Letter: Examine cuts by percentages



The “sidebar” to the Feb. 25 Columbian story “Blame game intensifies as big cuts loom” on sequestration indicated “How budget cuts could affect Washington state.” There were 16 bullet points, 12 listed specific dollar amounts and four just with numbers of individuals affected.

The 12 enumerated reductions totaled $328,941,000, which sequestration would eliminate from the federal budget dollars flowing into Washington. Sequestration would reduce the federal budget of $3.820 trillion by $85 million or 2.23 percent.

Of the total listed reduction for Washington state of $329 million, $297 million or 90.2 percent is directly related to military expenditures.

The remaining $32 million or 9.8 percent is the reduction of the federal funds budgeted for Washington state in the remainder of this fiscal year is for all other federal support.

It seems highly unlikely that a reduction of $32 million for a state budget of $34 billion (2013-15 biennium), which is 0.09 percent, would lead to the catastrophic financial collapse of the state.

Another interesting comparison is the $32 million of federal dollars that Washington state may lose by sequestration amounts to less than 0.9 percent of the estimated construction cost of the Columbia River Crossing.

Larry Hellie