When 140 Characters Isn't Enough
Corruption: Our lawless president tells defense contractors they can break the law requiring politically inconvenient layoff notices caused by sequestration defense cuts, and the taxpayers will pay their legal bills.
When President Obama took the oath of office, he swore to uphold the Constitution and see that the laws of the United States were faithfully executed. He lied, and that lie was exposed in the administration's weekly document dump last Friday.
It included a memo from the Department of Labor telling defense contractors not to obey the law and that, if they don't, U.S. taxpayers will foot their legal bills when fired employees sue them for breaking the law.
That law is the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notice) Act, which requires employers to give workers a minimum of 60 days notice before potential mass layoffs. These layoffs are likely due to automatic cuts slashing defense that will occur on Jan. 2 under the sequestration provisions of the Budget Control Act.
The law requires $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, half coming from defense on top of a half-trillion in cuts already made by the Obama administration. That means layoff warning notices will be required by law to go out to hundreds of thousands of workers employed by defense contractors on Friday, Nov. 2, just days before the presidential election, a prospect President Obama and his campaign staff do not relish.
Robert Stevens, chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin, one of the largest defense contractors in the key battleground state of Virginia, recently testified in Congress that his company was looking at laying off roughly 10,000 employees from its workforce of 120,000.
The layoffs would be the result of cuts to its largest programs, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and the Littoral Combat Ship.
A lot of voters in Northern Virginia, a critical swing state, work for defense contractors, and cuts caused by sequestration will affect them and the future of their families. Nationwide, Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University's Center of Regional Analysis, estimates the across-the-board reduction could cost the country 2.14 million jobs and increase unemployment by as much as 1.5 percentage points.
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