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Posted at 1:22 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Bill proposes 10 percent cut in federal workforce

By Ed O'Keefe

Updated 3:26 p.m. ET
A Texas Republican congressman wants to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent in the next decade, impose a three-year pay freeze across federal agencies and Capitol Hill and trim government printing and vehicle costs.

Rep. Kevin Brady's bill, the Cut Unsustainable and Top-heavy Spending, or CUTS Act, is the first detailed series of spending proposals introduced in the GOP-controlled House that target government operations and the federal workforce. Democrats and federal worker unions have long expected the GOP to target domestic spending programs and the workforce in an effort to trim the federal deficit.

Brady chairs the Joint Economic Committee and is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee -- perches likely to put him at the center of the Congress's forthcoming debate on government spending and deficits.

Both parties have pledged to tackle deficit concerns, but are expected to introduce dramatically different proposals. President Obama is set to unveil his 2012 budget proposals in mid-February and Republicans have promised to introduce deep spending cuts that they expect to be adopted now that more GOP lawmakers are serving on Capitol Hill.

Adopting many proposals introduced by Obama's bipartisan fiscal commission, Brady's bill would eliminate about $150 billion in federal spending over five years by, among other things, cutting 200,000 federal jobs - including civilian Pentagon positions - through attrition over the next decade. The cuts would occur by replacing every three workers who leave the government with two new hires, Brady said Tuesday.

"There's not a business in American that's survived this recession without right-sizing its workforce, without having to become more productive with fewer workers. The federal government can't be the exception," Brady said in an interview. "We're going to have to find a way to serve our constituents and our taxpayers better and quicker and more accurately with fewer workers. I'm convinced we can do it and we don't have a choice."

The bill also calls for a three-year pay freeze for lawmakers and executive branch employees, including Defense Department workers, saving about $26 billion over five years. The commission endorsed the pay freeze as part of its proposals.

Obama, who is also considering fiscal commission proposals as part of his forthcoming budget, has already ordered a two-year federal worker pay freeze. Federal employee unions consider the move detrimental to government recruitment and retention efforts.

Brady also wants 15 percent cuts in White House and Congressional budgets totaling $3.8 billion in savings over five years, a $2 billion cut in government printing costs and a $1.5 billion reduction in federal vehicle costs - ideas backed by the commission.

Brady's bill also adopts the commission's proposal to eliminate $400 million in annual funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which distributes money to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio. Republican-backed legislation to end CPB funding, drafted in the wake of NPR's decision to fire commentator Juan Williams for comments he made about potential terrorists, failed during last year's lame-duck session.

Borrowing from spending cuts pushed by Obama and former president George W. Bush, Brady would eliminate some resource development and conservation programs, surface transportation funding and legal assistance payments by the Education Department.

Several Republican-backed spending proposals failed to advance last year as part of a Republican online voting contest started by then-House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

Cantor, who now serves as House Majority Leader, is "looking at every idea to lower spending and generate savings for the taxpayer," said his spokesman, Brad Dayspring.

Brady, who credited the commission for most of the proposals in his bill, said it likely will be included as part of formal Republican budget proposals coming soon.

Colleen M. Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said the bill "would leave federal agencies understaffed and underfunded, which has serious consequences to the American public." NTEU represents about 150,000 federal workers.

Chris Edwards, a budget analyst with the Cato Institute, said the bill "only nibbles around the edges" by saving just $43 billion annually, or 3 percent of the federal deficit. The government could save more money by cutting billions of dollars in business and farming subsidies and Medicare and Medicaid payments, he said.

The bill also doesn't propose cutting any of the billions of dollars in annual costs tied to health insurance and retirement benefits for current and former federal workers. Union leaders and other observers have warned that significant changes to federal benefits would drive many eligible workers to retire, potentially draining agencies of senior, experienced career officials.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Staff writer Eric Yoder contributed to this report

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 11, 2011; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Budget, Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Comments

Cut your own salary first Mr. Brady. The pay freeze already instituted + insurance premium increases + rent increases here in DC are already a pay cut.

Put the Legislative House in order before you come after my salary jerk.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | January 11, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Brady is jumping on the 'Lets all abuse the federal workforce' bandwagon w/o any idea of depth of what adverse effects such cutbacks will have. He obviously is opposed to certain depts of the govt. and thus his bill; however, what of the Americans who see such cutbacks as the wrong way to go - in essence he is not willing to tax the wealthy but to take away jobs from those working for a living. I am a retired federal employee - professional level and proud of my 25 years of service during which there increasingly were 10 hour days and 6 day workweeks and with no overtime. I, as did my co workers earned every dime of their pay and benefits and I am tired of this rhetoric coming from Republicans as a means of reducing the budget. Go to the high rollers on Wall Street or in other areas of the U.S. perhaps the oil industry in Texas.

Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | January 11, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Federal workers on average make less than their non-government counterparts, particularly for white collar jobs.

But, hey, let's not let facts get in the way of cheap political posturing.

And those 200,000 jobs? They save about as much as, what, a couple of unwanted and unnecessary pieces of military hardware?

