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So, here we are, a couple of weeks or so into the "sequestration" and basically nothing has happened. I mean other than Obama and the left having used the cover of the sequester to take pot shots at a few groups they don't like (apparently air traffic controllers are unpopular with The Barack). Additionally it seems they have used the opportunity presented by the budget non-cuts to close up or stop some things they must have already wanted to do away with.
I don't know exactly what problem allowing people to tour the White House was causing, but doesn't it seem a little odd that White House tours were one of the first things cut? As far as federal programs go, that's probably the smallest one. Personally, while I can see where having groups of strangers wander through your house on a daily basis could be a bit of a hassle, I have to wonder about the logic of ending those tours and blaming it on sequestration. After all, the tours were cancelled about the same time the federal government turned loose a bunch of illegal immigrant criminals, or as we on the right like to refer to them, criminals. Since White House tours and keeping criminals in prison were both cut at about the same time, are we to draw the conclusion that the left regards the citizens who come to see the White House about the same as they do criminals?
Of course the news is full of how the sequester is affecting the military. It would be hard for any sentient being in the U.S. to miss the news about civilian workers being furloughed, and how tuition assistance to active duty military personnel has been cut or curtailed. There's no surprise there, while they try (not very hard) to hide it, the left has long disdained the American military. Say, I have to wonder, does the White House now have signs in the yard saying "Tours cancelled. Soldiers and dogs keep off the grass"? I know, that's not fair; as far as I know, Obama likes dogs.
You know, it's too bad a fiscal conservative wasn't put in charge of cutting back a federal program here and there. I know a few that could be cut back or eliminated that would just make my day. Imagine the satisfaction of sending a memo to the people at the Department of Education saying, for your future financial security, you need to memorize the following phrase: "Would you like fries with that"? Hey, how about a similar note to the people at the Department of Energy asking them to learn "Would you like me to check the air in the tires and wash the windshield"? Sorry, that last one tells people how old I am, but personally I have always missed the full service gas stations. Department of Energy personnel may not turn out to be good at pumping gas, but it would be a chance for them to finally do something productive with their lives.
Anyway, even though at this time the federal reduction of increases in spending (the sequestration isn't really a cut) hasn't turned into the world ending disaster we were told, the left is winning the propaganda battle. How are they going to pull this one out when pretty much the whole world can see that the sequestration had little, if any, real effect on life as we know it (keep in mind what's happening to the military and Department of Defense civilian employees is being done on purpose)? The left and their allies in the main stream media have always been much better at propaganda than the right. Not being constrained by facts or logic allows them to frame their policies in the most favorable light.
What the left, with the cooperation of the media, is doing to snatch sequestration victory from the jaws of defeat is to change the perception of a single word. What difference could one single word make? Well, when that word is "furlough", it seems that right now it makes a big difference.
Basically, as far as work is concerned, furlough means to be given some forced days off. In the current circumstances, those days off are without pay, meaning that any federal employees who are forced to take extra days off, will also suffer a commensurate reduction in pay. Personally, since we're talking about government workers, other than the ones the left doesn't like (refer to my earlier remarks regarding the left and the military) I wouldn't be surprised at all if there isn't some plan to pay the "furloughed" employees their full wages at a later date. Of course if that happens, and I think it's quite possible, then those furloughed days, will simply become bonus vacation days. I wonder if the press would cover that?
When an employee, federal or otherwise, is furloughed for a specific number of days, or a percentage of their work schedule, they don't lose their job. Nobody gets fired, benefits probably stay the same, and at some point in the future, they will probably go back to their old work schedule. I can understand this kind of thing making the workers nervous, but frankly, those of us in the private sector have had to endure a lot more than being furloughed for the last few years (odd how the hard economic times seem to be mostly during The Barack's time in office).
Anyway, here's where the left is using the term furlough to win the propaganda battle. They are shouting the word "FURLOUGH" at every possible chance, and making it seem to mean "laid off". Because of the bad economy that just won't go away (and never will until we get government overspending under control), we have become very sensitive in the U.S. about anything that costs people their jobs. By we, I mean other than the administration which doesn't seem to care about that issue.
"Hundreds of thousands of federal workers being furloughed because of sequestration!!" sounds a lot different than "Federal workers will not lose their jobs due to budget cuts", doesn't it? Since both headlines are technically correct, you can tell which side the media is on by how they present the furlough issue.
Bruce Kreitler is the author of Obamageddon (the Culmination of the Progressive Looting of America) and posts this and other articles at BruceKreitler.com.