From the Washington Post:
Administration says furloughs are possible, but not immediately
By Joe Davidson | December 20, 2012
They don’t want it to happen. They don’t necessarily think it is going to happen. But Obama administration officials want federal employees to be ready if it does happen.
“It” is sequestration, the process of across-the-board budget cuts that are scheduled to begin taking effect in January unless the White House and Congress come to an agreement to prevent “it.”
To get folks ready, federal agencies sent messages to their employees Thursday to explain what sequestration is and is not and how it would, and would not, affect operations, albeit in general terms.
“Under sequestration, we would still have funds available after January 2, but our overall funding for the remainder of the year would be reduced,” said a message from “Charlie B,” also known as NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr.
Nearly identical language, supplied by the Office of Management and Budget, was in messages sent by agencies.
Explaining that sequestration — which was put into place by the Budget Control Act of 2011 — is different from a government shutdown in which agency appropriations have lapsed, the message from Bolden and others added: “For these reasons, I do not expect our day-to-day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2, should sequestration occur. This means that we will not be executing any immediate personnel actions, such as furloughs, on that date. Should we have to operate under reduced funding levels for an extended period of time, we may have to consider furloughs or other actions in the future.” …
This is once again the same kind of fearmongering stories that we get every time there are budget negotiations.
(By the way, this ‘article’ is from the Post’s federal worker columnist, who is apparently obsessed with
lying about telling us about how much federal workers suffer.)
Layoffs, or reductions in force, were not mentioned in the messages or predicted by administration officials during the call, but the possibility of “other actions in the future” clearly makes labor leaders wary.
“Sequestration would very likely lead to furloughs and RIFs,” said J. David Cox, president of the American Federation of Government Employees, “so will the spending caps which are also part of the Budget Control Act — the law whose terrible provisions will undermine federal employees and agencies for an entire decade.” …
When was the last time anyone in the federal government was laid off? And "furloughs" are just government-speak for paid vacations.
Rep. James Moran (D-Va.), whose northern Virginia district is home to about 165,000 current and former federal employees, said he worries they [federal employees] still don’t understand the real possibility of furloughs and layoffs.
“They really are taking this with kind of as casual an attitude as Wall Street is taking it,” he said. “But by the time we get to next week, between Christmas and New Year’s, all of a sudden they’re going to realize how serious this is. This OMB notice may alert them that this is real. I don’t think most of them accept that this is real yet, even though they’ve been reading about it. They think Congress has been doing its normal thing. I’m very much worried, it’s going to be chaos if we go over the cliff, and I think there’s at least a 50-50 chance that we’ll go over.” …
In other words, Mr. Moran is trying to whip up the federal workers to put pressure on Congress to ‘solve the fiscal cliff’ by increasing taxes.
By the way, lest we forget, Obama’s Justice Department prohibited government contractors from warning their employees about any possible layoffs, as they are required to do by law. (The ‘WARN Act.’)
The DOJ even offered to pay the legal bills for the contractors, if they got sued. They didn’t want anyone to be worrying about getting laid off before the elections. But the elections are over now.
The question is how much pain, how soon.
What a laugh.
Besides, what is there to worry about? After all, Mr. Obama said in his last debate with Mitt Romney that there would be no sequestration. And when has he ever misled us before?