Canceled fireworks displays at U.S. military bases are being blamed on sequester-related budget cuts just days after President Barack Obama pledged $7 billion in taxpayer money to fund energy initiatives in Africa.
“Expect fewer patriotic displays this July 4, thanks to federal budget cuts,” reported the Huffington Post. The article when on to catalogue canceled Independence Day celebrations at Fort Bragg, Shaw Air Force Base, and elsewhere.
Festivities were also canceled at Camp Lejeune. When a Pittsburgh company offered to put on a fireworks show for free, government officials declined the offer, citing additional costs.
“They were very appreciative, they were certainly hoping they could do it. There just aren’t the funds due to sequestration,” Dr. George Zambelli of the Zambelli Family fireworks company told KDKA Pittsburgh.
Military families were crestfallen.
“We’re very disappointed. This is the Fourth of July we’re celebrating,” one military family told KDKA.
Some veterans were irritated.
“It’s a load of crap,” said veteran Mark Bergman. “We sacrifice everything, our time without families.”
Still, sequestration has apparently not slowed the federal government from pledging billions abroad.
Obama says his $7 billion “Power Africa” plan will bring “light where there is currently darkness.”
Obama just returned from his Africa trip which the Washington Post estimates cost taxpayers between $60 million and $100 million.
Congress’s budget sequester has not cut overall government spending, which increased from FY2012 to FY2013, but has slowed increases to federal spending.