John Evanson, Fargo, Published July 04 2013
Letter: Take honest look at effects of sequestration on workers
In regard to the sequestration issue:
The propaganda continues to be bantered about that our federal government is “too big” and that there is a need to reduce this functional aspect of our great country. We again see and hear select political leaders who wrongly identify a problem and completely miss the target solution despite their worst efforts.
What has happened is that citizens who work for the federal government have had their overall wages reduced every year for the past three years. Federal workers have been told that they will see additional cuts via forced workweek cuts with 20 percent reductions in pay (this is already happening), while at the same time, our national (federal) political leaders vote themselves substantial pay raises far beyond inflationary standards.
What is actually being cut are those services to the American public that we pay for every month via taxes. Most often, the work that federal workers do is “invisible” until it is no longer being done (such as the recent public outcry regarding the impact on airline travel).
It is simple math: Look at what has been done to the citizens working for the federal government, the services they perform for you and then look at your tax withholdings. Last time I checked, my taxes have not gone down due to these cutbacks in our federal workforce, cuts to federal pay, federal worker position cancellations, layoffs and cuts to services to the American public. It appears as though while our political leaders are getting accolades for “reducing federal services” to our citizens, it has not affected the amount of taxes they still require. What is changing is that they are keeping up the taxation costs, while reducing the benefits and services to the very citizens they are obligated to serve.
Democracy is the most cumbersome and expensive form of government yet created. The most efficient, cost-effective form of government yet created is a dictatorship. When your senator or congressman is telling you that they are demanding a more efficient form of government, it behooves you to ask them “what form of government” they are attempting to get you to support.
Evanson, Fargo, is chief steward,
American Federation of Government Employees, Local 3884.