GAO: Budget Sequester Only Cut One Federal Job

GAO: Budget Sequester Only Cut One Federal Job

During the government shutdown last October, the main-stream-media railed against what they referred to as the draconian risks associated with the “Budget Sequester.”  Despite the mass hysteria from the chattering classes and Goldman Sachs predicting 100,000 layoffs and the Congressional Budget Office predicting 1.5 million job losses, the bipartisan General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the only one parole officer in the Justice Department was cut.  But after this week’s scandal of “Murderers, Rapists, Kidnappers: Over 36,000 Criminal Illegal Immigrants Released In 2013,” the Obama Administration is sure to blame their latest scandal on the Budget Sequester.      

Sequestration was included as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which resolved the debt-ceiling crisis.  The resulting Sequester set up a Congressional debt-reduction committee and included the sequestration as a disincentive to be activated only if Congress did not pass deficit reduction legislation.  However, the committee did not come to agreement on any plan, activating the sequestration plan. The sequestration was to come into force on January 1, 2013, but the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 delayed it until March 1st of that year.   

In 2010 and 2012, Congress cut spending by $60 billion each year without cutting any personnel.  But in 2013, Congress made a “bipartisan” budget deal to reduce the original $85 billion of cuts down to $44 billion to cushion what was advertised could be up to 1 million personnel reductions. 

The GAO discovered in “2013 SEQUESTRATION: Agencies Reduced Some Services and Investments, While Taking Certain Actions to Mitigate Effects” that of the 23 federal agencies investigated; 19 agencies reported curtailing hiring; 16 reported re-scoping or delaying contracts or grants for core mission activities; 19 reported reducing employee training; 20 reported reducing employee travel; and 7 reported furloughing more than 770,000 employees from 1 to 7 days, but only a single Federal agency (Department of Justice) adopted a “reduction-in-force” (RIF) and that the RIF involved only one full-time-equivalent bureaucrat in the DOJ “Parole Commission”. 

Two days earlier, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) released a report revealing that nearly 200 murderers, over 400 rapists, and 300 kidnappers in the U.S. illegally were released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement while awaiting deportation proceedings, according to a new report.   CIS found that a total of 36,007 criminal illegal immigrants that had committed a total of 88,000 crimes being processed for deportation were freed in 2013.  The report, which was based on internal Department of Homeland Security documents, showed “ICE encountered over 193,000 illegal immigrant convicts. Charging documents were issued for 125,000, and nearly 68,000 were released.”

Given the disaster caused by cutting a single employee in the Justice Department’s parole section, it seems that the Obama Administration now has the data to argue against cutting any other Federal employee.