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W.Va. does what Washington won’t do

Washington is abuzz with talk of "sequestration" - automatic budget cuts in all programs with exemptions for programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The cuts range from 2 percent in Medicare to 9.4 percent in defense.

All in all, the cuts would amount of $85.4 billion, or just over 2 percent of all federal spending.

This is similar to what is occurring in West Virginia, where Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin last summer saw that the state would need $150 million more in the next budget to fund Medicaid. State revenues were expected to grow by $65 million, leaving him with an $85 million gap.

Instead of raising taxes, Tomblin cut 2 percent in state spending. After exempting schools and other primary state functions, Tomblin had his agency heads cut their budgets by 7.5 percent.

They did so, and while they may not be happy with the result, there is none of the wild hysteria and melodrama that West Virginians see coming out of Washington.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer ridiculed President Obama's over-the-top reaction to a mere 2 percent cut in spending. Obama wants to raise taxes again, which would cut taxpayers' budgets.

"This is the most ridiculously hyped Armageddon since the Mayan calendar," Krauthammer said on Fox News.

He pointed out that the $85 billion in cuts is a very, very small portion of the national economy.

"Here we are with a debt of $16 trillion and the

argument today is if we cut a penny-and-a-half on non-defense spending in one year, it's the end of the world," Krauthammer said.

"If so, we are hopelessly in debt and we're going to end up like Greece."

Yes, many good things will be cut. You can make an argument for every item in the federal budget. That's how those items got into the budget.

But taxpayers have run out of money. The government must cut back.

As West Virginia is doing - without a tax increase.



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