by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
Federal Employees News Digest : Jan. 14, 2013
January 14, 2013 Vol. 62, No. 24 3 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com the budget so deeply---as this situation threatens---something's got to give." What would give? Lots of federal jobs, according to Dougan. And possibly very quickly. "I anticipate that Congress would make some decisions to cut back dras- tically on the budget that covers the operations of the federal government," he said. He added this would mean not just furloughs, but Reductions-in-Force. Dougan noted that in the event of a funding crisis, it would be politically impossible to stop paying for entitle- ments, but that there likely would be cuts in entitlements, along with deep cuts to federal agencies, to spread the pain across both. "The agencies would be very, very hard hit," he told FEND. "Budgets would be so reduced that we'd see entire agencies on the verge of being---or actually being--- closed. If you think about it, the kinds of services that government provides include such necessities as defense---but if we're going to fund Defense, then that could mean not funding some or many of our other agencies." Extensive RIFs possible "I think we'd see huge RIFs---the cost of labor is the highest cost in all federal agencies," Dougan told FEND. "What choice would agencies have but to start laying off parts of the federal workforce? Agencies would be trying to shed sig- nificant parts of their workforce---and as quickly as they could. That is, if Congress cannot work out compromise." "What Congress really did---in terms of this legislation they enacted [over New Year's] that they claim was a deal to fix the 'fiscal cliff '---really had very little impact on the real threats involved in the real fiscal cliff," Dougan said. "This legislation they enacted really only addressed a few tax issues---that is, restructuring taxes to bring in some more revenues, potentially, by way of higher taxes on individuals earning more than $400,000 or families earning more than $450,000 annually," he said. "It did not address all of the other, very pressing threats we've [discussed here]." local impact "How willing is the public going to be to have all these crucial services shut down?" he asked. "How willing are they going to be to see no nurses or doctors by the bedsides of veterans in our veterans facilities? Or suddenly not having the full spectrum of programs for returning vets---not just medical help, but psycho- logical help, help finding housing, find- ing jobs and being reintegrated back into communities back home? What about our borders, unguarded? Or our airports without TSA people, so things are back the way they were or worse, before 9/11? If all that goes away---what will happen? And that's just a small piece." "Is the public going to put up with this for very long, before they are going to speak very loudly---and with a single voice---to the Congress, saying they want these services back, right away?" Dougan asked. "I hope we don't have the same situation again, where we take this up to the 11th hour and yet don't get a long-range solution to these problems." Dougan encouraged federal employ- ees to become active in pushing for a solution. "To get out the word, I think we have to get out the word at the community and local level---where our employees live and work," Dougan said. "That's where the rubber meets the road. That's where even the loss of a handful of jobs can have a devastating impact. And we as labor---whether my union, or oth- ers---have to be willing to tell our story, and what's going on, adversely affecting both our folks and the community they serve." "For example, I spent 31 years work- ing for the U.S. Forest Service, West of the Mississippi, where most of the big national forests are, and where most of our offices are very small, in rural com- munities with small populations in the hundreds or low thousands," he said. "Say in one small community we lost half a dozen jobs. In Washington, this wouldn't lead to the blinking of an eye. Well, guess what happens next in such communities?" Dougan continued. "A local school might need one or two fewer teachers, so there go some jobs; the family house is sold or abandoned, and there's less property tax, and so on. There's all this fallout that happens. And the cut employees' income is no longer spent in these communities." "This is where the effects of these huge cuts will be felt," Dougan concluded. "Around 85 percent of the federal work- force works outside the beltway." Political fallout "All of these problems that we have now---whether we're talking about the failure to come to terms over the debt ceiling, the inability to pass a budget, or finally to address what I call the third fiscal cliff, sequestration---when you look clearly at this Congress and its inability to pass almost any signifi- cant legislation in recent years, you just have to ask yourself what they're doing here," Dougan told FEND. "And you'll conclude: we really don't have a debt problem so much as a political problem. They can't even come together to pay the nation's current bills." "If you recall, at the end of the day, in the 1990s---in the two shutdowns--- Congress ended up giving back pay to feds, and so there was zero savings," he said. "In terms of political impacts, remember it had more deleterious impact to the party that pressed it as a tactic. We really have a similar situation right now, I believe. Whoever doesn't sit down to work in a bipartisan way, the public is going to blame." continued from page 1 Don’t miss our discussion of weekly news topics. Discuss these stories and more with your fellow federal workers at www.FederalSoup.com.
Dec. 17, 2012
Jan. 21, 2013