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Back You are here: Home Columns Weekly Columns For Your Consideration For Your Consideration: Sequestration Synopsis

For Your Consideration: Sequestration Synopsis

Contributing Writer

It would appear that our beloved representatives have created another mess to complicate the economic and political problems the Nation is facing. Both political parties have put the nation’s defense system on the chopping block in hopes that this move would force Congress to come to some resolution on the nation’s debt limit; this maneuver has failed to get the desired result, but it has created an additional problem. The Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires workers and their families time to prepare for the perspective job loss and an opportunity to seek an alternate form of work. The notice of the prospective job loss is supposed to go out 60 days before the potential loss.
Since the sequestration becomes effect on the 1st of January, notice would have to be sent out to all workers that have the potential of being impacted by this action.
The President does not want these notices to go out before the election because of the impact it could have on the outcome of the election. Both parties are trying to blame the other party; the truth appears to be the fault of both parties, but there should be some concern over using this potential threat to our defense system as leverage to get some additional control over other aspects of the economy. The WARN Act, 29 U.S.C. § 2101-2109, in some respects appears to be clear and concise, but when applied to the present situation it becomes less definitive.
The closings are spread out over a period of 5 years, but it is not known where the initial cuts will be made. There is hope the problem could be resolved prior to January the 1st; it is unlikely that this will be resolved prior to January the 1st given the rancor between the two political parties.
One might suspect that the Democratic Party would have an advantage if this subject is used as leverage to gain the upper hand in other areas being negotiated. The Defense Department will receive the largest cuts of all the programs that will come under the sequestration action.
The electorate should be concerned with the maneuvers being employed by our political leaders to address the nation’s problems. We have one more indication that elected officials are more interested in gaining power and solidifying their hold on political positions.
The President’s attempt to delay the notification that is required by the WARN Act, is just one more example of the lengths politicians will go to protect their positions; it’s ironic that this action should be affecting the President, since he is the one that had this requirement added to the code.
The President is saying that the government will pay for any litigation that is brought against the employers by their employees. One can be assured that there are going to be numerous lawsuits as a result of failure to notify employees of the potential layoffs. When do we start to hold our elected officials responsible for their actions, especially when their lack of forethought ends up costing the taxpayer?  Companies still have to the end of this month to send out the notices.
There is no telling how much this snafu is going to cost the taxpayer, but there is no reason why we can’t put this on the tab with all that other bills that we don’t have the money for.
The President’s suggestion that the government will pay for any litigation against the employers sets up a number of additional problems that have not been presented in this article. What’s that Chicago adage, “Never let a crisis go to waste”; our political system makes maximum use of this adage, and if the system runs short of crises it can always create more.