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Laid-off fed asks Obama, ‘What would you do?’

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A pregnant federal employee who recently found out she is going to lose her job at the National Zoo asked President Obama a hard question yesterday: “What would you do, if you were me?”

Karin Gallo, who will be laid off from her public affairs job June 4, said at a town hall meeting sponsored by CBS News that she took a federal job thinking it was secure, but is now “scared about what the future holds.”

Obama didn’t really answer Gallo’s question. He instead launched into a defense of public sector workers, noted the two-year pay freeze feds are already under, and said that cutting government jobs can have devastating effects on real people. “These are not abstract questions,” Obama said. “And I think Karin makes it really clear that there are real consequences when we make these decisions.”

Carol Fiertz, the Zoo’s associate director of finance and administration, told FedLine the Zoo had to resort to layoffs because of budget shortages. The Zoo’s budget increases in recent years haven’t been enough to keep up with rising animal feed costs and cost-of-living pay raises Congress approved for federal employees.

Besides Gallo, the Zoo is laying off two other public affairs employees, three exhibit employees who make signs, and one horticulturalist. Fiertz said the Zoo hasn’t laid anyone off in several years, though she couldn’t remember when the last layoffs were.

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  1. mike smither Says:
    May 12th, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Welcome to America.

  2. Susan See Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 4:45 am

    This is so sad; and she is expecting a baby. I hope she is married and her husband at least has a job and health insurance. this must be a nightmare for her.

  3. Robert Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    It is shamefull

    We send billions of $$$$$$ overseas……

    And we can not take care of our own!!!!!!!

    What is wrong with this picture!!!!!!!

    The quality of life in the USA has gone, gone and gone…..Away!!!!!!


  4. sb Says:
    May 13th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Obviously, Mr. Obama, has not been pregnant. There are laws to protect pregnant women from being discriminated against, but we know that is not true. It will be hard for her to get employment.

  5. DJH Says:
    May 16th, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Typical of Obama. He spent trillions and ran up the deficit. Now we’re in a recession and people are being laid off. Someone asks him a hard questions and he won’t answer it. It’s time to get rid of him.

  6. VAJim33 Says:
    May 16th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    What in the world is a zoo doing with 3 (plus) public affairs employees any way? Sounds like job creation to me. People listen up: WE CAN’T AFFORD THIS STUFF! It’s better to layoff the extra’s than let the whole government sink under the weight of the debt load.

  7. Top Says:
    May 16th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    “I do not choose to be a common man. It is my right to be uncommon, if I can. I seek opportunity – not security. I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me. I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed. I refuse to barter incentive for a dole… It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act for myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say, this I have done. All this is what it means to be an American.”

    “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. . Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. . . Life is either a daring adventure or
    nothing.” ~Helen Keller (1880 – 1968)

    get another job lady!