Monday April 8, 2013

It is quickly becoming clear that sequestration, which took effect on March 1, is having serious impacts on the public. I think we need look only at the news reports of much longer wait times for both passenger and commercial traffic at border entry points. There is a significant economic loss when commerce cannot move efficiently into the country and will impact businesses and the public.

I am a federal employee, and along with my co-workers, my primary goal is to serve the public effectively. That is increasingly difficult given the limited resources my agency and others have been facing in recent years. The pressure on employees to do more with less is worsening considerably by the nine percent of our remaining budget that must be cut through Sept. 30.

Both personally and as a federal employee working for IRS, it troubles me greatly to think that my ability to serve the public is being undercut by sequestration. We should end this unwise policy promptly and replace it with balanced deficit reduction measures.

The role of federal agencies and federal employees, whether that is protecting our air and water; helping secure our borders; processing tax returns and refunds; helping seniors, veterans and low-income children; is too important to undercut through constant budget battles.

MIKE MARCHETTI

Bennington Administration pitching lambs to lions

I see that my President has appointed another ambassador to Benghazi, Libya, to replace the one, in my opinion, that together with 3 other Americans, he has thrown under the bus when they were attacked. He has never done anything for America to safeguard our people anywhere I feel.

This says to me, that the administration believes that the lion can truly lie down with the lamb and all we have to do is keep pitching the lion, one more lamb, and it will work -- so long as the lion keeps lying and the lamb keeps living - but if I were that lamb, I’d be doing a whole lot of praying.

LAWRENCE E. HARRINGTON

Bennington