Funny how I don't see the new Congress going after weapons programs that even the military say they don't want or need.

Posted by: TheHillman | January 11, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Does he want to cut farm welfare? Or corporate welfare? Not likely.

But how about making life easier for the Big Money crowd that funded the teahadists? Cut the budget for the SEC, CFTC, FDIC, OCC, FBI, EPA, and IRS.

Money talks, and BS walks.

Posted by: Garak | January 11, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Brady is on the right track. He is talking about the government getting about 10% more efficient and giving them 10 hyears to do it. Every company in the world has done this and conitues to do it -- that's why our productivity keeps going up despite overall economic downturns.

The federal workforce is a valuable resource. But, it costs a lost of money and should be prudently managed. How can anyone argue with that?

I find it interesting that in all the jubilation about a whole next generation of expanded federal regulators (EPA, Banking, Health Care, FDA, etc.) not one media outlet asked the simple questions: How many people will these changes take to do? How will we pay for them? Is it worth the money? Should something of lesser importance be reduced to off-set cost? Is this the most efficient and effective way to accomplish this? You know -- plain and simple management questions.

Regarding the pay freeze, it seems to me that absent inflation, the federal workforce will only have step increases, reclassifications, locality pay, hazzard duty pay, pro-pay, transfers and promotions to fall back on for increased compensation. Absent these inconvenient truths, I guess it is sort of a freeze in a global-warming sort of way.

The same government, using the same economic indicators decided that social security recipients did not merit a cost of living adjustment. How could one be justified for the Feds? If inflation returns, then so should a Cost of Living Adjustment.

Posted by: DOps | January 11, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

A great start would be this man from Texas working for half of his salary for his term and giving the rest towards the deficit he is so worried about. Charity AND responsibi;ity begin at home sir. In fact,all of Congress should get a pay cut with no raise in sight until the deficit is cleared. When is the Post going to report on the Congress members "fears" of gun toting loonies? This was in the MSNBC page about some of them thinking it was a good idea for secret service to be with them (yes, each one of them) when they did their little tours of wherever to get out of working and answering to their constituents. Are they serious? I've been robbed in Bethesda, Silver Spring, and almost caught a bullet in DC (the late eighties when it was called "Dodge City"), and I would never expect some fool to follow me around for "protection." Man up. Thankfully, in one poll, 79% of those asked thought that Congress does not need extra "guards" for the members while traveling. How do you say "suck it up" or "put your big girl pants on" and deal with it in Latin?

Posted by: stopthemadness | January 11, 2011 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Anyone been to the grocery store and the gas station lately? Prices are going up, up, up! Not fair to freeze wages without freezing prices; and didn't Nixon try that once? Its bad economics. I'm very opposed to freezing any public employees salaries. They have to live just like the rest of us!

Posted by: AnnsThought | January 11, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

So he wants to eliminate the budget subsidy for NPR and PBS, two of the most respected news organizations in this country. I am a taxpayer too and I want the budgets for those enities INCREASED. I will be watching this moron and his congress and if they cut this funding they will hear from me.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | January 11, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

The key it to cut total government employment and spending and this includes contractors as well as federal employees. For many years the government has talked about shrinking the size of government by cutting gov't employees while hiring even more contractors to fill their shoes. The only true measure of the size of government is the amount of money being spent!! Otherwise, it is all smoke and mirrors and a shell game we can no longer afford.

Posted by: dkeller1 | January 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I'm not against controlling costs, but cutting all these federal workers will produce zero savings if they wind up being replaced by contractors. It's already happening now, and it winds up costing the taxpayer a lot more in the end.

Posted by: ecjmom | January 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The key it to cut total government employment and spending and this includes contractors as well as federal employees. For many years the government has talked about shrinking the size of government by cutting gov't employees while hiring even more contractors to fill their shoes. The only true measure of the size of government is the amount of money being spent!! Otherwise, it is all smoke and mirrors and a shell game we can no longer afford.

Posted by: dkeller1 | January 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

news flash: save 10B a month with a bonus of saving our military lives in crapholes you hypocrites. liar in chief and his flunkies as usual focused on their social engineering projects and redistributing $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to welfare care and other minority self interest BS

Posted by: pofinpa | January 11, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

@TheHillman:

"Federal workers on average make less than their non-government counterparts, particularly for white collar jobs."

**************************

Nonsense!

FIRST, most federal positions don't have non-government counterparts. Ever met a "Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator (Acting)" at a corporation?

SECOND, I know plenty of government lawyers & IT professionals, who do indeed get paid less than lawyers and IT professionals in industry. But they chose to trade salary for job security, benefits and shorter work hours.

If federal government employees are so underpaid, why don't they simply find a private industry job?

Posted by: pmendez | January 11, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

So this brilliant plan would eliminate the only source of real news in the nation - NPR - which republicons hate because IT REPORTS REALITY which has a well known liberal bias. It would save a whopping 13 bn. Or in different terms, less than the cost of keeping the Inheritance tax at its absurdly low level. Or in other terms, 1% of the Pentagon budget. Or in other terms, less than .3% of the entire federal budget. All while inflicting maximum pain on American families, and allowing corporations to run wild until the federal agencies in charge of keeping them in check are reconstituted and reinvigorated.

republicons are just clowns in suits.

