Sit back and take a double dose of high blood pressure medication. It’s time once again for another installment of the adventures of the most transparent administration in history! From Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, we are reminded that the Obama Administration is trying to talk government contractors—particularly defense contractors—into violating the law. What law? The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, which just happens to require employers to give workers advance notice of layoffs.
So what’s the problem? The sequestration deal that will cut 500 billion out of defense spending will soon go into effect, and the law would require employers to issue notices in late October, 60 days before the sequestration occurred. Wait a minute—late October? But that’s, that’s…just before the presidential election!
Flashback to July 30 when the Obama Labor Department issued a “guidance” telling employers it would be “inappropriate” to give notice because the sequestration “might” not actually happen. But that’s not all. Via Hot Air:
The Labor Department also said companies do not have enough information about how the cuts might be implemented to determine which workers or specific programs could be affected should Congress fail to reach a compromise to reduce the deficit, triggering $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, half from defense, half non-defense. For 2013, that would amount to $109 billion in spending cuts.
Let’s review: The Labor department is “guiding” employers to violate the law because the sequestration which triggers the 60 day notice requirement might possibly not happen. Of course, if this was not an election year, Mr. Obama would be only too delighted to see massive defense cuts, but since he is standing for reelection, it might be disastrous to his election chances for all those pink slips to fly hither and yon just before November 6. Talk about a self-inflicted October Surprise!
Hot Air again:
Yesterday, the OMB went a little farther in wheedling contractors into playing ball:
So the Office of Management and Budget went a step further in guidance issued late Friday afternoon. If an agency terminates or modifies a contract, and the contractor must close a plant or lay off workers en masse, the company could treat employee compensation costs for WARN Act liability, attorneys’ fees and other litigation costs as allowable costs to be covered by the contracting agency—so long as the contractor has followed a course of action consistent with the Labor Department’s guidance. The legal fees would be covered regardless of the outcome of the litigation, according to the OMB guidance issued by Daniel Werfel, controller of the Office of Federal Financial Management, and Joseph Jordan, the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy.
In other words, taxpayers will cover the costs of these layoffs through more spending, even though the point of sequestration was to force cuts in government spending. Instead of paying contractors — mainly defense workers — to work, we’ll start paying them not to work.
It’s actually worse than it seems. Durable good orders dropped 13.2% in the last month and defense orders are dropping 40%. Oh yes, and the new “guidance” was issued on Friday, the day the Obama Administration (actually, most administrations) release news they want buried in the governmental cat box.
What’s that you say? That’s corrupt? Of course it is! Anyone can see that. That’s why the Obama Administration actually is the most transparent administration in history. Mr. Obama and his thuggish cronies are no longer bothering to even try to hide their thuggery. Actually, they haven’t for years.