I heard one idea over this weekend. The idea was that the sequestration was intentionally designed to spread the pain out so that it wouldn’t hit any one group too hard to bear.
On the face of it, that is patently absurd. it hasn’t started yet and probably won’t in my office for another few weeks at least. When it does finally kick in, I will be told to take one unpaid leave day every week. That is a 20% pay cut.
Set aside arguments about how I was already overpaid and I’m a scummy government employee who should work in the private sector, etc. That may all be true but not relevant in this case.
1. But if the point is to spread the pain around, where are the welfare people who will be getting 20% less?
2. How about the 20% decline in food stamps?
3. Or the Medicare/medicade payments getting whacked by 20%. Not the doctors getting 20% less pay for their work, but the patients getting 20% fewer covered services?
4. How about the retirees and permanently disabled “can’t work because I am too fat” people getting a 20% cut in payments?
5. Why am I not hearing about the section 8 housing people being told that they will have to cover 20% of their own rent this month?
6. Why aren’t 20% of those people with Obamaphones being told where to turn them in?
7. Why isn’t PBS off the air for 20% of the time?
You see. This isn’t sharing the pain at all. This is the federal workforce being taxed because congress knows they can get away with it. The Serfs are angry at the faceless “government” and have been hearing for years about how we are all overpaid lay-abouts with gold plated benefits packages. The divide and conquer strategy works again. No one will take the side of the people they don’t like, even when those people are being unjustly treated.
Example 1: I also heard on the radio this weekend a discussion with a NYC police officer who was mouthing off about how the New New York state law against 10 round magazines was pushed through in the middle of the night and with no exemptions for police officers. When another caller mentioned that there is a federal law that makes LEOs and retired LEOs exempt from such laws, now dropped his condemnation of the acts. he didn’t care that everyone else who isn’t an LEO still has to comply with that law.
Example 2: Catholic church was a big supporter and promoter of Obamacare. Then when it passed they discovered that they were not exempt. So they are against it now. But if they were exempt, they would be fine watching it imposed on the rest of us.
A righteous man should be against injustice every time, even if the object of that injustice is unsympathetic.
I agree that the government spends too much money, has too much power, and is grosly inefficient even at those things it does that are properly within its limited powers. I also agree that the DoD is grossly bloated and much larger than any sane calculation of need would justify. But the sane approach to these problems would be to make the government smaller. Have fewer employees. Fewer duties to be performed. Fewer powers and authorities to inflict. The manner of this sequestration is just mindlessly stupid implementation that does not solve any problems.