Thursday, 8 August 2013

redux or fe-fi-furlough II

While I am very happy that the forced vacation of the majority of Defense Department workers ending some the hardships incurred on individuals and families and the discontinuity of work, faced now with the alternative, layoffs and a reduction in force seem even more unpalatable.

As for the rest of the the US government, I am not sure how the posture is affected. Part of me thinks (surely the prophet of doom part) that the department should have let it run its course, since the military is seeming less and less credible in its estimation of consequences—in some eyes right now: the warnings were most dire, grounding fleets and ships and making America vulnerable defensively and offensively, which according to outside perspectives, did not come to pass and the scope of the furlough was steadily revised downward, until all but eliminated through some tricks of accounting. Cuts in pay and hours of work were never the solution and seeing the threat through to prove a point is just as bad as the stubborn political brinksmanship that pushed the budget crisis and the follow-on effects in the first place. A temporary reprieve, however, may prove to be a cost no one can afford later down the line. I am sure real cost-savings were far in the negative range and the balance of sequestration remains. No deal on the budget is forthcoming and relations and realities have not improved. Savings—or at least the show thereof, will have to be excised from elsewhere, and politics, prone to the usual array of interests that can subvert the public-good, surely will prevail and fail.