Opinion: The Washington Monument Syndrome

During my 9 years in Washington, from 1988 to 1997, I witnessed firsthand the problems of Washington, D.C. Each time Congress would reduce the budget of the District of Columbia, the liberals would resort to the Washington Monument Syndrome. Instead of reducing the redundant overhead positions, they would close the Smithsonian Museums and the Washington Monument.

Their purpose was to hurt the hard-working men and women who had saved up all year to take the family to Washington to see the museums and tour the Monument. Their method worked and after a short period it was back to business as usual with unchecked spending, redundant unnecessary jobs, and growing debt.

Fast forward to the end of February 2013, days from the $85 billion cuts in federal spending, called sequestration. This was the brain child of Obama’s White House Chief of Staff, Jacob Lew. The Obama administration is once again returning to the old Washington Monument ploy, by releasing illegal immigrants from prison, cutting air traffic controllers, TSA agents, Department of Agriculture examiners and every other agency that would directly hurt the working men and women and their families of this nation. This is Obama’s leadership: hurt the working folks and make the Republicans look bad.

This not only shows Obama’s total lack of leadership, it also shows that he could care less about the people of this country. Not once has the administration asked for the flexibility to make the cuts where they could achieve the most savings without hurting essential personnel. If he had any work or business experience, he would realize the cuts in spending must be made in the various agencies by reducing redundant, high-salaried positions that are not critical to the safety and defense of this country.

The Department of Transportation, like most Government agencies, has hundreds of directors that direct directors that direct directors. Drop 1,000 of those $150,000 per year salaries and that would not slow down air traffic or add 2 hours to airline check-ins. The same could be done at Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Energy, and Defense.

That would be a common sense approach to a very serious problem now facing each and every American. As the deficit grows exponentially every day, Obama wants to raise taxes again and let the debt continue to grow with modest spending cuts.

If we had a leader in the White House, each department head would be given a 20% reduction of unnecessary redundant overhead high-salaried positions in Washington. Then they would be required to then take a similar reduction to the field offices.

This bloated government did not happen overnight. It has taken years of neglect and business as usual to get this way. Now is the time for action, not continued finger-pointing. Obama’s answer is getting very old. He continues to be part of the problem, not part of the solution. If the White House and Congress do not start to make the tough cuts in spending that are necessary, our grandchildren will have very little to look forward to. Forget the Washington Monument nonsense. Make the tough decisions that reverse this climbing debt by putting everything on the table, even the entitlements, and work together to fly it. Call your Congressman, call your Senators, and tell them to cut the spending NOW!

Jim Adams is a former Chief of Staff to three Postmaster Generals, the former U.S. Postal Service District Manager NH/VT, and the current Chairman of Granite State Taxpayers. He also serves on the New Hampshire State Veterans Council. A lifelong Granite State resident, except for four years in the U.S. Navy and nine years in Washington. D.C., Jim is married to wife Sandra with whom he has six children and ten grandchildren.

Author: Jim Adams

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