Niles Eastman, Fargo
This letter is in response to the Minot Daily News article "Sequester cuts and the view" (March 26th, 2013).
It is easy, at this point, to look at the sequester and underestimate its impacts. The average American heard all the doom and gloom warnings for months, and then woke up on March 1 to business as usual. Similarly, it is easy to view the early impacts, such as loss of services at national parks, and think that the whole thing was overblown.
But we haven't started feeling the biggest effects yet.
It is a lot harder to look at the 200 North Dakota children who will no longer have funded access to Head Start and Early Head Start and tell them that the sequester really isn't so bad. It is likewise more problematic to tell the 2,600 North Dakota workers that are taking an effective 20 percent pay cut that we can afford sequester impacts. Certainly, all the kids in schools that are losing $7 million in federal funding (School districts that receive significant Title 1 and Impact Aid funding, like Minot and Grand Forks, will be affected the most.)
However, times are hard, and sacrifices will have to be made to reduce the deficit. The bottom line is that we, as a nation, cannot afford to fund the education of a thousand kids and compensation for the work of more than 2,000 workers at the same time we are giving $429 million dollars in tax 'refunds' to Facebook, a company that already made more than a billion dollars in profit.
So if when your kid complains about the crowded classrooms, or your neighbor complains about being unable to make ends meet, tell them to stop being so selfish. Think of Mark Zuckerberg's poor, underprivileged stock options!