacrifice was once a virtue in our society before America became the “me society.” But if we want to truly prosper, we can only do so through prudence, humility, and understanding. And right now, none of these three attributes is wide scale in our nation’s capital.