Recently, congress passed a bill that will be putting over 800,000 civilian government employees out of work. They are calling it the furloughs. A furlough, by definition, is a temporary layoff from work. It can also be described as a leave of absence much like in the military, except at least in the military you are being paid and sometimes even making extra money. To break it down, government employees and military or government contractors are being forced to a non-paid 22 day vacation, and that’s just the first furlough. The government is proposing the furloughs to fix a budget issue that was caused by not being able to agree on the fiscal budget. Sadly, this is not the first time that government has not come to a conclusion on budgets for government funded programs and organizations. Another term that is closely associated with the furloughs is sequestering. This is another big word for spending cuts. The United States government is digging this great nation into a deeper hole without realizing it, all because it is being fixed by putting a “Band-Aid on a bullet wound”. Historically, making moves like this have proven unsuccessful. Imagine how this will affect our already unstable economy. Not to mention the housing market has already taken a hit and is finally coming back to business as normal. The government is worried about its self and not so much the people residing as citizens of this country.
In December 1995 to January 1996, a similar situation occurred. A Democratic President by the name of Bill Clinton, tried to follow through on all of his promises by putting more money than was available into programs that may or may not have needed it. The republican controlled congress did not fold under pressure to President Clinton’s plans to keep his good name, which seems like that was a waste of time. This caused a very large fiscal budget disagreement for funding on behalf of many government programs. The effect of two stubborn opinions resulted in over $400 million dollars from furloughed employees to not be circulated in the economy. Some of the agencies affected by this shut down in government included; Interior, housing, justice department, health services, education services, NASA and labor and State unions. The only thing the government was worried about in this situation, other than how they were affected everyone else, was to keep enough money in house, and not increase the national debt. Not raising the debt was a good thing however, what about the people that were not receiving funding they were promised by President Clinton? The furloughs of 1995-1996 are currently the longest and most destructive furloughs in this nation’s history, for now.
Currently, in the first half of 2013, not even 6 full months prior to the timeline for finalizing the fiscal budgets, the government threatens the dreaded furloughs once again. This time, the result would impact over 800,000 federal employees instead of the 400,000 federal civilian employees from 1995-1996. The current furlough is in place to last 22 days, and that is just the first of three proposed furloughs. After taking inflation and pay increases, 21 days in 1995 does not compare to the 22 days in 2013. In Virginia alone, it is expected that nearly $600 million alone will be kept out of circulation and the numbers are estimated to be over one and a half billion dollars from California. Once again, the government worried about fixing a budget crisis within rather than the employees and their families that rely on them that they are putting out of work with no income for up to 22 days or more.
Some of the organizations that are absolutely essential to the country that would be affected are; American military veterans, law enforcement, and The National Institute of Health. This could cause no money going into law enforcement agencies that protect and serve the citizens. The National Institute of health