Friday, 11 January 2013

Sequestration and Furlough

With the 27 March date looming, there's some federal workers who are sitting there and calculating over the use of furlough.  The most that the US government can force....is thirty days a fiscal year.  No one....absolutely no one....is sure about how many days that folks might be forced to take between 27 March and 1 October.

The current speculation is that it won't be a complete thirty day period handed out at various points over the next six months after 27 Mar.  You can imagine being handed orders to stay home, collect no pay, and show up in thirty days to work.

Most folks would pack up and go travel or plan out some massive landscaping episode.  Course, that loss of an entire month's paycheck might bother half the folks.

Then there's the idea of the one week per month, and you just reserve your week via the boss.  This creates some interesting scenarios because you could leave on a Friday, and take ten days of traveling, and maybe even attach five days of leave onto that and take a half-month off.

Then there's the idea of two days off each two-week pay-period.  You'd arrange them of course.....to have a four-day weekend every two weeks.  Fisherman, hunters, and campers would be awful happy with four days off like that.

Me?  If you gave me thirty days....I'd probably have a choice of going back to Germany for the month, or maybe traveling to Bama for farm work on dad's farm....course, this would include mending fences, hauling hay, and painting barns probably.

Two weeks off?  Man, I'd probably take a trip out to Vegas.....find a cheap place like Circus Circus and eat buffet meals each day....just hanging out and trying to get free drinks when possible.

This whole thing invites guys to get into trouble....that's the big problem.

If I knew I had four weeks off....I'd just get a trucker's license, hire up with some trucking company and just drive for four weeks straight.  I might not even want to come back then.

Simply Observations

The impending gun game by executive order?  I think the President will wake up this weekend...look at the numbers and grasp that half of all Democrats are lined up to oppose massive changes.  So you will see only two executive orders: (1) no ammo clips to hold more than 10 bullets to be sold across America, and (2) mandatory background checks on every single sale.  Problems?  Well....no state law or county law folks have to enforce this, and I doubt if the Feds really have much of a manpower situation to enforce it either.  Considering how many large ammo clips already exist in America....most everyone has at least two or three, and that's good enough to make it through the next four years.  Yeah, the neat thing about a Presidential order is that the next guy can just openly declare all executive orders between 2008 and 2016 to be null and void, ending this quietly in 2017.

About every four weeks....Mayor Bloomberg of New York City gets himself in the news for another sweeping change.  He wants to fix it so that hospitals can issue no more than a three-day supply of big-time pain-killers (Vicodin or OxyContin or Percocet).  This would prevent folks from getting overdosed on pain-killers.....or at least the mayor believes that.  What happens if you are still in pain?  Well...another visit to the doctor.  Again in pain?  Another visit to the doctor.  So in one month....you could rack up nine visits to some doctor.  In New York....figure at least $75 a visit....to get each prescription.  Man, you'd really rack up some great profits for a two-minute consultation deal like this.

Shocking news from MSNBC....Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas doesn't represent blacks.  Well...with only one token black on MSNBC, it doesn't actually represent blacks either.  And Latinos?  Don't even bring that up.

The flu mess is coming up to a peak point.  The odd thing....in roughly nine days is that around 600k folks will show up in DC for the Presidential swearing-in.  You can figure at least 3k of them have the flu in some degree, and this forced episode will make them sicker than what they were (figure real hospital time for those guys after they get home), but they will infect at least 60k of the participants throughout the day.  So the real peak....might come at the end of January.  And who knows....even the President might get sick and end up missing the State-of-the-Union speech deal.

Sequestration #99?

Well....maybe it's not #99, but it might as well be.

The next sequestration period for the US gov't is 27 March.  Basically, the government will run out of real funding at that point for the remainder of the fiscal year (up to 1 October).

What happens this time around?  Well, it gets more interesting.  Most folks are now anticipating no real solution, and thus a continuing situation.  Without any real budget....the general thought is that all of the Pentagon's GS folks (worldwide) would have to take one month of furlough off between 27 March and 1 October....to make this limited budget work.  It might be a whole month off, or two weeks here and two weeks there, or just toss a mandatory non-pay day on the schedule every two weeks for everyone.  Course, without the pay....all of those GS folks make less pay, and eventually in 2014....pay less taxes.

The general feeling?  I suspect most folks are tired of the sequestration episode and budget battles of the past four years.  There's no end in sight and folks just can't imagine this being the same for the next four years.

What if they lay off 25k folks?  Well....it gets to be more interesting as folks burn up their 401k money and banks get worried about failed mortgages.  Vacations this summer?  Bunch of folks would just say no vacation for 2013.  Sending kids off to expensive colleges this fall?  Maybe not.

So you have the nation on a slow treadmill....going nowhere.  People get negative, and just ask stupid questions.  Why bother working if they'd just tax you more?  Why support this party over that party?  It doesn't matter much.

I'll sit back and watch the day of 27 March develop and wonder about the implications.  I'm guessing that airline reservations out of DC will be at a all-time low for that weekend.  And nobody is going plan nothing much for that entire week.