Sequestration will be a huge problem for the Chicago area. More than 50,000 Illinois residents are currently employed by the federal government. In fact, there are only 15 percent of federal employees who work in the D.C. area.
When Congress and the president talk about furloughs and job cuts, they are really talking about people who live and work in places like Chicago, Oak Brook, Downers Grove and downstate Illinois. Walk pass the corner of Dearborn and Adams streets and you will see what I mean. The Dirksen Building, Kluczynski Building and post office dominate this corner. Inside these buildings thousands of federal employees are employed by various agencies including the IRS, DEA and the U.S. Court of Appeals where I worked for 32 years.
Imagine what would happen if these jobs went away. Not only would those employees and their families be hurt, but the restaurants and stores in the area also would suffer. Arbitrary cuts will do little to balance the budget but will seriously hurt the Chicago-area economy. We need a solution that does not weaken our federal workforce. Federal employees keep the country moving. It is time to end this sequestration threat and let federal workers continue to do the good work they do.
Margaret M. Murphy