Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Connected Government
- Consolidating Mission-critical Systems
- Constituent Servicing
- Continuous Monitoring: Tools and Techniques for Trustworthy Government IT
- The Data Privacy Imperative: Safeguarding Sensitive Data
- Eliminating the Pitfalls: Steps to Virtualization in Government
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- Government Cloud Brokerage: Who, What, When, Where, Why?
- Government Mobility
- Mission-critical Apps in the Cloud
- Mobile Device Management
- The Modern Federal Threat Landscape
- The Path from Legacy Systems
- Understanding the Intersection of Customer Service and Security in the Cloud
Shows & Panels
Sequestration: The ultimate organic snowman?
Thursday - 5/2/2013, 2:00am EDT
Probably not. It's hard to come by most places, unless one of your parents works at the zoo. Even then...
But if you had produced such an avant-garde, all-natural work of art in the winter, it would probably have lost a lot of its charm now that the weather is getting warmer. It's the sort of thing you either did — maybe to get attention or to make a point — but you now wish would just go away because even the best sports are no longer amused by it.
So, in place of the organic snowman, substitute the current sequestration program. It was created by politicians who are now back-pedaling and saying they wish it had never happened, wish it would go away or are exempting touchy, popular programs (like air travel) from across-the-board cuts.
According to The Washington Post's Bob Woodward, the sequestration concept was produced by the White House and presented to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in July 2011. Woodward, maybe the best-known American reporter ever, is famous for his fact-checking. He even has the time and date when he says the sequestration blueprint was delivered. The White House has since denied that it created sequestration. So, for many, it's a question of whom do you trust?
While the blame game is critically important to politicians, the point is that this unsavory Frosty the Snowman is still very much out there and nobody knows how to quit or how to make it go away.
The bottom line is that whoever did it — and Congress did let it happen — it is increasingly hard to find anybody in public life who wants to be associated with the S-word.
Critics said it unfairly hurt old people by cutting into the Meals on Wheels program, and it hurt young people by reducing funds for Head Start. The IRS could lose more than it saves if it furloughs all 90,000 employees as planned.
The FAA, under pressure from frequent-flyer politicians, received funding so that air traffic controllers, but not other workers, will be exempt from furloughs.
Agriculture's across-the-board furloughs, thanks to pressure from Congress, will not include meat and poultry inspectors.
Other exceptions to the rule can be expected in other agencies until sequestration unravels itself or the politicians drive a stake in its heart. Every day it smells a little worse.
So what do feds, the people taking the pay hits, think of all this? Bottom line, not much:
As one commented yesterday:
"You see, Mike, sequestration isn't about saving money. It's not about controlling the debt and the deficit. It's about bad political theater. For the left, it's about showing the public how radical and dysfunctional the right has become in matters of governance. For the right, it's about demonstrating that they still matter (after losing two presidential elections) and punishing feds for being feds (something that always seems to be on the agenda for the right). It doesn't really matter, to either side, what harm the sequester causes because they are (substantially) untouched by it. Further, as we have all seen, when the sequester inconveniences them, in the slightest degree, they act swiftly to remedy that part of the problem. And so the show never ends..."
NEARLY USELESS FACTOID
Compiled by Jack Moore
Before relocating to Los Angeles in 1957, the Dodgers called Brooklyn home. The team's name is derived from the term "trolley dodger," used to describe a pedestrian adept at evading the streetcars that once crisscrossed New York.
(Source: The Washington Post)
MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO
All TSP funds continue positive trend in
All Thrift Savings Plan funds continued to post positive numbers through April, though, in most cases, at a slightly lower rate than in March, according to data provided by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
Bill would ax FEHBP in favor
of Affordable Care Act health plan
Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) introduced legislation that would require federal employees, President Barack Obama, the vice president and members of Congress to use insurance under the Affordable Care Act instead of the current Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
IRS tones its systems to better
handle the tax season
Two contracts with Unisys that could be worth more than $800 million are helping the tax agency innovate and become more efficient.