|Tired dogs (Photo credit: jimbob!)|
From Denny: Just when we are all so furiously angered at the selfishness of our government officials for the usual screw-ups, pure laziness and lack of will to make positive corrections, there happens to be two of them that rose above and beyond the call of duty. Yes, there are two federal officials that have landed in the Admiration Corner today. These two men are class acts.
Turns out the sequestration mess caused high levels of Pentagon civilian employee furloughs - to the tune of 750,000 people. The plan was to lay off these unhappy folks for 22 days but that has been cut back to 14 days. Still, it isn't easy to lose one of your paychecks - even though it's spread out over many months through September.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that huge block of civilian furloughs will save $2.5 billion for the Pentagon budget. The sequestration across-the-board budget cuts went into effect on 1 March which amounts to $41 billion. This $2.5 billion employee furlough will be tacked to that reduction.
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Considering the fact that it's the Pentagon's out of control spending - both on and off the official books (like black ops' budgets that are overseen by Congress behind closed doors) - contributed to what looks like up to at least half of the deficit. A decade long two-front war (Iraq and Afghanistan) cannot be sustained by the national treasury, especially since these two wars are recently reported to have cost up to $6 trillion. Long wars always break the national treasury and wreck the national economy, often requiring decades to recover. History bears out that financial fact century after century in country after country.
That said, as a show of solidarity this newly installed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and his Deputy Defense Secretary Ash Carter are both willing to volunteer their salaries get cut the same as their civilian employees for the 14 day furlough. When do you ever hear of government officials or politicians giving up portions of their salaries to share in the pain of those whom they are asking to make a financial sacrifice? What's important to note here is that Defense Secretary Hagel and his deputy are both exempt from losing any part of their pay in this sequestration. You can bet that Congress made sure they didn't lose any money here - just everyone else.
Hagel and Carter will hand back part of their salaries to the Treasury Department, adapting their pay scales to the furlough levels. The furloughs could extend beyond 30 September unless Congress gets its act together and comes up with a proper deal to replace the sequestration mess.
If more CEOs and management in the business world did the same cuts to their salaries and bonuses as the cuts to their employees' pay there would be a lot more respect and trust as a result. No one respects the guy who does not share the pain.
Can you imagine how much confidence would soar in America if our national politicians gave up portions of their salaries as they are asking their staffs and aides to do? Can you imagine how the opinion polls would turn on a dime if those selfish politicians gave up their salaries to the budget axe just like they are demanding for many a government or social program?
Perhaps it's time for Congress, the President, the Vice President and the other department heads like the Joint Chiefs of Staff to join Secretaries Hagel and Carter in volunteering their pay cuts to contribute their part toward deficit reduction. Let's see them all put their money where their noisy mouths are busy trash talking instead of solving the nation's problems. Wouldn't that be a most interesting world?
This coffee mug design reminds me of how our politicians keep giving us "face":
Is your cat giving you "face" with this large meow and mugging you for treats?