Letter: A Look at White House’s Numbers

To the Editor:

Regarding the sequester and the “Twin State Impacts” (Feb. 25): It is my understanding that $85 billion in cuts will not take effect from March through September, contrary to what the Valley News reports, but only a pro rata portion, less than $50 billion. Even with these “cuts,” federal spending this year will be greater than last year.

According to the White House-compiled numbers: 20 at-risk teachers and aides in Vermont receive on average $55,000 each. Including aides! Thirty at-risk teachers, aides and staff for students with disabilities in New Hampshire receive an average of $73,333 each. Including staff! They apparently receive 57 percent more than the similarly employed 30 in Vermont ($2.2 million total vs $1.4 million). About 1,000 civilian Department of Defense workers in Vermont may lose an average of $2,900 each through furloughs, while 1,000 such workers in New Hampshire can lose $5,400.

According to your report, 100 children each in Vermont and New Hampshire will stop receiving Head Start services. According to a recent in-depth study by Health and Human Services, Head Start provides no measurable lasting benefits after children are out of the program.

The Twin States together will lose over $3 million for environment and wildlife protection. No explanation is given about how this money is spent, or what percent of environmental spending it constitutes.

And so on, listing many well-intended programs with no accounting of how funds are currently used or what portions will remain.

What one concludes from reading this list:

Any interpretation of these numbers will be overly simplistic, so shame on the White House for trying to use them to fear-monger us citizens.

Either our local communities use money taken from other states to subsidize our public health, education and law enforcement ... or all states are takers and we are borrowing unsustainably from our grandchildren (the debt) or stealing from the poor (who suffer most when money is printed and prices rise).

Tim Dreisbach

South Royalton


White House Breaks Down Cuts

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Washington ­— The White House yesterday detailed how deep spending cuts set to begin this week would affect programs in every state and the District of Columbia, as President Obama launched a last-ditch effort to pressure congressional Republicans to compromise on a way to stop the across-the-board cuts. But while Republicans and Democrats were set to introduce dueling legislative proposals …

Letter: Correction on Size of Budget Cuts

Monday, March 4, 2013

To the Editor: There was a factual error in a March 2 letter relating to the budgetary effects of sequestration (“A Look at White House’s Numbers”). It was asserted that the required budget cuts would be prorated for this fiscal year and therefore less severe than generally understood. I would like to quote from the March 1 letter from the …

Letter: Measuring the Sequestration Cuts

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

To the Editor: A March 10 letter (“Correction on Size of the Budget Cuts”) stated that my prior letter was factually incorrect when it said that sequestration cuts for the current year would be less than the reported $85 billion. The evidence cited was a letter from the White House Office of Management and Budget to House Speaker John Boehner. …