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Your Opinion: Penetrate smokescreen on sequestration cuts

Your Opinion: Penetrate smokescreen on sequestration cuts

April 26th, 2013 by Bert Dirschell, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

An April 19 Reuters article headline states "Sequester budget bludgeons families with two government jobs." The article states that furloughs forced by sequestration will reduce the pay of some federal workers by as much as 12 percent a month. It further goes on to describe a couple who both work for the federal government. It states that the couple will earn $1,900 per month less due to the sequestration cuts. If that is a 12 percent cut then the couple must be making over $150,000 per month, which is ridiculous. 

The article goes on to bemoan the sacrifices being made by the Defense Department, so that it can meet the goal of reducing its 2013 spending increases by $41 billion. The Defense Department is no longer fighting full blown wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and yet it is still spending more money than ever. Are we seriously supposed to believe that a cut, equal to less than half of what the war in Iraq was costing us, is supposed to be such a huge blow?

One comment in the article was particularly of interest. "The cuts make no distinction between high performers and mediocre ones." We can thank unions for the inability to cut out the dead wood. 

Remember that the sequestration cuts are not even cuts, they are reductions in the increases in federal spending. Under Obama the federal government is spending twice what it did when Clinton was president. It is spending over about a trillion dollars a year (a 40 percent increase) more than it did under Bush, and we are no longer fighting wars on two fronts. I have been unable to find exact figures but it appears that even with the sequestration "cuts" the federal government will spend more in 2013 than it did in 2012. 

In 2010 "USA Today" compared the salaries and benefits of federal workers and workers with similar jobs in the private sector. It found that, on average, federal workers made 10 percent more than those in the private sector. Federal workers, on average, received benefit packages that were worth over four times those of workers in the private sector.  

Never believe what you read in the media! Analyze what it is trying to make you believe and be sure to check things out for yourself.