Brief and Direct: Why are Firemen Always the First To Be Laid Off?

Another in an unscheduled series of short commentaries on current events

Maybe because we’ll miss them the most.

Because the President has forgotten he’s already been elected and he’s been campaigning across the country to defeat his own idea, there are too many sources to quote regarding the dire consequences President Obama sees if the sequester, or Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), isn’t averted. So without individual attribution here are some of the services we will lose.

Local first responders–fire, police, EMS.


Military “readiness” and “preparedness.”

Airport security and TSA.

Homeland Security. Border Patrol.


(Wait a minute, wasn’t NASA killed last year?  Here’s one that’s for sure going to save money: the National Drug Intelligence Center, still slated for a $2 million cut to a $20 million dollar budget. But it was closed on 6/15/2012. Why does it need a budget?)

FBI, NRC, the federal prison system, SEC.

Sounds awful, until we notice that these “cuts” come out of a budget that’s already scheduled to increase more than the cuts amount to. And that Republicans have offered to give the President emergency authority to allocate these cuts in ways that are “least harmful.”

The basic insincerity of the President is clear if you just cast a skeptical eye on these threats. The threats always target services that the federal government has at least some legitimate reason to be involved in, never mentioning pork barrel programs whose elimination would hardly be noticed by anybody who doesn’t lose a job as the result. And why should anybody elsewhere lose a job, at least because of the sequester? There will still be more money available than there was last year. At worst, we’re talking about simply holding the line against expansion of government.

This is the most transparent administration, ever, at least in this case. It’s transparently obvious that the President’s aim is to scare the gullible. You don’t scare them by threatening to cut off funding to a study of the hare-brained snail darter, you scare them by saying they won’t have police or fire service.

This has been standard operating procedure for years. The lists at city and state level usually include no more garbage pickups, no road repairs (and maybe the President mentioned those services, too). I wouldn’t even be surprised to see them threaten to cut out Saturday mail delivery.

Cross-posted at Terriers of the Right.

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