Blog archive

Is sequestration just media hype?

worried man finances

After reading about federal employees worried about the threat of sequestration to their personal finances, Reader "Mike" commented: Sequestration... please!! Three cents on the dollar, really? This media hype is all theater. The best thing for government to start doing a good job is the threat of losing their jobs. In fact, I think we should clear out a good chunk of those who forgot what it was like to work for a living. I have worked as a contractor in a few agencies, and I have to say, I’ve never seen so much clock watching.

Camille Tuutti responds: There will always be those who complain about the government not doing its job accordingly or “clock watching” employees (I, myself, wrote about so-called turkey farms where low- and nonperforming feds congregate). However, the sequestration threat is hardly hype or theater, as you suggest. More than a million feds – 800,000 DOD civilians alone -- are facing furloughs, reduced pay and further fiscal uncertainty – this on top of the already-ongoing federal pay freeze. And don’t forget the possibility of a government shutdown after March 27, when the current continuing resolution expires. I don’t think the threat of job loss would serve as the best motivator – quite the opposite. Who can truly focus on doing a good job with all that added stress?

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Mon, Mar 4, 2013

Indeed serious spending could be reduced without furloughs. However that would require both common sense and a Congress that was not paralized by partizan bickering. Since the Dequestrtion gives us neither furloughs are one of the few tools available. It should also be noted that while the Sequestration requires funding cuts it doesn't cut functions or programs. A rational way to scale back the federal government would be to take a close look at said functions and programs and if possible eliminate or cut back some of them and have that dictate cutting back employees. Of course another one would be to hire employees rather than relying on contractors for some functions but that would not be very popular in some circles.

Mon, Mar 4, 2013

Hyper hype! The media gets it facts from the congress and senate. A congress person on national TV stated that the sequestration would cut 170 million jobs, 20-to 30 million more jobs than current workers in the US. The sad part is people actually gobble this up as fact. John Kerry got it right when he said we "have a right to be stupid."

Sat, Mar 2, 2013

Yes, it's real. It's not just media hype. It will cut 800,000 civilians pay by 20!% for the rest of the year. Some folks are being impacted 700-1000 per month! Now think about the effect of NOT HAVING THAT INCOME BEING SPENT IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY. Less money for groceries and gas, less money for movies or dinners out. Sorry, restaurants! Postpone that new car purchase. Or even fix the car that just broke down yesterday. New tires? Probably have to defer those. No new prom dress for Katelyn.... cant hire that small business to install that new carpet and countertops. If you're not working 1 day a week, why take the kids to day care? That means 20% less income for the day care provider too. The list goes on. 3 cents on the dollar doesn't sound like much until you realize it is focused in certain areas so they get 6 or 8 cents on the dollar slashed. There's impacts in this area on businesses who do DOD or DHS contracting. layoffs or reduction in work hours will result. Yes, it's real.

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 FedUp FL

It IS media hype! The Sequestration is not a budget cut, but just a reduction in INCREASED spending. Furloughs are just a knee-jerk reaction typical of the government... If one took a SERIOUS look at spending we could reduce to the required level WITHOUT furloughs, however that would not give us such great Political Theater! Grab your popcorn folks, I think its going to be a LONG movie.... Let's just hope there is a happy ending.

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group