Re: “15,000 teachers at military schools will get furloughs” (TNT, 3-5).
The Defense Department’s planned furlough of schoolteachers in the face of sequester is disturbingly insensitive and in need of public review, particularly in light of national interests. With thousands of nuclear warheads, redundant weapons systems, a history of cost overruns and contractor fraud, the department chooses to compromise the future of children under its care.
In the same vein of national interests the Department of Transportation, when required to take a 2 percent reduction in its budget, singles out travelers at airports. National interests have become synonymous with scare tactics.
The sequester is the most intense scare tactic at achieving meaningful debt reduction because self-preservation in the name of national interests is an obsession of federal institutions and self-sacrifice is alien. There are attempts to eliminate it in the name of national interests. On the other hand, Washington, D.C., takes marching orders from its constituencies and all have their own national interest. In the words of Pogo who said “we have met the enemy and he is us,” everyone has a national interest in their self.
National interests sustain our unsustainable lifestyle(s) because the dollar is the world’s reserve currency which D.C. sells in unsustainable amounts. The Federal Reserve, in the name of national interests, leverages our currency at unsustainable interest rates. I’m afraid that meaningful federal debt reduction will not evolve out of a sequester or national interests but will come from world markets.