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Sequester could have big impact on Coast Guard, Diligence

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We're just days away from major federal spending cuts going into effect if the White House and Congress cannot reach a compromise.

The sequester is a series of automatic cuts that will affect most government agencies, as well as thousands of people in our area, including the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence.

The Diligence and her crew came home today from two months at sea. Now they face the uncertainty of a Washington stalemate.

The Obama administration says the threat of massive federal spending cuts could include a nearly 25-percent reduction in what the Coast Guard does, including everything from setting navigational aids to fighting drug smuggling and illegal aliens.

For the crew of the Diligence, the impacts could be more direct.

"We have a 48-year-old ship, and we're working hard to get her put back together and turned around," Cmdr. Douglas Goodwin said. "It's maintenance intensive, and we're scheduled to go back out again in about two-and-a-half months, so we have some work to do, and we'll have to take it as it comes."

Beyond taking care of the ship, Diligence crewmembers and their family hope to avoid a person impact.

"We just pray they don't make any cuts so it doesn't affect the jobs of the people in the military and in the Coast Guard," said Ashley Jackson, who's husband serves on the Diligence.

"If they cut across the board depending on what cuts they make it could affect our pay it could affect our health care, hopefully not our health care but depending on what they cut it could affect my family," crew member Jarret Andrews said.

Military pay is exempt, but that will force sharper cuts within the Defense Department, particularly training and maintenance.

With the possibility of more than 20,000civilian defense employees in North Carolina alone facing furlough, the sequester could hurt the economy because the cuts drain demand and affect companies that do business with the government.

"We're talking about cutting this and cutting that," Rep. Walter Jones (R-3rd District) said. "It's time for Congress to look at top priorities, realize that we're in bad financial shape and look at the priorities that we can fund and fund those priorities and one being our military and civilian workforce."

Cmdr. Goodwin says the Coast Guard headquarters and the Department of Homeland Security are working hard on potential sequester options.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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Just once ....

... it would be nice to see a news report based on some actual facts instead of one based almost entirely on conjecture or political sound bites.

- Obama says "massive federal spending cuts COULD include a nearly 25-percent reduction in what the Coast Guard does". That's a political sound bite, not a fact.
- " Diligence crewmembers and their family HOPE to avoid a person impact."
- "We just PRAY they don't make any cuts"
- "IF they cut across the board DEPENDING on what cuts they make it COULD affect our pay it COULD affest our health care, HOPEFULLY not our health care DEPENDING on what cut it COULD affect my family"
- "the sequester COULD hurt the economy"

That’s an entire news piece based on opinions with not one actual number to specifically quantify any one of them up.

Both political parties are putting out political sound bites. Both political parties are putting our country in jeopardy by refusing to compromise. Both political parties are wrong, really, really wrong!

Just for once though, it would be nice to see a news organization put out a piece based on some quantitative substance instead of completely relying on the emotional sound bites of others. A news article that doesn't continue to encourage politcians to put out even more sound bites instead of rolling up their sleeves and coming up with real solutions. That would require some actual work on the part of the press as well. Politicians will continue to fake it if the press continues to enable them to do that.

It would be nice to see a news piece like that, if even for just one time.

Sequestor

Originally proposed by Phil Gramm.
Never instituted until the Joint Commission on reducing the Deficit (8 Dems 8 Gop-ers) proposed it as a way to get politicians moving on debt issues.
It's $85B dollars folks
$25B more than the aid bill for Hurricane Sandy
Try to keep a little perspective here will yah?
After EVERY war defense spending went down. WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War.
What bothers me is that as Iraq and Afpakistan wind down we are insisting on keeping defense spending very VERY high. We are MORE than double what Reagan was spending on Defense.......
Ike was right - the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) was something to be feared and to watch out for.
I am a Hawk on defense issues but a realist on fiscal issues. We can throttle back on defense spending - smartly......

Vog

More Scare Tactics

Budget Cuts for Dummies:

U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 (Trillion)
Fed Spending: $3,820,000,000,000 (Trillion)
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000 (Trillion)
National debt: $16,420,000,000,000 (Trillion)
Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000 (as in Billion)
Proposed sequester cuts: 85,000,000,000

Now, let's remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500 Balance on the credit card: $164,200

Total budget cuts so far: ----$38.50
Proposed sequester cuts: --$85.00

Total cuts: $123.50 - from the $164,200 we owe.

Coastie

Might want to count your removed zeros again
Its still bad

Vog

Well, I was a boatswain's mate

...so math was never my strong suit. Still, I think it gets the point across. Even with the sequester cuts, most federal government budgets will be higher than last year. That's because Congress and the President's math is fuzzy too.

Nothing but executive branch scare tactics. I wonder which cabinet secretary they'll roll out today?

coastie

The list of political tactics goes on and on and is not just the executive either.
A boatswain's mate eh? Thanks for your service.
Yes every department will be higher except defense and thats been way too high for too long anyway.
I'm all for means testing for Medicare and raising the retirement age to 70 although neither of these two things would be "much".
Scare tactics live on
"Scarey tax increases"
"Granny's gonna have to eat cat food"
"Al Queda will be knocking at our door"
"Airplanes will crash from furloughed ATC's"
Puh-lease......

Vog