Sequestration cuts should be equally spread to officials
The automatic federal government spending cutbacks that are part of what is known as “sequestration” are rolling out and for many Yuma-area federal workers it will mean significant pain – the kind of pain that most of us would not want to have to endure.
These workers are being required to take a one day unpaid furlough each week – that means they will be losing 20 percent of their income as long as the cutbacks are in place. That isn't something that is easy to swallow for them and it also will have a direct impact on our community's economy. They can't spend money on nonessential goods and services when they have less income.
These furloughs are happening because lawmakers and the White House could not come to an agreement on spending and tax revenue. The automatic reductions were intended to be so draconian that lawmakers would be forced to make a deal. It didn't work as intended, and this unreasonable approach to federal spending cuts was put in place. More targeted reductions would have been far better.
Perhaps there would have been more desire to come to an agreement or take a different approach had the pain been shared more equitably instead of putting it on lower level federal workers. That could still be done, however.
Here is a suggestion. Why not require all members of Congress and senior members of the Obama administration – including the president – to take that same 20 percent reduction in pay?
It might not be as painful for them as for other federal workers, but then maybe it would be for some. It has been reported that some U.S. lawmakers use their government-provided offices as their residences to save money.
Of course, you couldn't just say take a day off each week for elected officials. They are salaried, not hourly, workers and are serving the American people at all times. But that's not a problem. They could continue to work full-time and just have 20 percent of their salaries deducted. That might make them even more anxious to end this fiasco.
Given that it would be up to the lawmakers to make this happen, it is unlikely. But it certainly would be poetic justice for them to suffer the pain that they are imposing on others.