Feb 26, 2013

Have People Stopped Reading News Articles Containing The Word "Sequestration"?

     From the Baltimore Sun:
Checks will arrive on time, but nearly every other task the Social Security Administration performs — from answering phones to determining eligibility for claims — will be delayed if Congress fails to stop steep federal budget cuts from taking effect this week, officials warned Monday. 
The Woodlawn-based agency is bracing for a cut of roughly 8 percent to its $11.5 billion budget if Congress does not avert the government-wide reductions known as sequestration. Officials say the cuts would leave people who call the agency's hotline on hold for 10 minutes and delay some disability decisions by a month. 
"We're already getting a lot of reports of increasing anger from the public" since hours at the agency's call centers were shortened to save money, said Witold Skwierczynski, president of the Social Security Council of the American Federation of Government Employees. "People are upset."


Anonymous said...

Furloughs cannot start until April at the earliest (because of the 30 day notice requirement) and furlough days will likely be spread out to cause the least impact as possible on services.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is the boggie man is not coming, grow up people.

Anonymous said...

My money is on "zero" furlough days for SSA employees. Just a hunch.

Anonymous said...

It is all BS. They are reducing the rate of increase, nothing is actually being cut. The full 85 billion doesn't kick in this year. So in a 3.5 trillion budget, you mean 40 billion in savings can't be found without all the sky is falling BS from Barry.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The purpose of the sequestor is to reduce the deficit. The cuts are magnified immediately by the fact that this fiscal year is half over so big reductions have to be made fast.

According to the authoritative OMB report: "...sequestration would result in a 9.4 percent reduction in non-exempt defense discretionary funding and an 8.2 percent reduction in non-exempt nondefense discretionary funding. The sequestration would also impose cuts of 2.0 percent to Medicare, 7.6 percent to other non-exempt nondefense mandatory programs, and 10.0 percent to non-exempt defense mandatory programs."


Pages 195 and 196 show the cuts in the SSA budget.

Anonymous said...

Sequester start 03/01, the Continuing Resoultion to fund the government was built to expire 03/27. That means the money is already there to support standard operations through the 27th. Both sides will look like heros to the base for standing thier ground, spin doctors go to work and they work it out by the end of the month. Just another Mayan Calander.

blacksheep77777 said...

The SSA office where I work is experiencing long waiting times in the office. It varies with the day and time of day. But it is not uncommon to wait an hour or more just to determine the purpose of their visit. Then may have to wait to be called by a work group that can perform the action for which they came. The 'down time' when the office is closed to the public, but stay still working does help a little with back logs, a little. But the reduced hours that office is open to public merely means that more folks are coming in during the hours that remain -- hence the long waits for even simple tasks. So the gain in reducing back logs is fairly minimal since the incoming work loads have not been reduced, but are increasing. . . .

Cebes said...

When will Americans understand that their nation is in fact a monetarily sovereign nation which means it can never go broke because it issues its own currency?

Any nation, Canada, England, Australia, Japan, China, Indonesia, India, etc. issuing its own currency can meet any obligation denominated in its own currency. This is not theory this is common sense. And has been so since before any of us was born. It become official practice after Nixon defaulted on gold convertibility on Aug. 15, 1971. Thereafter, the world was officially a fiat currency world. Money made from thin air for the official payment of goods and services and the distribution of subsidies for whatever purpose the Congress deemed appropriate.

So now comes Sequestration with the wring of hands and whining about not having enough money to pay for public purpose needs. Such nonsense is either malfeasance or cynical subversion of the publics trust. The problem is one created by the Congress. Since we can't ever run out of money, the shortfall is in appropriations. We must have appropriations to spend. And since we are in a recession with 30 million American needing full time work we need to spur demand by providing incomes to those 30 million Americans. We can't do that through Sequestration, only through Appropriations. Sequestration, by definition given where the economy is, is counterproductive, adds to the policy dysfunction wrought by Congress Critters and the President stupidly believing we can run out of dollars.

Did the Fed run out of dollars when they produced from thin air $23 trillion in cash, grants, guarantees to bailout banks and other enterprises? No.

