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The federal workforce as a percentage of U.S. population has dropped significantly over the last 50 years.
Government workers are rallying against the sequester and the various schemes to avoid the sequester by making similarly deep cuts but calling them something else. American Federation of Government Employees members will rally on Capitol Hill Tuesday in the face of some unpalatable alternatives:
The White House warned on Friday that hundreds of thousands of furloughs could be necessary if the automatic cuts kicks in beginning on March 1. [...]

Two Republican lawmakers, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.), have proposed legislation that would replace the sequester with a 10 percent trimming of the federal workforce, achieved by limiting agencies to one hire for every three employees that leave.

Of course, that would leave agencies badly understaffed and struggling to carry out their missions—which, in cases like the Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Labor Relations Board, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would make Republicans deliriously happy. You might almost say that's one of the hidden agendas of such proposals.

It's not like federal workers have thus far avoided cuts:

Labor groups claim federal workers have already sacrificed $103 billion toward deficit reduction in the form of pay freezes and reduced retirement benefits for future hires.
And federal employment is not at anything like an all-time high, either in raw numbers or as a percentage of the population. But since Republicans aren't interested in facts or context or proportion, these workers and the services they provide are once again bargaining chips.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 08:02 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Morons like Ayotte have no conception (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenbell, Roadbed Guy, VickiL, Hushes

    of what it takes for the Executive Branch to fulfill its responsibilities. Or else they know full well and do not WANT the Executive Branch to fulfill its responsibilities. I suspect a combination of both.

    For DECADES the average age of federal employees has moved higher. I myself am due to retire at the end of the year; I work in an office where people hang on, some of whom, formerly in good health, now get around on carts or with walkers. They soldier on trying to do their jobs because they know that when they leave the same amount of work will fall on fewer sets of shoulders.

    No pay raises for three years (so far) and NOW they want to furlough us? FUCK THAT!

    •  I suspect that "morons" like Ayotte (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob

      know full well what they're doing - namely, doing everything in their power to cripple the federal government.

      Which, when all is said and down requires a whole boatload of really, really talented people to get it's job done . ..

    •  Some organizations are already planning (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, Hushes

      to furlough, regardless of the outcome. I know of at least one DoD office that is making moves to go with 1 day a pay period furloughs starting in March even if the can gets kicked down the road on the sequester.

      •  Because of the nature of our agency's work (0+ / 0-)

        I doubt we would do anything remotely similar if we can avoid it. At least in the area of my job we're expected to perform our work within specific timeframes; I don't see how we could do this if we lack a full work-week or the funds needed to actually get the work done. As it is we already don't have enough staff to actually do the work we've got.

        •  True of a lot of federal jobs-- (0+ / 0-)

          X number of days to respond to an application or request.  Dedicated employees are already staggering under the load.

          When will it hit the nitwits who want less government that the services they want are going to go, along with those they don't want?

          We have folks in our rural community who do nothing but complain about taxes and bloated budgets, but by god when a snowplow is a few hours late, all hell breaks loose.

      •  That sounds doable. (0+ / 0-)

        I can see people alternating 3 day weekends or something like that.  Hopefully the unions will work something out that won't leave too many federal employees out for long.

      •  The word is going out (0+ / 0-)

        Our agency is telling everyone to expect to be furloughed one day a week from April through September.  This would be a defacto 20% pay cut.  I wonder if the Republicans understand the economic impact of that.

  •  We will be impacted - huge! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH

    Is this next Tuesday???   I will send to my husbands office.

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:33:47 PM PST

  •  I just learned that if sequester occurs, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, Heart of the Rockies

    the Special Education budget in my district will be cut by 4.8 million dollars.

    No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.--Lily Tomlin

    by Desert Rose on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:40:01 PM PST

    •  Feature not bug. T-liban=diasbled are just lazy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH

      scammers (cough ::ni***rs::) and Takers (cough ::illegals::) just sucking from the teat, unlike Patriots (cough ::whites::) who only want government hands off their Medicare!

      (Or are the Thuggilical-correct terms 'urban' and 'rural' now?)

  •  Seems to me that the alternatives to sequester (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH

    being talked about by Republicans are far, far worse than sequester.

    At least the sequester cuts a lot of military spending and exempts Social Security, Medicaid, and most aspects of Medicare; that's a pretty good deal given the alternative of too much military spending, which will only give the next neocon who inevitably seizes the Presidency at some dark day in the future extra motive and method to invade and occupy more countries.  

    It seems to me the best progressive solution at this point is to allow the sequester to go through, and then undo the worst cuts in future deals, which will be far easier than getting these military cuts down the road; it should also be pointed out that if military spending increases over the next few decades the way it has the last decade, we won't have money for anything else.  

    77% of voters support a public option, Congress.

    by ShadowSD on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:42:55 PM PST

  •  Just can not understand the cruelty of (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, Heart of the Rockies

    the GOP and why they would let this sequester go forward. And of all months when the federal budget actually reported a surplus this month.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Fighting Liberal at
    “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” --Gandhi:

    by smokey545 on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:42:56 PM PST

  •  Wishing a similar graph for ALL public-sector jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, Heart of the Rockies

    including state, county, municipal, school districts, etc.  

    It seems the decline would be even steeper.  

    Personally, I LIKE libraries and street repair and a zillion things that public servants provide.  

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 04:43:12 PM PST

  •  BO should have agencies post 'Closed b/c of Politi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NancyWH, Heart of the Rockies

    cs' signs.  I'd say 'Closed b/c of Thuglicans', but likely would ffend the babies feefees so much they'd impeach him.  

    (And it would not be classy enough for POTUS to do, tho by Gawd Truman would have!)

  •  They'd also be happy if we cut (0+ / 0-)

    NOAA, US Forest Service, Department of the Interior (US Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, USGS, Bureau of Indian Affairs, etc.), DOT, NIH, CDC and all the other agencies dealing with the environment, health and social services.  In other words, the guts of agencies that actually do things for the public.

  •  People in DC are getting really scared (0+ / 0-)

    Some of the Feds I know have been warned of furloughs lasting 8-22 days.  Twenty two days is a work month...a whole month of pay out the window.  This is crazy.  That loss of money will have dire consequences for the whole DC region (and other locations with high #s of Federal workers...they do exist outside of the DC area).

    Right now the economy needs that money being spent.  Contractors have been feeling the heat for some time because the budgets have been so screwed up for the past three years.  The past 2-3 years, the government offices were getting their budgets in May, and that means they had to scramble like mad to get all that money spent by the end of September.  It sounds silly, but it is damn hard to do and observe all the acquisition and contracting rules.  

    On top of that, the Fed pay has been and remains frozen...so no real raises the last 1.5 years either.

    "When a nation goes down, or a society perishes, one condition may always be found; they forgot where they came from. They lost sight of what had brought them along." --Carl Sandburg

    by Mote Dai on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 07:19:02 PM PST

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