The first big hit

19 Mar

sequestration2-sizedUp to now, most of the effects of the sequester budget cutbacks have not affected the general public.

That’s about to end.

Thursday, the Defense Department starts sending out furlough notices to some 800-thousand civilian workers warning them they “might” be furloughed.

That’s going to hit every part of the economy.

Put yourself in this position – you will take every Friday off until the end of September – without pay.

Your income drops 20-percent.

Actually a few percentage points more because of the usual payroll deductions.

Even if you can manage to still feed your family, pay your bills and make the mortgage, that 20-percent is got to come from somewhere.

Fewer movies, dining out, buying cheaper stuff, backing off on charitable contributions.

It’s going to ripple all over.

Once the federal worker gets the letter, he or she has seven days to appeal.

Not many of those will be granted.

Then on March 29th, another letter, more official, will tell them it will happen starting April 26th.

Say you’re a young engineer making $35,000 a year.

You pay gets cut $7,000 and that’s going to hurt, a lot.

The civilian workers that support, and are part of the military, will have 20-percent of their working hours cut and that is going to affect the military.

Africa Command, for example, which is overseeing the American forces assisting the French campaign against extremists in Mali, must furlough about 800 of its approximately 2,000 workers.

Any hope sequestration will be stopped, or end early, has faded.

It’s a hell of a mess and Washington is to blame.

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