"Devastating" Sequester Cuts Resulted in Just One Federal Layoff



Remember those "devastating" cuts that the government spending reductions ordered by the sequestration process were supposed to cause? Those cuts, a White House report said, would be "deeply destructive" to "core government functions."

In a speech last year, Obama was adamant: The cuts were "not an abstraction—people will lose their jobs."

Well, person. At least if you're talking about the federal government. As Nick Gillespie noted yesterday, Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that, amongst the 23 agencies it examined, exactly one federal employee was laid off as a result of sequestration.

As the report says in a footnote on page 51: "DOJ officials reported that one DOJ component—the U.S. Parole Commission—implemented a reduction in force of one employee to achieve partial savings required by sequestration in fiscal year 2013." 

A reporter from FoxNews.com asked federal officials for more information about the laid off employee, but didn't find anything.

Federal agencies did restrict employee travel, training, and overtime, and also relied on furloughs. But the GAO reports that most agencies were able to deal with the cuts to at least some extent by relying on "funding flexibilities"—basically, they shifted money around, sometimes carrying over money from previous years, and sometimes taking funds from areas deemed less important and spending them on prioritized projects and functions. Which suggests that they were probably oversized and overfunded to begin with, and could probably withstand some budget trimming.