The Sequester fear mongering has been so outrageous and silly that even the mainstream media is taking notice. The president's claim on Friday that the janitors at the capitol will now be working for less pay earned the president four Pinocchios.
Glenn Kessler from the Washington Post gave the president the rating after he made the following comment during a news conference on March 1, 2013:
"Starting tomorrow everybody here, all the folks who are cleaning the floors at the Capitol. Now that Congress has left, somebody's going to be vacuuming and cleaning those floors and throwing out the garbage. They're going to have less pay. The janitors, the security guards, they just got a pay cut, and they've got to figure out how to manage that. That's real."
The announcement must have surely panicked some employees, as damage control was needed to reassure the maintenance workers and security guards that they will not be suffering a pay cut. It is difficult to tease out the actual facts regarding the impact of sequestration, particularly when wild claims are made by the Obama administration. The truth is that if federal government waste was addressed, there would be no need to furlough or lay-off anyone.
As Kessler notes,
"Obama's remarks at the news conference so alarmed Capitol Hill officials that an e-mail was sent by the Capitol building superintendent that comments that people who clean the building would get a cut in pay were 'NOT true.'"
The email said, in part, "Our current sequestration plan does NOT include "reductions in force" or furloughs. The pay and benefits of our employees WILL NOT be impacted as per our current plan."
Kessler continues to say,
"Obama's remarks continue the administration's pattern of overstating the potential impact of the sequester...nothing in Obama's statement came close to being correct."
The statement was one of many irresponsible and immature comments made by the Obama administration. Sadly, this behavior will likely continue; as now there is a political point to be made. If there is no perceived negative impact of sequestration, the American people may actually realize that there is room for spending cuts in the federal government.
Image Source: Politifact