The government was spending too much money. And wasting a lot of it. The need to cut back was obvious and pressing. So Congress passed something called the “sequester,” that would force frugality upon the government and oblige Washington, Inc. to endure the kind of downsizing that had been common – and successful – in the private sector.
Well, we can now review the results of that effort and it seems the sequester has, indeed, succeeded where prior efforts failed and actually reduced the government payroll. By exactly one – count him – excess bureaucrat.
As Erik Wasson of the Hill writes:
A new government report has found that last year’s sequester led to only one federal layoff, a conclusion that Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said Wednesday was an outrage.
As the sequester was being debated:
The Obama administration and Democrats ... claimed that sequestration would be devastating to the government and to the wider economy.
And a report done by Goldman Sachs:
… estimated a 100,000 reduction in federal payrolls, a different figure than a prediction of layoffs.
Which put this too-big-to-fail institution off by a mere 99,999. Close enough for government work.
The explanation is that the people in the government got creative. Cutting back on hiring, using furloughs, and generally moving money around to avoid layoffs. A spokesman from the Office of Management and Budget claims that these:
… “flexibilities” used in 2013 will not be available in the future and more damage could result when the sequester returns in fiscal 2016.
That will be believable when the guy at the EPA who collects a government salary (and, one day, a pension) for watching pornography and loading some 7000 X-rated videos onto his “work” computer is let go and turned loose upon the private sector.