Monday, March 1, 2010

Not a good plan: cutting the USCG budget

One of my erstwhile readers (not entirely sure what that means, but it sounds good) over this weekend sent me this link to an Op-Ed, from the New York Times.

DESPITE the pressing need to cut government spending, under President Obama’s spending proposal all the nation’s military services are set to see their budgets increase — all, that is, except the Coast Guard, the nation’s chronically overburdened maritime force, responsible for everything from global search and rescue to port security.

Just last night, also on WBZ news, I watched video of the Coast Guard rescuing some fishermen off a boat that had floundered off Dennis, on Cape Cod. I don't think I would feel safe being out on the hazardous waters around here if I did not know there was a Coast Guard station in Newburyport.

What the heck?

Further, the dredging of the channel at the mouth of the Merrimack River - the big Coast Guard boats are scraping bottom. When did the USCG become the bottom of the barrel?

I don't see where cutting anything from a budget of a branch of service that protects and serves makes much sense. When I was floundering around on the Refuge that time, my one consolation was that eventually (hopefully before I froze to death) the Coast Guard helicopter would fly over. I don't even know where that helicopter comes from, but by the gods, I see it all the time.

The United States Coast Guard deserves more than this. I hope someone reconsiders.


Anonymous said...

AMEN! The Coast Guard are unsung heroes who save lives every day at extreme risk to their own personal safety.

macsurf said...

Anon, I could not agree more.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely outrageous, although the upside would be a lot fewer unsafe boaters after a period of time.

The chopper flies out of CG Station Gloucester, and it's doubtful they'd airlift you off of the beach (and more importantly, if they did you might be stuck with the bill).

- The Carrot