| Jul 14 2013
This weekend, the skies over Pensacola Beach were not filled with the usual roar of F/A-18 Hornets or Fat Albert’s four turboprops. There were considerably fewer people flocking to the white sand beaches from Fort Pickens to Via DeLuna. And Little Sabine Bay had fewer boats parked in its waters than in years past.
The Blues were grounded this weekend all because of a feckless decision made two years ago more than 900 miles away in Washington, D.C.
Two years ago, the so-called “sequester” was conceived by President Obama as part of the deal to raise the nation’s debt limit and allow the federal government to borrow and spend trillions more.
As painful as the canceling of the Blue Angels’ 2013 season has been for Pensacola, it is symbolic of a government that can’t prioritize its budgeting decisions, and the much deeper impacts being felt in communities throughout America.
It’s even more infuriating when you take into account how the Blue Angels figure in the grand scheme of our $3.8 trillion federal budget.
The Blue Angels’ operating budget for 2013 is around $40 million, and canceling their 2013 season saved around $28 million. That’s less than one percent of the total cuts made to the Navy’s operating budget for the 2013 fiscal year.
There’s little doubt these savings could have been found elsewhere.
For example, a Pentagon report recently released uncovered a massive, $34-million, 64,000 square foot building in Helmland province Afghanistan was built despite the fact that military commanders didn’t ask for it and objected to it being built.
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