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Letters to the editor: Week of Aug. 5

Aug. 4, 2013 - 11:15AM   |  
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Cost of furloughs

On July 8, the Defense Department began furloughing 680,000 civilian employees one day a week to save $1.8 billion. The notification letters stated the furlough was needed to “provide the warfighters with what they need to protect national security and fight the war.”

The amount is $2,647 that each civilian worker is contributing to help provide the war fighters what they need. Dividing that $1.8 billion by the U.S. population (316,000,000 people) equals $5.69. If the $1.8 billion were spread evenly among all those who benefit from providing the war fighters what they need to protect national security, it would cost each person less than 2 cents a day for a year.

Why we made a decision to tax DoD civilians instead of asking everyone to contribute less than 2 cents a day is tough to understand in a country whose citizens spent $125 million in one weekend to see “Man of Steel.”

The next time DoD needs more money, just ask us. We’ll contribute the same amount, maybe more, and still work a full week, because our jobs also provide the war fighters what they need to protect national security.

Clifton L. Bray Jr., GS-14

Tampa, Fla.

Consider contractor cuts

Regarding “Experts call for cutting DoD’s civilian workforce,” June 10 issue:

I feel that your article was not quite the whole story, no matter what the “experts” think. It appears that in addition to the military members in the Defense Department and the 800,000 civil service employees, we also employ around 700,000 contract employees (according to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel).

I recently read a statement from Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., that Defense data indicated contractors make up 22 percent of the Pentagon’s workforce but account for 50 percent of its personnel-related costs.

So I ask you, why are only civil service positions targeted for cuts?

I’ll be retiring soon, so I don’t have skin in this game. But without sitting together to discuss exactly what tasks need to continue and what tasks we can do without, no one has any idea if or how many or who should be cut. Get real!

Candy Summers

Oviedo, Fla.

Sequester frustrations

Regarding sequestration, our newest funds-saving measure in the U.S. government:

I suffer from serious frustration with how my employment means little or nothing to my employer.

Fred Moore

Grovetown, Ga.

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