By KAITLYN AFFUSO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — With $85 billion worth of cuts being made nationally due to sequestration, residents from this region are growing concerned.
The Press-Republican asked people to share their views.
Tom Tobin of Cadyville said he doesn’t think he will notice much of a personal difference from sequestration but is concerned about the military cuts.
He doesn’t think it’s smart to be cutting those funds when there’s high turmoil in the world and a hostile attitude from foreign countries toward the United States.
“We should be building our military, not cutting them back.”
Tobin said sequestration wouldn’t need to have happened in the first place if President Obama were willing to make reasonable cutbacks in the right areas to allow the government to function properly.
Grand Isle resident Debbie Pariseau wants federal lawmakers to get their act together.
“It’s their job to take care of the people,” Pariseau said. “I just want them to come together to a common ground to help the people.”
She said the cuts will most likely increase the cost of food, gas and other necessities.
“It could be anytime,” she said.
Shawn Bowles of Brushton said the sequester budget cuts will be damaging. It was intended to be positive because it was supposed to get Congress to pass a budget, he said, but they’re cutting the wrong things.
He said reducing military and education spending are not going to benefit the public.
“The military’s readiness is not where it should be,” Bowles said.
Bowles retired from the Navy, so seeing those cuts bothers him. He said equipment is ready to be used but can’t be because of lack of funding.
But Rome resident Debbie McCoy, who was visiting family in the Plattsburgh area, thinks too much money is devoted to the military. It only encourages leaving troops overseas longer, she said.
“How many people will have to die for them (government) to realize that?”
She said America is concerned with providing for other countries but should be focusing on the nation’s poor, homeless and starving people instead.
“We need to fix our problems first before we fix others.”
With grandchildren in local school districts, McCoy said she hates to see the education budget get cut even further.
“They’re not even getting the education I received when I was growing up,” she said.
A major concern for her, also, is whether disability benefits will be reduced because it will affect her and many people she knows.
She thinks President Obama is a good man but doesn’t see him working well with money, which she feels is the main source of the nation’s financial problems.
“Put a woman in office; I guarantee our country will be straightened out in four years.”
With the potential for cuts happening in many areas, McCoy said, it’s not going to go unnoticed.
“I think it’s going to affect all of America in one way or another because they’ve been cutting in the wrong areas.”