According to a Government Accountability Office report released in March but inexplicably only getting attention just now, the pain resulting from last year's sequestration "cuts," which were mostly reductions in the growth of spending in comparison to the previous year, bore no resemblance to the Armageddon-like warnings which preceded their imposition. Only one federal employee was laid off. You read that right — one. Only seven agencies out of 22 furloughed any employees, and they were ultimately given $2 billion in back pay.
What the results exposed by the GAO demonstrate, in addition to the fact that the government had plenty of places to cut and funds to access to keep its operations going without meaningfully affecting the federal workforce, is either that almost nobody in the establishment press cared about what the GAO had to say, or that if they did, they didn't believe that they should tell the nation that the Obama administration's scare tactics had no basis. Excerpts from one of the establishment press reports I found via CBS News's Stephanie Condon predictably turned the whole thing into a "Republicans attack" exercise:
The latest evidence that Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis can't stay true to her convictions or doesn't have any (take your pick) is her position modification on abortion. Steve Ertelt at Life News relays an underlying Dallas News item, telling his readers that "Davis said she would back a 20-week abortion ban as long as it had two exceptions, to kill disabled babies and a health exception rendering any ban meaningless." Point taken, Steven but the idea that Davis would support anything described as a 20-week ban is a significant change from the position which supposedly drove her to filibuster a Texas law last year containing the ban.
Reaction from the establishment press can fairly be described as schizophrenic ("characterized by a breakdown in thinking and poor emotional responses"), and ranges from crickets to cries of "betrayal" to amazing exercises in excuse-making.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released a report this morning projecting among other things, that 2.5 million Americans will drop out of full-time work thanks to ObamaCare. We will, of course, track how the broadcast networks cover this story, but if the news websites for ABC, CBS, and NBC are any indication, they will downplay and/or heavily spin this development.
For its part, for example, ABCNews.com teased a February 4 AP story with the headline "Modest Drop in Full-Time Work Seen From Health Law" in their "latest news" sidebar. By contrast, CBSNews.com was front and center with the CBO story, their teaser headline declaring, "New report stokes debate on Obamacare, jobs" [see screen captures below page break]
Political reporter Stephanie Condon painted Republican vice presidential pick Paul Ryan as an "anti-abortion" extremist in a Wednesday report for CBSNews.com. Condon forwarded the talking points of the pro-abortion left as she zeroed in on Ryan's support of personhood legislation: "Supporters of reproductive rights have loudly pointed out that this type of legislation would not only outlaw abortion but potentially some forms of contraception or even in vitro fertilization."
The online correspondent hyped that "personhood initiatives are so extreme that even card-carrying conservatives like former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour have expressed concerns that they go too far." Condon repeatedly used variations of the "conservative" label in her article, but didn't once identify the left-wing politics of pro-abortion groups.
Stephanie Condon of CBS News reports the Party of Charlie Rangel is attacking freshman Republicans as sleaze-oids: "Democrats are launching a series of robocalls today against six vulnerable House Republicans who have been caught in ethics scandals."
The calls focus on six relatively new GOP members: Reps. Scott Tipton of Colorado, David Rivera of Florida, Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, Charlie Bass of New Hampshire, and Stephen Fincher of Tennessee were all elected in 2010. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Florida came into office in 2007.