Letters to the Editor

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SEQUESTER: Furloughs hurt real people, the economy

Letter by Pat Cleghorn, Gig Harbor on Feb. 28, 2013 at 11:05 am with No Comments »
February 28, 2013 1:29 pm

I don’t work for the Defense Department, but I am a federal employee, and thousands upon thousands of us who work for other federal agencies will also be furloughed.

Throwing us out of work or cutting our hours does not help the unemployment rate, particularly in an economy that is not yet creating new jobs to be filled. Furloughing us does not help the economy. It doesn’t save your job or your business. Our paychecks get pumped right back into the local and national economy. We buy goods and services, and we help support local job creation and local businesses.

We pay taxes too; we help pay for the services and benefits we all enjoy. And we are breadwinners and have families to support. Our families are no more deserving of unnecessary hardship than anybody else’s family.

Do we as a nation have some hard choices to make? Yes. But those choices need to be reasoned and not motivated by rigid ideology and politics. And it is no excuse to say that some public employees are poor workers. There are poor workers in the private sector, too, but we do not paint with such a broad brush and condemn all private sectors workers.

Will cutting our salaries (and hours) have a real and lasting impact on the national debt? No. It will, however, have a real and lasting impact on my family and the families of thousands of your fellow citizens.

We can do better, folks.

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