Comments about ‘In our opinion: Sequestration warnings sound a lot like crying wolf’

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Published: Sunday, July 14 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Not crying wolf here, but howling just a little in our business office because some very valuable gov't contracts have now been canceled. People forget how interlinked business is with gov't.

Salt Lake City, UT

Yes, but it is not a good idea to cut government expenditures while still in recession - and we are still in recession big time (~7.5% unemployment).

Washington, DC

We have had one very good scientist, PhD in Physics, quit our branch before Furlough's started. If furloughs go past October every decent PhD/scientist/engineer will be leaving the branch due to the 20% pay cut and 100% increase in red tape. Would you stay in your job if you were forced to take a 20% pay cut, put up with a bunch of red tape, and have valuable skills that people will pay you more?

I'm at least staying though October, as we are just starting up a neat program for the Marine Corps. I am hoping that things turn around on the political front, and at least full time will be restored to the project I am working on, and other high priority projects in my branch.

However, extending the cuts past October would be a disaster for the scientific and engineering manpower of the military. Cool projects don't pay the mortgage. Any decent PhD would be stupid to stay around and watch their income and career die.

Saint Paul, MN

It may be "crying wolf" ... unless you happen to be one of the several million that this has affected personally. Training has been cancelled for a large portion of the Army. Contracts have been cut (my job along with thousands of others put on the chopping block). Military retiree medical availability has been trimmed significantly (with more looming). And millions of government workers (including the gentleman next to me) has his paycheck reduced by 10% for the next several months as "furlough" sets in.

Having spent 34 years in uniform, and in several jobs, being responsible for either training others or keeping my units trained / ready, that is the greatest effect of this situation.

Again, it's not personal ... until it is.

Centerville, UT

I know that for some, the stereotypical federal employee is someone who is undereducated and over paid. From where I sit at HAFB that characterization is simply unfair. I have a graduate degree in engineering from a big 12 conference university. I took a pay cut to leave industry and take a civil service job because I felt strongly about the mission of the organization I work for. For 3 years there have been no cost of living raises (to say noting of performance awards) and now our pay has been cut by 20% for the last 3 months of the fiscal year. Critical work is being deferred to be sure, but more importantly, the morale of the workforce has been shattered.

Bountiful, UT

There are 300+ cancer research grants that are not being funded this year, a few of them here in Utah.

One could shrug this off with a smirk, like "well, we all have to die, anyway", but those jobs will probably be moving more & more overseas as researchers seek nations more atrongly committed to the research effort.

One of the most promising researchers, a superstar in the research world, is packing up and headed to Germany, and taking his portfolio of collaborations with him to the German pharmaceutical companies. Educated by US tax dollars, now benefitting another nation. I'd imagine research and investment will follow him out of the country, along with quite a few Reaearch jobs. He specifically cited funding instability as the reason he was leaving, even though his situation was solid. He wants to collaborate with researchers who don't spend their time trying to chase money.

On the other hand, I don't really have a history of cancer in my family, so why should I care? Lower taxes means more toys for me! Yippy!

American Fork, UT

Hey, don't be rushing summer into fall here...

Hayden, ID

Government is the enemy of business! Regulations, restrictions, taxes, ridiculous and redundant laws like Obamacare have and will kill more businesses and jobs than any other challenge business face or will ever face. Anyone who think differently never ran a business!

Sandy, UT

What pary of broke do people not understand. The federal government is like a guy who makes 100k per year but spends 140k. Now he is crying because he has to pack a lunch. Here is a radical idea, those governmeny scientists can use WebEx and save $1 mil this year. Yes there will be some pain, but nothing compared to what will happen if Government spending is not brought back to rational levels. If interest rates were to rise to 8 percent, HALF the federal budget would go to paying the interest on the debt.

Here are a few radical ideas to avoid a financial collapse. Raise the retirement age to 70. Tighten the requirements for food stamps. Close military bases in Europe. Stop corporate welfare. Lower the corporate tax rate on overseas profits to 15 percent for money repatriated within 1 year. Fix the tax code so companies like GE do not avoid taxes on huge profits.

Right now the only thing keeping investment money coming into the US is that Europe is even more messed up than we are.

Salt Lake City, UT

The sequester and its consequences are the result of politicians' incompetence. We have elected them to manage the country's finances and they have failed.

John Wilson
Idaho Falls, 00

I worked for the Federal government for 30 years in the area of finance and budgeting. A one to two percent cut to an increase in the budget could have been absorbed easily. The current administration is choosing to force Federal agencies to absorb this miniscule cut to their increased budget in a manner that is the most painful. Let each agency deal with the amount budged for them, and there will be no furloughs or cuts in pay. There are lots of places an agency can make cuts this small, without any real pain. If you are a Federal employee or contractor who has been affected, then blame Obama, not the sequestration.

bordentown, NJ

Something fishy here federal reserve can print up 85 billion month as economic stimulas and at the same time government cuts 85 billion from military and other programs. Is there something wrong somewhere.

