Closing assisted living shows cuts can have consequences

While our national debt continues to be a rallying cry for some on the right, we must remember that we can’t always cut our way to prosperity.

While past stimuluses have shown some small positive effects for our overall economy, there’s definitely no guarantee that drastic cuts, austerity programs if you will, would have grown the economy any faster. Take Britain for instance, their austerity program has led to just the opposite affect and they’ve seen a much worse slowdown in their economy.

And perhaps the biggest thing we need to remember is that cuts have consequences – cut unemployment benefits or food stamps and our grocery stores and other retailers feel the pinch. This, on top of general reduced spending because of worries about an already soft economy.

Although the right has backed away from “cut taxes and everything will be all right,” now it’s “we must address the national debt.” However, the new kindler, gentler GOP, including Paul Ryan, still have his budget a the heart of their platform. That budget makes deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. To just cut these, rather than fix the problems, would have definite consequences for a large share of our fellow Americans. And don’t get us started on Social Security, some act like this isn’t something we all pay for, like the government is just giving it to us as an unearned gift.

It’s still unclear exactly why the North Valley Assisted Living ended up so far in debt, whether it was due to prior bad management or reduced federal and state funding, or some combination of both. However when you close it down, cut it if you will, not only do people lose their jobs and the paychecks that were spent in Tonasket and Oroville, but our elder friends and relatives are left homeless. In this issue Brent Baker talked to just a few about the situation they find themselves in after the board shut the assisted living down.

What could have been done differently, we don’t have the answers, but below you’ll find the results of our online poll which shows the majority of those voting wished the board would have found another way.

Our next poll will be about gun control and it should be interesting to see if local opinions have been changed on what should be done to try and address guns and the role they played in the recent tragic incidents at Sandy Hook and elsewhere.