800,000 Federal Workers Could Be Furloughed If Debt Ceiling Isn't Raised

Thursday, June 30, 2011

(DC Labor)

Eight hundred thousand federal workers could end up furloughed if Congress fails to move forward on an increase of the debt ceiling. That's according to a study conducted by George H.W. Bush former Treasury undersecretary Jay Powell who crunched the numbers with assistance from Bill Clinton's former budget director Alice Rivlin and retired Senate Budget Committee Chairman Republican Pete Domenici. "This is the height of irresponsibility," said AFSCME Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman."Furloughing or not paying nearly a million federal workers would affect millions of Americans and send the economy reeling. It would also have a devastating impact on metro Washington workers and residents, whether they work for the government or not." Council 26 represents approximately 7,000 metro-area federal workers. The study, released Tuesday, reveals the U.S. government would be unable to fund 50 percent of its obligations. The federal government would need to implement an immediate cut of 44 percent in federal spending. Impacted departments include Veterans Affairs, Labor, Health and Human Services, Transportation and Education. Military pay would also likely be on the chopping block. Powell told reporters that the end result would be "chaotic." There is a solution, Goldman suggested. "Close corporate tax loopholes and tax the rich."


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