The Positives of Sequestration

A Sequester Song (from 50 Billion and the Young Turks)

Crisis -OR- Opportunity?

Never let a good crisis go to waste. Some might say nearly all modern day politicians live to this motto. The belief is that crisis gets treated as opportunity to institute change.

There is no law that says we have to look at sequestration as a disaster in the making. We can choose to view it as an opportunity to begin moving towards changes that we have long hoped for. Consider:

  • Longer Lines -OR- Less Groping Of Travelers?
  • Federal Furloughs –OR- An Experiment in 4-Day Work Weeks?
  • Moving Towards ‘Government Employees R.I.P’
  • Defense Slashed -OR- Offense Slashed?
  • Less Law Enforcement –OR- Who Needs Those Laws Anyway?
  • Less Child Care –OR- More Time with Your Children?

Sequestration was in the news a lot in 2013, with a lot of folks testifying before Congress about how badly it would affect the status quo. This article will offer for your consideration some of the potential positive ways of viewing sequestration

Longer Lines -OR- Less Groping Of Travelers?

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) cuts are supposed to mean longer lines at airports. Supposedly the gate checks will take more time, since there will be less workers to process people through the gates. Is that the same processing that some folks have been complaining about? Is the good news side of this that the few workers that remain will have less time to grope grandmothers and children as they try to travel?

How many folks out there remember a time when our taxpayer dollars did not pay for a Department of Homeland Security? Can the Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security be consolidated? Why do we need two defense departments anyway?

Federal Furloughs -OR- An Experiment in 4-Day Work Weeks?

The news indicated (FOX News, morning of 20 February 2013) that our Department of Defense will soon be notifying 800,000 people that they will be working one less day a week. Workers were asked to reconsider their personal budgets so that they could prepare as best they could for the 20% reduction in income over a half-year period. The economic impact is enormous, but, why are these folks not shouting in joy in the streets? After all, they are getting three-day weekends! Why are these fortunate people not considering themselves to be participants in a pilot experiment to implement a nation-wide four day workweek? Just think, if this proves workable, then the long term benefit is that you too can have a three-day weekend, every weekend, and can look forward to those Holiday weekends when you get four days off.

Moving Towards ‘Government Employees R.I.P’

Please do not read that subtitle wrong, the government is not going to collapse, and it does not seem likely that government employees will be dying at the thought of sequestration. One consequence of the poor economy, shorter work weeks, and less pay is that government workers will not be able to use their income to build up their retirement nest eggs. This potentially eliminates the allure and perhaps even the possibility of retirement while working for the government. Our government workers will work longer (if you can call four day work weeks working), and consequently may never be able afford retirement. The older workers will effectively "Retire in Place", or "R.I.P" for short. That is ok; some of them do not know how to work a real job anyway. Of course this also means that they cannot get rich while working for the government, but that is ok too, since obviously they seek to serve instead of getting rich.

That is why it is called "government service". If they want to get rich or be in charge, they should run for Congress.

Defense Slashed -OR- Offense Slashed?

Defense is slashed, what's the problem? Get real, shall we? Everybody knows defense does not really mean defense, it means offense. Cuts in defense really means less ability to start fights with other nations. It means less ability to use drones to attack other countries people. Not attacking folks means we’ll have more friends. As other countries come to realize that we really are their friends, they will come visit, and stay a while, and our corresponding cuts in law enforcement will help out with that. They will stay healthy and well, we will pay for that with our generous redistribution of tax dollars.

Sequester Visitors?

Does sequester say 'Come on in.  Stay a while.  We are your friends' ?
Does sequester say 'Come on in. Stay a while. We are your friends' ? | Source

Less Law Enforcement -OR- Who Needs Those Laws Anyway?

Reports from February 2013 were indicating the dire consequences of fewer FBI, fewer Customs agents, fewer prosecutors, and fewer corrections officers. In other words, the government will cut back on employing people to stifle undesirable additions to our citizenry, and we will eventually evolve into a more diverse cross-section of our world society. Supporting fewer law enforcement people also means the money can be moved to medical and educational support for those who cannot get that sort of support in other countries. Our country will grow! Millions of people will benefit, instead of just the few at the top that are working to keep those benefits to themselves.

Another positive aspect to less law enforcement is that the people will be elevated to the same level as our Congressional people. Why try to make the people obey the laws Congress makes when Congress will not obey their own laws? Is it not preferable that all the rest of us can ignore the laws also? Will life be easier if there is less law enforcement? Besides, there are way too many laws anyway, they change so often nobody can hope to keep up, and many of them conflict with each other. Nobody can possibly hope to know all the laws, much less try to obey them all. By reducing law enforcement are we really saying that we recognize this has become too much?

Of course, the latest example of laws that Congress does not follow is the sequestration law that is the subject of this article. They all have been saying they passed this law hoping that it would never happen. Yup, yup, just another example of ‘we make the laws, but we don’t really mean it’. Congress has not fooled anybody with this one, the people know already that the laws they make are not intended for Congress, they are intended for us lesser folk. One Congress-person has even gone so far as to say that only Congress deserves a raise, the rest of the government can do without. It reminds me of the old quote from Animal Farm: "All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others".

The serious questions are:

  1. Why have law enforcement if Congress keeps on writing laws that they intend from the start to have no meaning?
  2. Why have law enforcement if Congress keeps on changing the laws so fast that nobody can keep up?
  3. How do you enforce laws that are constantly changing?
  4. At some point, will this become a system where we are punished at the arbitrary will of our leaders?


Less Child Care -OR- More Time With Your Children?

