Pay for kids now, or pay more later

I would like to thank Rep. Rick Larsen for sharing his view in, “What’s at risk if we go over the cliff.” I believe that many people are unaware of what our nation is facing this January if Democrats and Republicans are unable to come to some sort of agreement. What worries me most is the impact it will have on our children. “A hundred thousand fewer kids in Head Start.” Research has shown us that participation in Head Start greatly decreases the need for costly special services in grade school, it increases a child’s chances of graduating high school, and makes it less likely they will end up in the criminal justice system.

The way I see it, we pay now or we pay a whole lot more later. Let’s move on to the K-12 system which is also set to take a huge financial hit. Here in Washington, the McCleary Decision has already made it clear that public education in our state is grossly underfunded. What happens when we lose additional funding from the federal government? The children who will suffer from lack of a quality education are the same children that will be entering the workforce a decade from now. I’m not so sure they will be qualified to do much. Especially considering fewer will be able to attend college with the loss of grants and subsidized loans. I guess we’ll have to seek qualified physicians, teachers, engineers and so forth from other countries.

Add to that the struggle middle and lower income families face when thousands are laid off and tax breaks they count on are eliminated. It is going to get pretty difficult for most people to make ends meet. I am begging our lawmakers to do something before our children and future are pushed over the cliff.

Nicole Erickson