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Local leaders react to debt deal with relief, frustration

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Posted: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 7:18 am, Tue Aug 2, 2011.

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton: "I opposed (Monday's) bill and will continue to advocate for fiscally responsible policies that address our country's debt and protect our economic recovery.

"As I have said many times before, we must address our country's debt in a reasonable manner that puts us on a path toward fiscal responsibility and protects our still-fragile economy. This bill is the wrong answer to the problems our country faces.

"I'm relieved that the threat of default is no longer imminent. However, the legislation voted on (Monday) comes at a price to wage earners and seniors.

"This bill, negotiated at the last minute and held back by Washington bickering, opens the door to harmful cuts to Medicare, national security programs and critical services for the American people."

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Gold River: "It gives (people) a certainty. There were people who called us who were concerned about the receipt of their Social Security checks and Medicare. I can say we would have made those Social Security payments because the president would have had to break the law to not make the payments.

"(The compromise) does two things — it ensures that we will pay our bills. Secondly, we begin (taking the) first credible steps toward getting our fiscal house in order, starting with immediate cuts, and cuts that will be extended over the next 10 years. We did this without raising taxes.

"In the second stage of cuts, we either have to cut $1.5 trillion over 10 years, or a balanced budget amendment has to be sent to the states. It must happen before the president can get approval to increase debt ceiling again.

"This is a remarkable step that gets this moving, but it's a first step, an important first step. This is like a 12-round championship boxing match, and we just finished the first round."

Jason Behrmann, Galt city manager: "It should have happened a long time ago. Anything to allow our economy to move forward is a good thing. The economy is in such a tenuous situation that the fear of default has had negative repercussions throughout the economy.

"Hopefully, (the agreement) will go back to growing the economy again, create jobs. I don't think it does a lot of good except that it allows us to continue and move forward, grow the economy and create jobs.

"I don't think it will have an immediate effect on the city's financial condition. We as a city don't rely on a lot of federal funds.

"It is unfortunate that our political leaders need to be so entrenched in their ideas that they are unwilling to compromise for the good of the country. I think it's a reflection of where we are as a nation — partisanship at the federal level and state level. There's such extremism on both sides. It's worse than it's been in a long time."

Assemblywoman Alyson Huber, D-El Dorado Hills: "I'm still looking through the details, but I'm pretty frustrated that, just like Sacramento, D.C. seems to be the place good ideas go to die. And you don't really see the parties working together across the aisle as much as they should. So I am frustrated about the whole process."

Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, R-Ceres: "I tried not to watch the debate on TV because it's like watching the sequel to a horror movie I just saw in Sacramento. The California model of negotiation has found its way to Washington.

"I haven't seen all the details about it. It would have been devastating to California to have the federal dollars we rely on for social programs cut. If the federal programs had stopped, it would have been problematic the poor and the elderly.

"There are some on the far right who want to scale it back, but you can't do it all in one shot."

Ta-Chen Wang, economist, California State University, Sacramento: "The cut itself looks like a big number ($22 billion), but it's really not when compared to the overall economy. The cuts will have relatively small impact on the debt. It's not sure exactly what will be cut, so the devil is in the details with this deal. But what is for sure right now is that this first part of the deal is all cuts with no revenue enhancements. Military spending is one area that could be cut heavily.

"In terms of avoiding a massive financial crisis, this deal is successful. However, I'm pretty concerned about potential cuts to things like education, scientific research and what makes America great in the longer run. Fewer grants and scholarships could be available in the coming years as a result of this deal.

"From an economic perspective I don't see either side emerging as a winner, but people say the best deals are ones in which neither party walks away happy. But hopefully this leads to a discussion about our priorities. Do we want a government that is smaller and provides less services, or do we want one that is bigger and provides more? If we want services, we have to pay for them; there really is no free lunch here."

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1 comment:

  • William Dawes posted at 8:10 pm on Wed, Aug 3, 2011.

    William Dawes Posts: 113

    So many jobs in California rely on America's tax dollars from social welfare programs. Many of those recipients are Illegal aliens. There was nothing in the bill to eliminate this national fraud against The People.

    No wonder every state in the union hates California. It is now the whining baby looking for that next pacifier, and not growing up and getting a job. The solution? Kick out Socialist "Tax and Spend" Democrats.

     

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