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The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

By the way... there's a crossword at the bottom of this page

Saturday, February 23, 2013

I am tired of the lies!

Sequestration: either the isolating of jury members or the automatic automatic budget cutting Congress is facing. I want to talk about the latter.

Much FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt) is being spread regarding sequestration. One might think the economy will collapse if Congress does not prevent it by some unnamed and unexplained legislation.

Here's some truth:

No budgets will be actually cut. Yes, I know politicians and their spokespeople are claiming that but it is untrue. What will be cut is the increase in projected spending. And the amount? About 5%. That is 5% of a non-existent budget. What? You thought we had a federal budget? No, we don't. We haven't had one for years. It is the job of the House of Representatives to create one. And they have done so each year. However, after they pass the budget, it goes to the Democrat majority Senate where it has died in committee or been voted down each year.  Yet the Republicans are blamed.

But let's go back to the Sequestration fallout. According to what you hear and see in the mainstream media, hundreds of thousands will lose their jobs because of this. This ignores the simple fact that no federal employee will lose his or her job permanently. Not only that, he or she will eventually get the pay lost if "furloughed" temporarily.

And it ignores the fact that any large budget undoubtedly has at least 5% of "fat" embedded.

When I was working for AT&T, the company would introduce austerity measures from time to time. Overtime would be slashed, time reporting would be scrutinized closely, and layoffs would be threatened. Then reality stepped in and hiring freezes would be implemented, overtime would creep back in, and people would be offered incentives to retire early. And the fiscal "disaster" would fade away.

If I may be blunt, we (you and I) are being lied to and have been for years by the people we elect to office.

What would you do if if your household income was increased by only 5% the next year instead of the 10% you were promised? You'd cope. You'd watch your spending, maybe not go out to dinner (or go out less often), and maybe look for a car with better gas mileage... to counter the spiraling gasoline prices. Not Congress, not government... They will seek more and higher taxes, they will not cut spending, they will not accept a cut that isn't a cut.

And you, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, will foot the bill... or else.


Janette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Janette said...

I'm going to try again, without a million typos!
The DOD briefed their people last week on the 22 days of furlough expected from 1April to 30 Sept. That is a 20% cut in pay. Since they are required to cut 10% from the year budget, and started at the half point, they have to compress the cut.
My son is active duty, he will not be effected by pay, but the hospital will go to a 4 day work schedule and most of the mechanics for helicopters are civilian these days. It will be interesting to see what they do.
My son in law does other things in "the system". His work will go down to 4 days a week. They live below their means- so they will simply cut back even more.
Both men are seriously considering leaving government service. My son is a physicist and son in law has a farm- even though he is a talented linguist.
This sequester is necessary- but one cannot expect to attract the best and the brightest if commitments of employment are not followed though. Would it not be better to get those at the top to retire. Oh that is right, they cannot because they overspent in their 30's.
BTW- all other federal agencies will have a communal cut of 20% which means 3 instead of 22 days of leave without pay. google DoD policy on sequester if you want to see the briefings.

Douglas said...

Well, the Fiscal Year starts on October 1 and ends on September 30.
So that is quite misleading.
Second, they go into effect March 1.

Third, they are not actual cuts. As I pointed out in the post they are cuts in projected budgets and the budgets will increase... just not by as much as they would have without sequestration.

Here's a good explanation from U.S. News and World Report:

The Defense budget will be "cut" by $500 billion. Which makes no sense since the 2012 DOD budget was $707.5 billion. But, when you look at all related defense spending, you find a number between 1.03 Trillion and 1.415. Yes, it seems we do not actually know how much we're spending.

Again, you and (I am sure) government employees are being lied to. The biggest impact will be to civilian defense contractors and their employees. I am not in favor of anyone being hurt but I am also not in favor of out of control spending and a lack of accountability on the part of our government. It is not their money! It is ours.

Douglas said...

Oh, by the way, all those furloughed in the previous budget battle in 1996 (I think) got their pay reimbursed when they returned to work. So they weren't hurt in the long run.

Douglas said...

One more thing: I mentioned a $500 billion cut for defense. I did not explain that this amount is over ten years... for an average of $50 billion per fiscal year. Let's see... what percentage of $707.5 billion is that? 7.067%