Who do we have going to bat for us? Will the local government plead to the local residents to raise taxes so we will not fall out of the middle class? We also have had furloughs, but just like other government employees, we made it through. Our department has been required to reduce our budget by about 20 percent in the last five years, and each time we lose someone, their position is eliminated. A cost-of-living raise is unheard of.