Very true.Of course, unfortunately one is sometimes given very little to no flexibility with what the cut will be in and what form it will take and where it will hit, as it may be dictated down to the agency from various sources outside agency leadership. At that point, one’s data analysis and justifications tend to turn instead towards presenting the likely impacts of such actions and/or attempting to appeal them, rather than being able to guide agency managers to a sustainable strategy and smart practices and trade-offs; as when the exact formula / location / type of reductions are dictated or even partially dictated down down without ability for agency management to have full decision making powers, it completely removes the ability of management to make those choices and appropriately manage an organization.

A prime example of this: A mandated ATB, especially if it were to be at double-digit or near double-digit levels. Completely destroys agencies flexibility to weigh alternatives, make choices and trade offs, keep mission essential items operating, etc.