Letting It Out

Every once in a while, I glance at “Let It Out,” the Star feature that showcases reader remarks. Yesterday, I was stunned to read the following:

“It appears our President is more willing to risk the lives of people flying than to cut entitlements. A sad and dangerous state of affairs.”

In two brief sentences, the writer displayed two of the traits most responsible for today’s toxic and retrograde political environment: ignorance and lack of empathy. Ignorance, because the flight delays resulting from the sequester—while inconvenient—pose no risk to safety; because the terms of the sequester (a result of Republican intransigence) gave the president no discretion to determine what budgets would be affected; and because the power to “cut entitlements” rests with Congress, not the president.

It’s one thing to be uninformed or willfully ignorant of basic facts. What struck me most forcefully about the remarks, however, was their mean-spiritedness, their absolute lack of awareness or empathy for the recipients of what the author dismisses as “entitlements.”

Despite the disproportionate attention paid to them, flight delays are merely an annoyance—albeit an annoyance to the more privileged among us. Other consequences of the sequester have included delay or termination of cancer treatments for people on Medicaid, and cutbacks to Head Start, to nutrition programs serving pregnant women and children, and to Meals on Wheels, to name just a few. That these cutbacks are causing real pain to less fortunate, less politically-empowered people evidently hasn’t occurred to the commenter–or doesn’t matter.

Too bad those who contribute to “Let it Out” don’t have to sign their names. We’d know who to avoid.


  1. Uninformed and willfully ignorant? What do you call a President of the United States playing politics with the sequester – the idea of which was hatched in the White House – for the purpose of inconveniencing as many people as possible in a (now failed) effort to make the GOP look bad and thus (in O’s mind) put pressure on them to cave?

    Careful, your “uninformed” and “willfully ignorant” bias is showing.

  2. P.S. I bet you don’t have guts (or character) to publish that comment, do you? (I don’t hold comments on my blog for moderation.)

  3. Thanks for not just rolling your eyes and ignoring comments like this one in “Let It Out,” Sheila. Most of us have grown too numb to these thoughtless brain farts to parse their stupidity from their meanness.

  4. I am 76 years old today and one of those moochers who depend on Social Security and a small retirement check from PERF, both of which I paid into for years. I pay monthly for my Medicare so I will be one of the many who will suffer if proposed cuts take effect. I have been inconvenienced by delayed flights and once sat in a wheelchair in Tampa airport for 5 1/2 hours waiting for a repair part for my plane – odd that a plane from Indianapolis delivered the part to Tampa to fly me back to Indianapolis. It is the airport employees who watch the skies and the blips on their computer screens to keep all planes and passengers safe. These are issues whose funding should never be in jeopardy. Many, as my son Scott and his mother-in-law Pat, recently had to fly to Florida to take care of my dead son’s legal matters and his home. They flew both ways safely due to the air traffic controllers, well trained pilots and well maintained planes. By the way; Pat is another of the many moochers living on entitlements. Whoever wrote that “Let it out” comment is obviously young, has a job, home, health care, etc. and no idea that he/she will eventually will be one of us moochers waiting for our montly Social Security check and can’t afford to fly anywhere. Or is a card-carrying Tea Partyer with a full wallet and bank account.

  5. You’re right, Betty. Isn’t it sad that some little boys never grow up?” I double-dog dare ya!’

  6. The funds in question are not “entitlements”—as though they have not been earned. As others have implied, those monies have been earned.

Comments are closed.