Taking Sequester Effect Personally

We’ve just learned how the sequester is going to affect our family in a direct way.

The little airport that services the town where my son goes to university will be closing in April. Maybe sooner, but we have no idea.

It’s a small thing, but will make it more complicated for him to come home for breaks.This will be inconvenient, but believe me, I’m not complaining.

There are so many people with so much more at stake.

According to the Hawaii fact sheet put out by the White House, kids with disabilities might lose education services. Preschoolers may be kicked off the Head Start rolls. Fewer children will receive vaccinations. Teachers and teacher’s aides may lose their jobs. Schools will lose funding.

The list of potential funding victims goes on: Battered women will lose services. Fewer low-income college students will get work/study jobs. Seniors could be looking at reduction of meal assistance.

The White House says some of the most severe cuts in Hawaii will be to the military: Approximately 20,000 civilian Department of Defense employees could be furloughed. The plan is already in place. Ouch. That’s a lot of pain and financial insecurity for these families to bear.

Law enforcement could be hit with a loss of about $79,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support “law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.”

While Gov. Abercrombie and his team are working on contingencies, it’s clear many families will be hurt in some way, and some are already feeling it. If the sequester isn’t fixed soon, we’ll all be affected in some form or another.

But right now, does anybody care? Seems the American public is reacting to this latest crisis with a great big yawn.

Everybody’s burned out. We’re sick of politically generated fiscal crises and brinksmanship. Nobody wants our government or economy to go down in flames, but there’s only so much drama we can take. That’s the trouble with crying wolf too often – pretty soon all the sheep just blink and look away.

This apathy may be understandable, given what’s been happening in Washington for months, but it will hurt us. If we don’t care, why should they? We need to speak up about this!

But wait. Is speaking up enough anymore?

Politicians are so tone-deaf and so used to tuning out the voices they don’t agree with, that they may not hear anything but the loudest screams, shouts, wails and alarms.

Wow. Has it really come to this? Do we have to dial down our national age to the equivalent of a 2-year-old kid and throw a collective tantrum to get them to listen to us?

What an unmitigated disaster. And a crying shame.