The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

May 2, 2013

Courage needed to fight sequester cuts

The Daily Star

---- — My anger and frustration with the sequester came to a head when I discovered that, due to the reduction in federal grants funding Head Start, Oneonta Head Start will have to lay off eight people, and deny day care service to 32 families, starting on July 1.

My wife and I have worked with Head Start, in a number of ways, for decades. These are people who work hard for pitifully low wages, and do a lot of good for a lot of kids. For the most part, these folks are holding on the best they can, economically. Those who are laid off will struggle with unemployment, and many of those families will fall (or be pushed?) into poverty. The families who depended on the high-quality day care will have their lives transformed, and not in a good way. There is no job-creating going on here – just the opposite.

Congress and the Administration created the sequester with the thought that fear of the consequences of really draconian and irrational cuts would motivate them to cut a deal to avoid the pain. The truth is, the sequester is designed to focus the pain on the most vulnerable, the least resilient, the least able to adapt and adjust.

We can lay blame, but that never results in anything that works. I recommend that you join me in insisting that Sens. Gillibrand and Schumer, and Congressman Gibson, exhibit courage and leadership on behalf of their constituents. Write or call today.

Gary Koutnik