Our View: Quit messing around and get to work, politicians
We see you there behind those bushes, politicos. Get out here and get your work done!
Why should we care here on the local level about sequestration and whether Democrats make a deal with Republicans (not to mention the endless string of other budget doomsday deadlines that we now use to manage our federal affairs)?
How about that $400 million levee project shared by Sutter and Butte counties?
James Gallagher, Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency chairman, as reported last week by Griffin Rogers, points out that the levee project is fundamental to everything the county has planned. And the county has plenty planned, coming out of a major recession and smoothing out a rocky economy.
If you're a homeowner in a flood plain without levee protection, you suffer under the mandated burden of flood insurance. If you are a business interested in building, you have to add to the cost to mitigate potential flooding.
The flood control project could be delayed by sequestration uncertainty and cuts.
And, of course, there's Beale: funding to rebuild a civil engineering building that burned in January, looks dicey; civilian workers will likely have hours cut; and across the country, we're flying far fewer planes.
Sequestration is a way for Democrats and Republicans to shirk responsibility, avoid talking to each other, and feel as if they're eluding blame. It's time for this country's federal delegates to come out from behind the cover of sequestration and come up with a budget solution. All out in the open.
A few more Republicans could mean better debate
We certainly don't see ourselves as either party's mouthpiece, but we wouldn't mind seeing something come of the revitalization talks emanating from last weekend's convention of California Republicans.
When one party far-and-away outnumbers the other party, things might get done more quickly; but with less deliberation. You need to have two sides to have a debate, and a lot can get hashed out in some good back-and-forth.
The state GOP is short on cash, and has been losing places in the state Legislature and Congressional delegation. Democrats have majorities in both the state Assembly and Senate. The GOP holds no state elected offices.
Delegates to the convention elected Jim Brulte as party chairman. He says he will concentrate on fundraising and outreach, particularly reaching out to Latinos.
They're going to have to do a lot of ground work; the problem starts with registrations — fewer than 30 percent of the state's voters are registered Republicans.
There are Republican majorities in our counties, of course. But not by all that much: Republicans outdistance Democrats by only 8 points in Yuba County, and 12 points in Sutter County. That's enough to keep our representatives in the GOP … but not enough to help turn a statewide tide.
Looking for numbers to wow yourself with?
Wow. Insurance numbers. As reported by Ben van der Meer in last Sunday's edition, health insurance costs over a decade:
• Climbed $700,000 for Yuba Community College District. Even with a few less employees.
• For Yuba County employees and their families, increased from $961 to $1,734 per month.
• Increased a half-million dollars for Yuba City.
Those are just some of the costs we can look at publicly. Health insurance is increasing just as dramatically for the private businesses that offer it.
It's scary and it's not much wonder that so many folks approved of the Affordable Care Act, even though they didn't particularly care for it and, perhaps, didn't understand it all. Some of us are desperate for anything.
Maybe we've worried too much for the last several decades about who's to blame for rising costs. It's pretty obvious that it costs more to live longer, that every year there are more ways to live longer, and that a lot more of us are living longer. It's more expensive. But where does it end?
Wow, one more time.