How is less child care a bad thing? Is the concept of "family" not highly valued here in the States? Will less child care not encourage more people to stay at home and spend quality time with their children? Will less child-care not mean that we have less chance of exposing our children to those who seek out employment at child care centers solely for the purpose of gaining access to our children for less than honorable purposes? Is Congress in fact encouraging the family value by providing their federal employees with the opportunity to spend an extra day at home with their children?

Source

What Fiscal Cliff?

With all these good things happening as consequences, how can anyone complain about sequestration?

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Comments 9 comments

poetvix profile image

poetvix 3 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

This was a breath of fresh air. What a great way to come at sequestration. You get gold stars for originality, that's for sure. What the worst thing about is, to me, is that it's our own government using our own money to first scare, second manipulate, and thirdly punish those who, of course, are not themselves. Outstanding presentation!


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

RocketCityWriter,

Thanks for taking the time to read. Some things are all about perspective. I visited a doctor the other day, and while there I was asked about what I thought of the upcoming furloughs. A rough response is below, but first some background is needed. I live in an area that is within reasonable commuting distance of DC. The area has a large population of civil servants. Many are old timers, but, because of humps in the age distribution (Generation X), many of those are also retiring soon or expect to retire soon. But many are also fairly new, and much of the focus of the old-timers has been to try to get the new folks fully up-to-speed for their future jobs. This is happening all across the country, not just here, and the same phenomena is applying to our politicians, many who, quite-frankly, appear to have jumped into the deep end of the pool BEFORE learning how to swim. That perspective helped form my response. Furloughs are on the mind of everyone here since all will be affected, some more directly than others. We understand that the political posturing has real consequences to real people.

My response roughly was: ‘It depends’. Over the past few decades, I’ve noted many folks have indicated a desire for four day works; now that they have the opportunity they are going to complain about it. That’s human nature, worry about change, and worry about the bumps in the road. Many of the older folks have also complained about having to send their kids to day-care, or off to school. They have in the past shared regrets about not having the time they’d like to have to share with their children. Now that they have the opportunity, they seek to focus on the dollar impact, rather than regarding it as extra time to teach basic home-values to their children. In the end though, the older folks should be ok, they are used to the whims of Washington, and this is just another wave of whimsy.

I then said, “But I worry about our younger folks”. Many are fresh out of school, struggling with student-loan payments, struggling with rent payments, and balancing those things out. They are still living paycheck-to-paycheck, and worrying about how they will pay off the loans that helped get them here. Those are the folks who are affected most, they’ve not yet been through these sort of crises, and may be overwhelmed by the need to re-plan how they will spend their paycheck. For those folks, the community needs to recognize the situation, and do what they can to help, including those banks that hold loans, and those who collect rent. Again, we’re fairly close to DC, the community has been through this sort of ‘crisis’ before, and many still have that old-school notion of help-your-neighbor, so it should be a matter of getting the word out and preparing for what to expect. Help-your-neighbor is ingrained and trumps political whimsy.

So, thank you for the comments, the ‘four-day-workweek’ truly is not completely a joke, but a matter of perspective. With respect to the ‘Defense vs. Offense’, that actually comes from conversations shared over the years with folks who work for Department of Defense who ask ‘why do we call it defense anyway?’ and then offer ‘there is no fight on our soil.’ And finally, I agree, it does affect real people, some place worse than others, with Newport News VA and Huntsville All right near the top of the list of places affected. With some thought and planning though, we can all weather this ‘crisis’ without an overly large amount of advice from Washington.

Thanks for the comment.


RocketCityWriter profile image

RocketCityWriter 3 years ago from Alabama

I respect your attempt to look on the bright side of things, but I must disagree with you on two of your points.

1) Furlough vs. 4-day work week - 20% cut in pay. Some people don't have the ability to take a 20% pay cut and say - "Oh well, I get a 3 day weekend now." It almost sounds like your joking in this one, but maybe you can handle a 20% pay cut with no sweat.

2) Defense vs. Offense - This is an unfortunate viewpoint. All I will say is that you should be thankful that the Department of DEFENSE exists for you and this country. It's certainly not perfect, but it absolutely protects U.S. citizens, even if they don't know it.

This is certainly a manufactured 'crisis' and a political grandstand, but it truly does affect real people. There are plenty of middle class folks that will be hurting if a furlough happens.


Angela Blair profile image

Angela Blair 3 years ago from Central Texas

Excellent, excellent and your view of this situation seems much more logical to me than the "alternative?" Best/Sis


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

Thank you BreakfastPop and Thank you Frog Prince.

About responsibility ... I've often wondered if the 'do-over' and 'not-your-fault' approach to raising children is somehow related to the current approach that our current government has to making laws. Congress (and the Executive) don't seem to have the ability to anticipate the conseqences of their actions, yet seem adept at dodging the finger-pointing if things turn out bad.


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 3 years ago from Arlington, TX

Somewhere along the line the Federal Nanny needs to ease on out of the picture. The states, local communities and individuals themselves need to assume more responsibility. Less Big Brother has to happen.

TFP


breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 3 years ago

I happen to agree with you. Bring it on!!!


FitnezzJim profile image

FitnezzJim 3 years ago from Fredericksburg, Virginia Author

Thanks Poolman. I thought about doing a subtitle for this.

'I'm a happy little lemming, yes I am'.

I had that old childrens song 'If you're happy and you know it clap your hands' in my mind as I considered a subtitle.


Old Poolman profile image

Old Poolman 3 years ago from Rural Arizona

Good job Jim, I guess there is a bright side to most everything. I knew sequestration could not be too bad because Congress felt OK with taking a two week vacation rather than working on this problem. I suspect they already wrote the script for our next circus side show, and already know the ending. As you point out, they will not be personally affected by the outcome, so it is just a minor irritation in their eyes.

There is just nothing as good as a crisis, whether real or manufactured, to divert attention from what is really going on.

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