Samaria, ID

As Irony Guy and Rappahannock suggest, it is easy to say that sequestration hasn't been harmful when you live thousands of miles from the folks who are most effective. A 20% pay cut to civilian military and other government workers has to hurt when people are living month to month and yet we continue to make the weapons of war that put millions in the pockets of Lockheed Martin executives. As the article suggested, the Secretary of Defense was most like being disingenuous to suggest the cuts would be draconian when he made the decision to impact people first and weapons last. After all, a contract is a contract, right? What about the contract, written or implied, with the workers?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I'll try again -- seeing how the DN monitor didn't like how I worded my comment [which followed the GUIDELINES precisely earlier...


Said from a LDS church owned newspaper.

How about a 20% mandatory across the board cut - with NO exceptions,
[staff, computers, lights, pay, ect]
1 out of every 5 GONE.


STILL be expected by your customers to produce the same level of quality and service?

I'd bet the Deseret News staff would be singing a different tune then!

BTW --
The 20 millions jobs being lost aren't WalMart jobs.

They are America's leading Scientists, Engineers, Computer Scientists [this thing we call the InterNet was a DoD project] , Pilots, and Research and Development teams.

Nothing could be making Communist China more excited.

I'm a Liberal Socialist,
And here we have the Deseret News supporting the Communists.

Salt Lake City, UT

Not to the people affected by the cuts.

Lilly Munster
netherlands, 00

Let a Geriatric Physician tell you what I have seen. Good American Seniors are DYING because they have been cut off or cut short in their health care. Chemotherapy ends unfinished, and they die. Who can justify that? Not a Physician doing his/her duty to God and Country. What Conservative Politician are actually saying is "if you are poor or powerless, you deserve what you get." Christlike?

Mont Pugmire
Fairview, UT

I recognize that cutting run away spending will have consequences that will be difficult for some. This is a simple 7% budget cut of an entity that has wasted billions of dollars with its poor procurement and management practices. If we are to survive as a nation, these and many more tough cuts will be necessary. As a retiree who depends partly on Soc. Sec. and Medicare, I will also feel some pain but I am willing and hope our pathetic congress and presidency will also be willing to do the hard things. Our very survival depends on it!

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

The automatic budget cuts CONGRESS?? enacted? Aren’t you forgetting BO was deeply involved in this and it was his idea in the first place? Don’t let BO off the hook!

Chuck Hagel warned of cuts to the military, including passing more health care costs on to servicemembers, but liberals posting on these board BRAG about military personnel being on food stamps.

The definition of recession is the economy is shrinking. That is not happening, though the rate of growth is abysmal thanks to BO and his anti-business policies. You are correct that BO has made it difficult to make significant reductions in the unemployment rate; it is NOT coming down to where it needs to be and too many people are under-employed.

The solution is simple, get BO and the dems to be serious at the negotiating table. I think BO tried, but harry and chuck schumer sabotaged him.

Res Novae
Ashburn, VA

It's far too early to weigh the effects of sequestration. This is a slow-burning fuse.

I'm a contracting officer in DOD. Tomorrow I'll take an unpaid day off, and will continue to take Mondays off for several more months along with nearly 700,000 DOD colleagues. No one has determined whether this pattern continues into the next fiscal year that starts in October, but we're pessimistic.

My job gives me a fairly good view of how sequestration impacts DOD workers, programs, missions, and contracts. It is not crying wolf. Whatever budget savings there may be are more than offset by the inefficiencies created by the manner in which they're being taken. Ultimately they will result in programs costing more over their lifetimes or creating waste because of being cancelled partway through.

We need to do something about spending, no question. Sequestration is not the answer, particularly in a sluggish economy.

Most of us signed on to serve our country, often sacrificing more lucrative careers in the private sector. It disturbs me to see the indifference, lack of compassion, and even glee on the part of some that we are being asked to shoulder more sacrifice.

Bountiful, UT

Actually, I agree with Mont Pugmire.

What people don't understand is that median household incomes in the US have *declined* since 2007, before the Great Recession, from $54,000 a year to $50,000. New college graduates have a very lousy job market to look forward to, in part because of fierce international wage competition. People with PhDs in India make about $15,000 a year. Good luck getting American youth to strive for a PhD for those wages.

50 years ago, GM was the largest employer, and wages were (adjusted for inflation) about $50 an hour. Today the largest sector of the economy is retail sales, where Walmart is the largest employer. Walmart's average wage = $8.81 per hour, and Walmart is *reducing* employment, even as they open new stores, because the Internet has largely replaced a function of previous retail workers, ie, to help customers decide what they want to buy. People shop online, even if they make their purchase at Walmart.

A gap between productivity (profits) and employment has grown since 2000. Companies don't need workers as much, but workers pay taxes.

More cuts are coming.

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