The budgetary sequestration was trumpeted to be such “shared pain” that our politicians could not allow it to go through. Alas, they just couldn’t come to a consensus and it was implemented in spite of a litany of dire predictions:

Military base closures and furloughs galore, air-traffic controllers laid off, control towers closed, Transportation Security Administrataion layoffs causing huge delays at airports, border patrol layoffs, meat shortages because of less inspection, etc.

All this because the government had to cut its budget by $85 billion from $3.7 trillion spending — less than a penny per dollar borrowed, errr… spent!

And what have we seen? No White House tours, national parks opening much later, waiting lists for Meals on Wheels for the elderly, decreases in funding for services for seniors and disabled, illegal immigrants released from detention.

Meanwhile, in the first three months of the year, members of the first family have been on three vacations, sometimes separately.

Vice President Joe Biden’s one-night stay in London, last month at a cost of $459,389, not to be outdone by the next night’s Paris stay for $585,000.50. Oh, and don’t forget his limo bill for $321,665.

Meanwhile, the U.S. quietly unblocks $500 million in aid for Palestinians. Why? Well, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says aid money frozen by Congress for months freed up as the Palestinian Authority faces its worst economic crisis in years. Like it’s a bed of roses here at home.

Is this shared pain?

What is painfully obvious is that the Obama administration looks to use public backlash to blame the other guys for all this, and the media let them get away with it! Will we?

Greg Theriault

Skowhegan