It is becoming increasingly apparent that President Obama does not care if America fails, at least economically, on a massive scale. We are now sitting at the top of a very slippery slope regarding our nation’s budget.
This was a little tangled because I had to look up some definitions and timelines. But now I get it, and it’s ugly – so bear with me.
The WARN Act, passed in 1988, requires businesses to give at least 60 days’ notice to workers who may be laid off. This is designed to give workers a chance to seek other employment or additional job training, and avoid a period of unemployment if possible.
Meanwhile, in 2011, Obama signed the Budget Control Act which mandated massive and far-reaching budget cuts across all federal programs if Congress should fail to produce a working budget by January 2013. This “sequestration” provision was meant to motivate Congress to actually pass a budget – because after all, we can’t have anyone cutting needed programs like Medicare, can we?
But, the plan back-fired. The Senate has NOT passed a budget (in fact has not passed ANY budget since Harry Reid took over as Majority Leader), and the massive mandated cuts from the Budget Control Act are now looming with the January 2013 deadline only 90-some days away.
Because of these looming cuts, federal contractors – that is to say businesses who have contracts with the government – are looking at massive layoffs and the need to give workers 60 days’ notice. Because 60 days from January 2013 is November 2012, a Presidential election month, Obama does not want these notices going out to hoards of workers 60 days in advance in accordance with the WARN requirements.
At first, he simply asked the contractors not to send out layoff notices in accordance with WARN. Now, however, he has upped the ante: he has told the contractors that the federal government will pay the costs associated with failing to properly notify affected workers of pending layoffs as long as they don’t issue the notices.
Think about that for just a moment: the President is telling businesses to ignore a federal statute and is screwing workers out of their advance layoff notices, all because he doesn’t want the massive layoffs to affect his re-election.
Not only that, he’s telling those businesses that the government will cover the costs they incur from ignoring that federal statute. To give you a sense of what that might look like: Employers who violate WARN are liable to each affected employee for an amount equal to back pay and benefits for the period of the violation, up to 60 days. Employees, their unions, and/or local governments can also bring individual or class action lawsuits against employers for violating WARN.
Of course, the federal government has no money of its own – it uses TAXPAYER DOLLARS to fund its expenditures. So that means, not only will We the People have trillions of dollars in new debt and billions in new taxes all thanks to Obamacare, but we will also have to pony up hundreds of millions more to fund contractors’ WARN violations. We’ll also have to contend with the billions in spending cuts to critical programs such as defense and Medicare, not to mention potentially hundreds of thousands of additional unemployed neighbors.
All because we are relying on Congressional Democrats to pull their heads out of their collective ass and do their job of passing a budget – a job they have petulantly refused to do since 2007.
Why anyone would vote for ANY Democrat this year is completely beyond me.
10-2-12 Update: Looks like the President’s bribe worked with Lockheed Martin & others. Lockheed Martin says it won’t issue layoffs until after election