Tonawanda News


December 14, 2013

OUR VIEW: Budget deal a positive sign from Congress

Tonawanda News — It’s a sad sign when it feels like praise is due to federal lawmakers for successfully carrying out the most basic function of government — passing a budget. But that’s where we’re at.

Shockingly, lawmakers from both parties were able to cobble together a deal on a spending plan — albeit one that fails to address any of the actual difficult problems — at the 11th hour. It trims the deficit by about $23 billion, which is a good thing. It restores some of the sequester defense spending cuts that everyone agreed made absolutely no sense. Revenue enhancements are included but tax rates remain the same.

And that’s about it.

It does nothing to address spending disparities in the entitlement programs Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It does not close any of the business tax loopholes allowing corporations raking in billions to remain on welfare. It does not extend unemployment insurance benefits for millions of Americans who still can’t find work.

And by signing off on the deal, which passed the House of Representatives Thursday and is expected to pass the Senate in the coming days, President Obama has more or less given up the ghost on reaching a much needed “grand bargain” to address the many fiscal ills facing our country. 

Still, it’s a deal. The lights will stay on for now. We passed a budget without shutting down the government or driving over any fiscal cliffs.

Of course, some Tea Party Republicans cried foul — but when don’t they?

Good for John Boehner, finally standing up to the outside interest groups that have dragged his caucus — and by extension, the nation — to the brink of fiscal collapse with their all-or-nothing orthodoxy. This budget is a minor piece of legislation that won’t fundamentally change anything from a policy standpoint. 

Text Only
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014