Well the Fed is scamming us now by not offering to bailout Main Street. It would only take $3 trillion, a one time zero rate loan distributed to the Feds, States and other political jurisdictions. A loan like most of our debt, between government agencies. Yes, a loan to ourselves that doesn't have to be repaid since it will generate economic benefits for society, unlike the bank bailout which only generated financial benefits for the bankesters.

Inflationary??? Please, we have as pointed out above an output gap represented by 30 million Americans who could be productive if sufficient funding were available to repair our infrastructure. Just that investment would move us well into recovery. Anyone suggesting a demand pull inflation just needs to revisit econ 101. We will not experience the Zimbabwe or Weimar hyperinflation both of which were cost push due to commodity shortages. We have so much excess capacity waiting to be brought online our biggest concern is deflation not inflation.

Congress should repeal FICA taxation since that tax does not actually fund Social Security and Medicaid. It's used to reduce the appearance of a larger than actual deficit, and to moderate inflationary tendencies which are not apparent now nor in the near future. Alone, that would put $1.4 trillion back into the economy this year.

We do not need tax increases, additional revenue, or spending reductions to move this economy. We need the opposite. There is no economic crises so deep that sufficiently large tax cut or spending increase cannot resolve. This, for our economy today, is indisputable. To do otherwise places us in the same sinking boat with England and austerity crazed, 19th century policy mavens running the EC.

Anonymous said...

The new normal is crisis after crisis after crisis. And to claim this small cut in growth will "delay some disability decisions by a month" ??? Please explain how such a thing is possible! Such overblown exagerations reflect a special kind of foolishness that illustrates the weakness of your position. Time to grow up, use available resources wisely, reward the hard workers, get rid of the time wasters, and realize that many of the people you are serving would quickly take over your job problems if they could switch. Witold is correct in stating "People are upset", but not for the reasons he thinks.

Anonymous said...

I see that Obama is releasing illegal immigrants from detention due to the impending spending cuts, but no word on if he has ceased processing the amnesty applications for the same reason. Anybody have a guess about that one?

Anonymous said...

@ 8:30 AM

Nice call!

Anonymous said...

Decreasing budget growth decreases real budgets, because administrative costs (rent for buildings, increases in supply costs, etc.) go up from year to year. If the budget doesn't keep pace, then there is less real money to spend on workloads.

Anonymous said...

Social security should quickly expand their online services thusly perhaps saving ink and paper and salary or wages.

If illegal immigrants pay fica and other taxes then i see no problemwith them being here.

Although at this time the country does not need the extra people.

Unfortunately this country was founded by theives(enslaved africans who should have had free will or freedom). The term "founding father" is a joke to me. btw,i'm a black male

Anonymous said...

"Decreasing budget growth decreases real budgets, because administrative costs (rent for buildings, increases in supply costs, etc.) go up from year to year. If the budget doesn't keep pace, then there is less real money to spend on workloads."

You close buildings, and cut back on supplies (why people making 60k, 70k, 80k, can't buy their own tissues, and hand sanitizer).

So if that is the way you think, Barry cut my pay for the last two years. My expenses went up, but my pay didn't.

If you get $1,000 one year, but $1,200 the next instead of $1,300, don't cry the sky is falling because of the budget being slashed.

Anonymous said...

So Charles Hall doesn't think discrimination goes both ways and he removes posts that contra black racist posts. Way to classify yourself Charles. Keep your biased ignorant liberal blog.

Anonymous said...

A Message To All SSA Employees

Subject: Budget Update

I want to share with you the latest information we have regarding our operating budget. I know sequestration is on all of our minds.

Clearly, this is a challenging time for us all. I want you to know that, here at SSA, we will work to minimize the risk of furloughs that would further harm services and program integrity efforts in the event of a sequester. This includes making some very difficult decisions and taking necessary steps to mitigate our budget risks this fiscal year—including steps such as restricting hiring, limiting overtime availability, delaying purchases, and limiting agency travel. We will also be restricting our spending to mission critical activities. By taking these actions, we are hopeful the funds available to us will allow us to operate without furloughs.

On March 1, we will continue to serve the American public. I recognize and appreciate all you do to keep service to the American public our number one priority. Thank you for your continued commitment. I will keep you informed of developments.

Carolyn W. Colvin
Acting Commissioner