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Action to cut tours at White House is confusing, silly
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Our desks at the Antigo Daily Journal are certainly far removed from Washington, D.C., and at times decisions being made in that district make it seem even further away.

One of them came Tuesday when it was announced that because of overtime cost and the sequester, tours of the White House were being halted. That’s just weeks before thousands of high school students from across the land, and even more adults visit the city for spring tours that for decades have included the White House.

There is a temptation to think that the shutdown came as a high-level reminder of the sequester, but most right-thinking folks realize that the tours are run by volunteers and the overtime potential is likely limited to security personnel.

We complained years ago when the state of Wisconsin was on a money-saving binge, and closed most of the waysides. It was a very noticeable action to remind state residents that we needed to save money — but the action was mostly designed as a message.

We even coined a term for it —“waysidism”—and we have seen it repeated again and again at all levels of government and by all political persuasions. Other examples include closing DNR service centers and asking the public to rely on the Internet inside; cutting snow-plowing and street repairs to meet city and county budget reductions; and putting high school football on the chopping block in the event of a failed school referendum. That last one is a favorite ploy by school districts everywhere.

The gist seems to be to cause the most public pain possible, even if more sensible alternatives exist.

Today it is White House tours, and the day they were canceled, the TSA bought $50 million in new uniforms for its employees.

Sitting at a desk in Antigo, it is easy to become confused with the actions and at times, the lack of action in the nation’s seat of power, Washington, D.C. and sometimes much closer to home.


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ANTIGO DAILY
JOURNAL
612 Superior Street
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

WEEKLY
JOURNAL
EXPRESS
612 Superior Street,
Antigo, WI 54409
Phone: 715-623-4191
Fax: 715-623-4193
Mail to: Fred Berner
MapOnUs Location: (local)

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