IN 2009, President Obama signed the first federal budget with a trillion-dollar deficit. Trillion-dollar deficits have continued throughout his presidency.
The struggle over a mandated cut of $85 billion does not cut the deficit by even one-tenth, but that there is a struggle to cut 2 percent from a gargan-tuan $3.6 trillion budget is itself illuminating.
A local story illustrates the difficulty faced by fiscal conservatives and other grown-ups in Washington.
While the Federal Aviation Administration is cutting back on air traffic controllers at small airports, officials at Yeager Airport have no fear of losing the midnight shift at Yeager Airport.
The FAA must give so much notice to federal
employees that it would take a year to end the midnight shift, Brian Belcher, director of marketing and air service at Yeager, told the Daily Mail.
Federal employees should be treated decently, but so should taxpayers.
The real problem is entitlements, however.
The Democratic Party refuses to trim entitlements to what taxpayers can afford, which is why budget cutting will be limited to symbolism.
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THE headline in the March 20, 2000 Independent of London was jarring: "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past."
Author Charles Onians lamented that future generations would not enjoy the snowmen, snowballs and sledding of his youth. He blamed global warming.
"The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the southeast," Onians wrote.
"It is the continuation of a trend that has been
increasingly visible in the past 15 years: In the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London's last substantial snowfall was in February 1991."
Since then, several major snowstorms have shut down Britain, including ones in February 2009, December 2010 and February 2012. This week a rare blizzard hit England with snowdrifts of up to 10 feet.
Record snows also have hit the United States from Washington state to Washington, D.C.
The nation's capital received a record 54.9 inches of snow in the winter of 2009-2010, breaking a century-old record set in 1898-1899.
The world is undoubtedly affected by human activity. But false prophecies of doom fuel skepticism.
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TRADE publications report that NBC once again wants to replace Jay Leno as host of "The Tonight Show," this time with Jimmy Fallon. An attempt with Conan O'Brien a few years back led to his departure to TBS.
But the Fallon challenge is bigger, and New York state government may determine who gets the show.
The state is offering NBC a $10 million tax credit — bribe — to move "The Tonight Show" back to New York City, which the show left in 1972.
The New York Daily News reported that someone slipped into the state budget a $10 million tax credit for "a talk or variety program that filmed at least five seasons outside the state prior to its first relocated season in New York." Only "The Tonight Show" seems to fit that description.
Leno often takes shots at liberals in his monologues. Liberals run state government in New York.
By accident or design, they may have a role in pushing a critic off the air.
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MR. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton, will become Mr. South Charleston on May 18, when he is a guest of the Armed Forces Day Parade.
South Charleston is one of the few communities that does not have a military presence that observes this holiday, which honors those currently serving.
Newton is a longtime supporter of the USO, performing in his first USO show in the first grade. He succeeded Bob Hope as chairman of the USO Celebrity Circle in 2001.
More communities should honor those who serve by observing Armed Forces Day.
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DEMOCRATS' "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" includes a 2.3 percent tax on medical devices that adds $30 billion a year to medical costs.
The Democratically controlled Senate voted 79-20 recently for a resolution calling for repeal of the tax.
No vote to actually repeal the tax is expected. The purpose of the stagecraft was to allow more than 30 Democratic senators to claim when they seek re-election that they voted to do so.
Such cynical attempts to mask reality undercut public respect for the party.