EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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June 9, 2013

Your view: Letters to the editor

Tsongas’ hypocrisy on sequestration

To the editor:

On June 3, Congresswoman Niki Tsongas in a column in The Eagle-Tribune decried the “sequestration cuts” that she says are hurting our district and the nation. She detailed the cuts to air traffic controllers and boasted of authoring a bill that would correct some of the challenges these airports are facing.

In her column, Ms. Tsongas treated sequestration as some sort of a natural phenomenon, something that just started eating up jobs and threatening our economy, despite the fact that she “urged” her colleagues to seek a “broader approach.”

While I agree with her statement that a “piecemeal approach” or, to be blunt, these draconian methods of avoiding real governing are simply unacceptable, I have a problem with her actions.

The good Congresswoman somehow failed to mention one crucial fact: Tthat she voted in favor of the sequestration cuts.

In other, more famous words, she voted for it before she was against it. This is a not-so-grand tradition in Massachusetts’ politics.

So, perhaps next time, the good Congresswoman should fill in the voting public on her voting record before she demonizes the legislation she obviously, once upon a time, supported.

Were I in her place, I would have never voted for sequestration. I agree that budgets must be balanced, but responsible governing is much like responsible surgery. These things must be done with a sharp scalpel and with a solution in sight, not blindly with a meat cleaver, hoping to send the problem down the road for someone else to cure (or in this case use it to gain political points).

As an employee of Raytheon Corporation, a large defense contractor (the lead contractor on the Patriot missile) and a major employer in the 3rd District, I have seen what happens with these sequestration cuts firsthand. I admit that every single federal government department could be slimmer, but the way these cuts have been done is just nonsensical.

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