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Why not try a balanced approach?

Published: Thu, February 28, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Why not try a balanced approach?

When I was a boy and my family had money problems, my dad and mom did two things. They cut spending and my dad went out to get a second and sometimes even a third job. (This was in the days before both parents commonly worked out of the home.) Dad wasn’t crazy about working two or three jobs and being away from his family longer, but he did it because he knew it had to be done. In governmental terms, my parents made budget cuts and brought in new revenue. This is something every working family has long known, but members of Congress don’t seem to understand the concept of doing both things when faced with a money shortage.

This Friday, unless Congress takes action to stop it from happening, huge indiscriminate budget cuts will go into effect, putting many people across Ohio and across the country out of work. With this in mind, a few days ago I wrote to U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6th, telling him the federal contractor I work for already has notified me and 11 other people locally that we will be losing our jobs. At my age (too young to retire and too old to be hired), I now face the very real prospect of being unemployed or, at best, underemployed for the rest of my life. Another man at my office is in the same position, while still another has three children with a baby on the way. Multiply our situation by the number of people statewide and nationally who will be put out of work and you get the human toll being exacted by dysfunctional members of Congress who flatly refuse to put aside partisan politics to stop the slash and burn sequester cuts.

In my letter to Congressman Johnson, I urged both parties in Congress to work together to solve the budget problems we face. In his reply, along with repeating the party mantra of this is all the fault of the president and Congressional Democrats, Mr. Johnson told me, “hard-working families have to live within their means,” just as businesses and governments do. How does he expect hard-working families to live within their means when hardly working members of Congress take those means away from us?

Jay Brookes, New Springfield


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