“Fair and balanced approach”
That’s what Preezy wanted and he got it. While the private sector has suffered greatly under this administration with tax hikes, draconian regs, rising gas prices and food prices, federal workers seem to have been exempt. DC is awash in money, while the states and local governments have had to cut back. Federal workers will have to take furlough days and, like the rest of us, those cuts in their pay will hurt.
All across the D.C. area and the rest of the country, federal workers like Blevins are having tense, belt-tightening conversations with spouses, kids and co-workers. They’re canceling little luxuries such as cable, cellphone service, restaurants and movie nights, putting off long-planned vacations and searching for second jobs. Some are thinking about raiding their 401(k)s for emergency cash.
A huge number of us understand how they feel, we’ve been there and done that. We also complained bitterly about the loss of income and soaring prices in food and energy. We also had to make lifestyle changes, foregoing little luxuries to keep our homes and pay for necessities. Too many of us in the private sector have already had the belt tightening conversation around the dinner table. But, they should also realize a large number of their fellow citizens would have loved furlough days instead of losing their jobs permanently.
In a survey of union members in late February, 82 percent said that if furloughs were implemented they’d have difficulty paying for the basics, such as rent, mortgage, utilities and food. Sixty-three percent expected to take money out of savings or retirement, and 29 percent said they’d have a hard time paying for child care or tuition.
Internal Revenue Service employee Joe Gaston’s family might take a double hit, because his wife works for the Department of Defense. He and other IRS workers were just told to expect five to seven furlough days before September.
Panic and terror in agencies is growing over furloughs with some Federal workers saying they are looking for part time jobs to supplement their income.
Keith McGlawn, an IT technician with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said he expected 14 days off without pay before Sept. 30, which amounts to a 10 percent pay cut. McGlawn already has started looking for a second, part-time job to make up for the lost income.
“I’m trying to stay ahead of the curve instead of being behind it,” said McGlawn, 46, of Manassas, Va. He described the mood among colleagues at his agency as panic. [snip]
In Westminster, Mass., William “Bud” Taylor II woke up at 3 a.m. the other day, thinking, “How the hell am I going to handle this?”
The 56-year-old project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said he’d done the math and if he were furloughed as expected for one day a week from April to September, he’d lose 20 percent of his pay. His expenses will exceed his income.
“Over the last couple weeks it has just been sheer terror,” he said.
- McCaskill Introduces Bill To Cut Pay During Sequestration ()
- Republicans warn government against political use of furloughs (mcclatchydc.com)
- Federal furloughs would take effect in April (wjla.com)
- Gas Prices, Stocks Approach ‘Danger Zone’ (blogs.wsj.com)