Feds have no excuse not to be ready for cuts

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Feds have no excuse not to be ready for cuts

Published Wednesday, February 27, 2013   |  265 Words  |  

I watch C-SPAN. (That's how exciting my life is.)

I listened to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta deliver the same speech twice this past week, forecasting the end of the world if sequestration were implemented. I also watched one of his undersecretaries testify before the Senate about three months before. He was asked, "What contingencies have you prepared in the event of sequestration?" He replied, "I know of none." He was chastened.

Recently, I watched Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood predict hours of waiting in lines at airports because of sequestration. But these two departments, and all of federal government, have had a year to plan for this.

Incompetent? Or is it a ploy to leverage fear in the public? For example, the Transportation Department shortfall ---the amount they will have to cut from spending -- is 1.4 percent.

It's hard to believe that with a year's notice there has been no progress in planning for this. And the only place for the Transportation Department to save is cutting air traffic controllers and airport security. Those are about the only cuts the public would notice.

(Note: Since 2001 there has been a consolidation of commercial air carriers and fewer flights, but a 41 percent increase in the Transportation Department budget. And even with sequestration the department's 2013 budget is $800 million more than in 2012.)

Could you find 1.4 percent in your budget? Remember, the farther from your pocket your dollar goes, the less efficiently it will be spent.

Brian Cosacchi

Hilton Head Island