You get the impression listening to the President, cabinet secretaries, and others discussing the sequester cuts that the American people do not understand “cuts” mean furloughs, layoffs, cancelled initiatives, frozen pay, cut benefits, and an uncertain future. It rings particularly untrue when the President acts like a middle manager and touts all the horrors of modest cuts to growth in federal spending. As someone who has participated in mass RIFs (reductions in force), the President has spent the last week acting just like a junior manager who “does not get it.”
The decision is made the cuts are going to happen. Today the President refused the Republican offer to give the him the flexibility to make the decision on targeted cuts. I have never met a CEO who would not seize that offer of flexibility from a board of directors.
What leader refuses the offer to lead?
It is as if Washington lived through 2008 and 2009 and the years afterward as a business school case. Well guess what DC, those unemployment figures were real people with mortgages and the people hanging around the park mid-day with kids or working retail were furloughed. That was real suffering and now it is going to happen to federal employees and the crony capitalists.
And I am in total agreement that across the board cuts are ridiculous. I worked in a large printing company where for years I begged for more investment in a small software business the printer owned by accident. In years where we spent 60 or 65 million dollars in capital on equipment the software business got scraps. When cuts came, they got their across the board share.
The broad cuts did not save the main business and killed the little business that was the future. That is the issue with the sequester cuts and March budget battles. Are they going to follow the path of the bankrupts from 2008 and 2009 or the smart companies that de-levered, shed unessential functions, and focused on best in class strategy.
Talk to me about leadership, long term entitlement reform, how you are going to pass immigration reform, how we are going to compete in Asia. Do not try and scare me with a vision of job cuts, furloughs, and stupidity over a minor budget battle. Whining achieves nothing.