I know we conservatives call Barack Obama a rank political opportunist a awful lot. It’s tough to come up with useful synonyms to describe how he uses people to grease the gears of his political machine, so we on that right tend to sound like knee-jerk partisans, much like when a progressive uses the word “racist” to mean “person who has a political opinion I don’t like”. Still, I don’t know how you can explain the President’s order to intentionally hose up to 200,000 American workers and spend a fair amount of taxpayer money to get around a problem he caused in order to improve his re-election chances.
Due to Obama’s failure to lead and craft a solution to the debt crisis, the Department of Defense is slated for massive cuts.
These cuts mean massive layoffs in both the DoD and affected industries.
200,000 or more layoffs.
The law requires that companies which know they’re going to lay people off provide advance notice of this.
But Obama doesn’t want those notices going out before the election.
So he’s warned contractors to not comply with the law.
And if that weren’t illegal enough, he’s also promising to waive the fines the law says they must pay due to failure to notify.
The infamous “sequestration” requirements were a direct result of the debt ceiling debate. Republicans wanted to trim the expected increase in federal spending by a few percent (though the budget would still get bigger, whenever Harry Reid decided to pass it, which I remind you he hasn’t for well over 1,250 days). The President wanted a very small cut to the projected baseline and a basket of tax hikes on “the rich”. The compromise was a Super Committee of 6 Republicans and 6 Democrats who would, we were told, come to a bipartisan solution. If they couldn’t, then a set of automatic cuts, called “sequestration” would happen. The President and his Democratic cohorts ensured that fully half of the sequestration cuts would fall on the heads of our armed forces while the rest of the federal government would divvy up the other half.
This was, essentially, a political Sword of Damocles the President hoped would hang over the Republicans, who could never let the cuts fall so heavily on our men and women in uniform and those who support them every day.
As expected, the Super Committee mucked around for a while then threw up its collective hands in utter despair. That’s what happens when you put together a budget committee stuffed full of tax illiterates, big spenders, and people in the pocket of Wall Street lobbyists and tax illiterates.
Now, the sequestration cuts are coming. Except there’s this little law called the WARN Act, passed in 1988, which required companies over a certain size give their employees at least 60 days warning of a mass layoff. The idea behind the law was to protect the workers by giving them ample time to line up new jobs before they lost their old ones or to give other companies time to prepare for the layoff, which would have a fairly significant impact on a local economy.
That is the law President Obama has told the defense industry he wants them to ignore. He’s gone so far as to tell them the federal government will use taxpayer money to pay any fines the companies incur when they ignore the law. At least one large company — Lockheed Martin — is going to follow the President’s command.
In other words, in an act of political callousness not seen since Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg fired one million taxicab drivers to slow down the economy, Barack Obama is going to play with the livelihood of 200,000 Americans in order to possibly, maybe save his political hide.
But he’s “for us”, right?
UPDATE: It’s raaaaacism!
Category: The Economy and Your Money