Government Spending

"Devastating" Sequester Cuts Resulted in Just One Federal Layoff

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Whitehouse.gov

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. 

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  1. 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”

    This is the most that happens during the sturm and drang of even the most minor of sequesters.

    We’re so fucked.

    1. Forcing government agencies to choose between one expenditure and another is the unkindest cut of all.

    2. For now, but there’s the part after, where they go broke and it all falls down. Then at least, they’re just as fucked as the rest of us.

      1. Yeah, except they’re going to steal as much as possible to push that off as long as possible. By the time they go broke, they’ll have raided our accounts, raised our taxes, slashed “services”, and squeezed every other dime out of us that they can.

        This is what happens when you have government.

        1. Plus, if anyone really thinks that these “cuts” forced the government to stop sending its employees out on useless junkets like the GAO Vegas debacle they are sorely mistaken.

          The rate at which our Federal Behemoth can piss away revenue on things that have zero justification constitutionally is pretty unprecedented in the modern world.

          There has never been a Camelot like ours.

          1. Yeah, our prosperity has allowed the parasite to become unprecedentedly large. We’ve never seen anything like this before. I don’t think it’s going to end well.

      2. No they are not, because they will then come after us to take what we have by force.

  2. But, if we can save just one parasitic make work job, isn’t it our duty to do it!?

  3. Don’t forget, a “layoff” could be the removal of a funded but unfilled line item. There might never have been a person in that position to begin with. (It does happen, and was the primary method my agency used to avoid actually shedding people whenever there was a reduction in force)

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

    Until we know how many children were saved from starvation, I don’t think we can draw any conclusions.

    1. I want to more about this guy too!

      Reveal his identity so he can become the Kaiser Soze of federal parasites. They will tell scare their kids with stories of him.

      “There was this one guy, Kaiser Slug, who was so incompetent that he was laid off. He was even worse than the guy who watched pr0n all day or the guy who didn’t bother to show up AND submitted expense reports.”

  5. As anyone that has ever been around the decision making process during layoffs will tell you, the first round is always the deadwood (people you want to get rid of, but need a reason). So I have to say I very impressed by the number of competent employees in the federal government. It is really quite remarkable for so a large workforce. Or they could have very low standards. How bad is the guy they let go?

    1. I don’t think there was a guy, I think it was an unfilled line item.

    2. My guess it wasn’t even a Fedgov employee, because those fuckers are like cockroaches. Probably a contractor on a small potatoes underperforming contract that was about to expire anyways.

      1. Contractors are non-personnel expenses, being part of a contract instead. They don’t actually count as layoffs.

        1. They count if you lie about it.

          1. The phrasing of the report leads me to believe that it was not a substitution of a non-federal employee for an employee. It reeks more of “We haven’t found somebody we like for this job yet, so we can meet the mandate by giving it up and not actually lose anything” But that is also just a personal theory.

            1. I can see that happening, too. In fact, my office announced a couple of openings immediately ahead of the sequester, and as far as I can tell, no one was ever interviewed or hired.

  6. The other day I saw one of our Fedgov big bosses getting into a chauffeured Town Car with his assistant scurrying behind. So, yeah. And no, it wasn’t an Uber, because it was inside the security barrier.

    Apparently the building I work in got a visit from Mr. Ed today. So glad I’m teleworking. It’s not so much his visit that bothers me, but the starfucking fanboys and girls.

      1. Anyone with a whiff of power in DC has fanbois. And girls. The SQUEEEEEEING on my Facebook feed from a couple of my colleagues today was sickening.

        1. I’m imagining Kerry pulling up in a town car mobbed by a throng of dumpy, middle-aged women dressed badly in beige, screaming and flashing their tits at him.

          Something like that?

          1. THat would at least provide some entertainment value. It’s more like everyone trying to act cool and professional in their brown-on-beige-on-brown outfits (it is spring, after all – time to put away the black-on-gray-on-black outfits!), then squealing and giggling after he leaves.

            1. Recently I was at the DMV trying to sort out a convoluted problem with a car title. The curmudgeon behind the counter clearly didn’t want to deal with this headache, so I made an attempt to stay on her good side by chatting her up with some jokes and expressing sympathy for the plight of the downtrodden DMV worker. At some point I made a joke about the huge stacks of paperwork and suggested there must be a building in Sacramento that looks like the giant warehouse at the end of the first Indiana Jones movie. At this, her eyes lit up and she told me in a conspiratorial tone that she’d once been to the main DMV building in the capitol. Apparently it’s both “big” and “impressive” and all those stacks of paper are just so very organized there. She was awestruck with the power of bureaucracy.

              1. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station bureaucratic building!

        2. I have a high school acquaintance that apparently works for the Fed. She had a picture of her and Janet Yellen on Facebook, and was getting all worked up about Tim Geitner visiting her workplace. It’s pretty disgusting to see such naked power-worship.

          1. The only politician I would ever be proud to have a picture with is Gary Johnson, and that’s because he’s a badass motherfucker.

            Meanwhile, the guy who was actually elected throws like a girl.

        3. You have my deepest sympathies for the hell you must endure.

        4. Hollywood for ugly people.

    1. Apparently the building I work in got a visit from Mr. Ed today.

      Perhaps we should replace our TOP MEN with talking horses. Things wouldn’t be any worse, could they?

  7. I’m getting this feeling like it’s deja vu all over again…

    1. Tonight on “It’s the Mind”…

  8. They laid off the guy who counts the money being dumped in the Money Hole

    http://youtu.be/JnX-D4kkPOQ

  9. The horror. The horror.

  10. Are they counting Snowden as a layoff? Or is he still getting a paycheck.

  11. And that employee was Captain America who would have been at Bengazi if not for the republithugs and their evil budget cuts….err I mean their evil slowing of budget growth.

  12. “Which suggests that they were probably oversized and overfunded to begin with, and could probably withstand some budget trimming.” Petey gets the award for UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR!

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