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I Survived Sequestration

April 3, 2013 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

This week marks the one-month anniversary of one of the most terrifying events in American history: the sequester. So, with great trepidation, I have climbed out of my bunker to survey the devastation and send off this column.

I was shocked to discover that somehow mankind had survived. Government spending had been cut, or at least the rate of growth had been slowed, yet everywhere I looked people were going about their daily lives as if nothing had happened. There has been no outbreak of diseases from tainted, uninspected meat. Airplanes have not fallen from the sky; indeed, they continue landing and taking off more or less on schedule. The American military is still conducting operations around the world, in countries both important and obscure. Al-Qaeda has not established the caliphate in Kabul, let alone New York. Mass starvation had been held at bay, for the time being.

Several federal agencies were forced to impose hiring freezes, but the federal government is hardly closing its employment business. In just one week last month, nearly 4,600 job listings were posted on USAJobs.gov, the federal government’s recruiting site. These include, according to Senator Tom Coburn, a counsel for the Morris K. Udall Scholarship Foundation with a salary of up to $155,000, a director for the Air Force History and Museums Policies and Programs with a salary of up to $165,300, law librarians at the Justice Department with salaries reaching $115,742, a Department of Labor assistant to answer phones at a salary of up to $81,204, four public-affairs specialists earning up to $116,000, and 23 recreation aides.

As usual, the doomsday predictions about lower government spending haven’t come true.”

There has been some real pain, of course, depending on where you look. The White House cancelled some public tours. The National Archives was forced to return to the hours of operation it maintained prior to 2008. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s staff apparently could no longer afford “high quality” meals in the Capitol cafeteria. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released thousands of undocumented immigrants from detention centers — wait, actually, that happened before the sequester started. Meanwhile, some federal officials continue to warn that eventually terrible things really will happen.

The dreaded furloughs of federal workers have turned out to be less than advertised. The Continuing Resolution passed by Congress a couple of weeks ago provided federal agencies with additional flexibility to …read more
Source: OP-EDS

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