Sequestration Prediction Fail, #247
Defense department civilians will likely face up to five fewer unpaid furlough days than originally planned, as Pentagon leaders scrimp to find up to $900 million in savings in the final months of the budget year that ends Sept. 30, officials told The Associated Press.
Officials said no final decisions have been made, but they believe civilian workers will be forced to take six to eight unpaid days off rather than the 11 days that had been scheduled. The move comes as workers begin their fourth week of furloughs — a decision that riled department employees and prompted many to complain directly to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel as he visited military bases earlier this month.
Glass notes the original sequester furlough number was 22 days, then it was dropped to 11, and now it’s dropped to 6 to 8 days of unpaid leave. He also points out this is par for the political course:
This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who’s been paying attention. The Obama Administration ordered executive agencies not to contradict the official Administration line to try to make sequestration appear as painful as possible.
Glass also points readers to a Washington Post analysis from June 30 showing only 11 of 48 sequestration predictions have come true. Shockingly, the federal government has been able to reduce its growth in spending without the proverbial sky falling. Part of this is because Congress went back and gave more flexibility to some agencies.
While Congress’ unwillingness to make painful cuts to federal spending – the original goal of sequestration – by increasing flexibility for agencies was done out of political cowardice, it may prove beneficial for fiscal conservatives. In essence, the same levels of “cuts” are taking place, but in areas most Americans won’t see a difference in federal services. With doom and gloom predictions therefore not accurate, there may be a chance for fiscal conservatives to sell the American people on future (and larger) spending reductions.