Spokesmen from various government departments have been warning the slow, creeping effects of the sequestration cuts are just starting to go into effect.
First, customs officials said waits have doubled. Next, the Department of Homeland Security warned that security lines will also double during peak travel times. The department charged with keeping America safe added that average wait times during non-peak hours could extend beyond 30 minutes. Customs officers are losing their overtime. So are TSA agents. The TSA will also implementing a hiring freeze because of the cuts.
However, those sneaky sons of guns at the TSA were able to receive $50 million in funding for new uniforms the week before the cuts came into play. Uniforms are obviously more important than properly staffing security lines. Priorities people.
Finally, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will furlough all 47,000 employees once every two weeks. This includes air traffic controllers which, they say, means longer wait times on runways.
Now is the perfect time to point out that all these cuts were all choices, choices politicians made. On purpose. These choices highlight just what politicians think of us. We are the pawns in their chess game.
There are well over 100 (and that’s just where I stopped counting) government programs and agencies. LSU has put together a nice list of some of the departments. Yet, politicians chose to cut from the areas that would give them the most dramatic impact: Airports, schools, elderly care, care for the poor, defense. Things people care about and notice.
Had they cut farm subsidies or foreign aid voters would remain apathetic and realize government is filled with largesse. Likewise, hardly anyone would care if they cut funding for the Federal Communications Commission. Dozens (if not more) government agencies and programs could be shut down tomorrow without anyone noticing. Instead politicians want to try our patience at Sky Harbor.
Their choices are made purposely to create outrage. They aren’t acting in our best interests. They are acting against them. The Obama Administration admitted as much in an email to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (yes, apparently that’s a federal department too). From The Washington Times:
In the email sent Monday by Charles Brown, an official with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service office in Raleigh, N.C., Mr. Brown asked “if there was any latitude” in how to spread the sequester cuts across the region to lessen the impacts on fish inspections.
He said he was discouraged by officials in Washington, who gave him this reply: “We have gone on record with a notification to Congress and whoever else that ‘APHIS would eliminate assistance to producers in 24 states in managing wildlife damage to the aquaculture industry, unless they provide funding to cover the costs.’ So it is our opinion that however you manage that reduction, you need to make sure you are not contradicting what we said the impact would be.”
Often times, pawns are used the way politicians use us, as throw away pieces. But, when used effectively, they can win matches.
We should remember that next time we vote and hold them accountable for the choices they’ve made.