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Something Trump should be working on. He

Posted on: February 11, 2019 at 13:43:33 CT
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at least started it. Not enough. The numbers are outrageous.


Washington Is Missing a Chance to Cut the Federal Workforce

By Tom Coburn & Adam Andrzejewski

Both parties have adopted a mantra of protecting federal employees during the recent government shutdown and ongoing showdown over immigration. Last month, all House Democrats and 29 Republicans voted to increase federal pay by 2.6 percent. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the effort was about “treating federal employees with the respect they deserve and compensating them for the financial stress the Trump-McConnell shutdown has inflicted on them.”

But the reality is federal employees are hardly victims. While it’s true that many are hard-working patriots who could earn significantly more in the private sector, many are not. Still, politicians reflexively defend the status quo out of fear of a political backlash. Their goal is not to protect federal employees or taxpayers, but themselves.

Setting priorities and making smart cuts to lower-priority positions, particularly during a shutdown or crisis, is far more compassionate and responsible than collectively punishing not only all federal employees, but the country and generations that follow.

At OpenTheBooks.com, we’ve documented the bloat in the federal workforce.

Today, there are more than 1.3 million federal employees in administrative agencies who cost taxpayers $114 billion in cash compensation alone. There are more than 91,000 federal employees who out-earn the governor of the state in which they are based. Compensation is so out-of-control that painters, mechanics, electricians, and welders employed by federal agencies now out-earn governors.

This is hardly the portrait of suffering that Hoyer and other Washington politicians invoke. In 78 large federal agencies, the average salary now exceeds $100,000. Providing an average of 8 ½ weeks of holiday, vacation and sick day benefits for federal employees itself costs over $18 billion annually.

While President Trump can’t unilaterally end or defund wasteful programs, federal personnel rules do allow him to permanently eliminate positions for employees who have been furloughed for 30 days. He had this opportunity and missed it during the shutdown, but he could still incorporate smart downsizing demands in his ongoing negotiations with Congress.

Trump has led by example in this area and needs to apply his leadership to the broader federal workforce. The president cut White House staff by 100 employees, a 20 percent reduction that will save taxpayers more than $22 million over four years.

Our oversight of the Department of Education found Secretary Betsy DeVos eliminated 800 lower-priority positions in her department, an 18 percent reduction. In 2012, the department employed 4,600 staffers. Today, there are 3,800, with average pay of $110,000. Savings can be estimated at more than $80 million annually.

Politicians may consider this approach to be draconian but the private sector considers it good management. Rather than punishing the president, taxpayers would applaud him for reforming a federal bureaucracy that’s looking more and more like France’s.
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Something Trump should be working on. He - GA Tiger MU - 2/11 13:43:33




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