Ripple effect of furloughs: Life beyond the Beltway

When the White House-designed, congressionally-engineered sequestration began, some people envisioned an end-of-the-world scenario. Didn’t happen!

Sequestration and its automatic no-exceptions (but with exceptions) across-the-board (sort of) cuts started with a whimper rather than a bang. But now that furloughs have begun, people in the real world — feds and people who depend on the government dollar — are being hit. Meantime, sheltered Washington-based politicians are immune from any hardships.

Here’s what one thoughtful fed has to say:

“There will be real, measurable consequences from furloughs in the future, and they will be felt the hardest outside the Beltway. And it is not surprising that no one inside the Beltway seems to care. While those in D.C. spend lots of time telling each other how good they are doing, those outside D.C. are living the consequences.


“We are already sarcastic about the (lack of) leadership in D.C. We don’t have far to go to get to the next step — apathy. It is a fact that the furlough threat has already made its mark. For many of us, the pay loss is manageable. The impact on our desire to work here isn’t. In fact, as I look around the organization in which I work, and in particular observe the 175 or so in my department, I see really hard workers — those I have aspired to emulate despite being their boss — suddenly not caring anymore. Once you arrive at apathy, turning back is nearly impossible.

“I have lost three employees in the last month due to furloughs (which haven’t even begun yet). Two during exit interviews expressed the lack of appreciation shown from the furlough threat. The third — the inability to make it on reduced pay. Combined with award freezes, hiring freezes and the fact that all three were top-notch individuals (the cream of their college class) with five years or less experience and in whom we’d invested great effort to develop, we are quickly, in a nonsurgical fashion, cutting the heart out of our future organization. Maybe that’s the goal (wait, there I go being sarcastic again).

“Finally, and maybe most concerning, is the work we do — at least where I work — is a 24/7 warfighting support job. We are on-call. When aircraft crash, we go find out why. When aircraft have trouble, can’t fly and are in a location that is dangerous, we provide them real-time assistance, so they can get to safety. It’s what we do. We love the work. We love those who defend our freedom. Those living outside D.C. often live in communities where the neighbors on both sides have loved ones deployed. We are scared that the exact folks they have exempted from furloughs (and rightfully so — those in the fight) are going to pay the dearest and ultimate consequence from the furlough follies — loss of life. For almost everyone that works for me, that is the biggest concern of all.” — Anonymously Apathetic


Compiled by Jack Moore

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(Source: Slate)


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