Posted by: John1263 | January 11, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@TheHillman:

"Federal workers on average make less than their non-government counterparts, particularly for white collar jobs."

**************************

Nonsense!

FIRST, most federal positions don't have non-government counterparts. Ever met a "Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator (Acting)" at a corporation?

SECOND, I know plenty of government lawyers & IT professionals, who do indeed get paid less than lawyers and IT professionals in industry. But they chose to trade salary for job security, benefits and shorter work hours.

If federal government employees are so underpaid, why don't they simply find a private industry job?

Posted by: pmendez | January 11, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@nyrunner101 & john1263:

Since you love NPR & PBS so much, I assume you'll be donating all your tax savings from the Bush tax cuts to these two fine news-gathering organizations.

Posted by: pmendez | January 11, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Make no mistake - the economic recovery so carefully managed by Democrats and the President is about to come to a screeching halt. Any private sector hiring is going to be more than offset by public sector short sighted cuts, and the resultant loss of revenue from those public sector jobs will start the economy dropping like a stone again. In addition those jobs are not "do nothing" jobs. From the cops, teachers and firefighters who are going to lose their jobs to the regulators in the federal workforce they all do essential work for the country. We will see an inevitable rise in crime, death from injury that firefighters will be too slow to respond to, corporate abuses, and of course a next generation that will be less educated and therefore less able to deal with the problems and challenges of the future.

Way to go. VISIONARY on the part of the gop. Turn us into Haiti. Great thinking.

Posted by: John1263 | January 11, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

First - my tax savings from bush are paltry at best, and more than offset by expenses I incurr because of republicon mismanagment of the economy in the 200s and the reultant rises in health care from the "do-nothing" period of the last decade. Second - I do donate to public radio every year. It is more than worth it, but it should not be in such a state that it has to allow commercials like crappy republar radio and tv. It is the entire reason we have public broadcasting - it serves the needs of the public for uality programing and unbiased news reporting WITHOUT the need to bow and scrape to corporate paymasters. So the chump change we spend compared to the quality we get is amazing, and should be REWARDED not punished. But as I said - NPR is a target for republicons because it reorts REALITY something republicons hate. they wat the public only getting the fiction spewed out like so much refuse from a sludge pipe from fux and talk radio. When people know what republicons are up to it makes the skin crawl. When you find out what sleazebags they are it makes you feel like you need a shower with lots of soap to get the stink off from just being in the same country.

Posted by: John1263 | January 11, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I'm for a 10% across the board cut, including the legislative branch. We don't need 435 congressmen, eliminate 44 of these positions and the govt would function just fine.

Deal?

Posted by: barrylarryandtimmy | January 11, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

cut the agencies headquarters in DC. the regional offices can be more effective.

Posted by: Tess6 | January 11, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

We can save a MEGATON of money if we stop invading countries & starting wars.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | January 11, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Federal workers pay federal taxes - part of which go to pay his salary - and federal workers vote. Hopefully the federal workers in his district, if he has any, vote him out.

Posted by: Sojouner | January 11, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

As a couple of notes.
1. The White House is largely staffed by military and other government employees who are off the 'books.'
2. Get rid or reduce the number of congressional staffers who are mainly friends and family.
3. Get rid of or greatly reduce the number of political people who receive government jobs when an administration changes hands and then worm their way into Civil Service.
4. Reduce the number of GS-13/14/15 pay grades in Washington DC who do nothing remotely related to that pay scale.
5. Anytime a federal worker feels to badly off let them return to a civilian job. Not many takers there.
6. 10% can be achieved with little pain via attritition or retirement.
7. Prohibit contractors from hiring former government workers unless they been away for more than 2 years.
All smoke and mirrors anyway as no member of congress will even remotely cut a payroll related to their district.

Posted by: KBlit | January 11, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

When will Brady get around to cutting hours for visiting the Washington Monument?

Posted by: Bartolo1 | January 11, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

It is so obvious what is going on, I'm surprised no one has noticed it. Working for the government is the LAST good job left if you are not in a profession of some kind (doctor, lawyer, etc.). Good benefits, good retirement. The republicans just can't stand that. They won't quit until everyone has a Walmart job.

Posted by: Lynne7 | January 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

@ pmendez... I am not sure anyone knows whether you are coming or going. Do you?

FIRST, Principal Asst Deputy Administrator (Acting)? The feds have asst directors all over the globe clown! Big deal on the title... what are the responsibilities? How many cashiers, waitresses, tele-marketers, or even chefs does the feds employ bozo? NONE! Get realistic and compare profession to profession, not titles.

SECOND, yes, the fed professions get paid ALOT less then the private community of each profession, but who are you to say WHY they chose the fed. Maybe many professional DO NOT like greedy corporate stab-in-the-back profit-maker tactics and unethical executives who sleep with their board of directors. Just maybe the fed professional don't care to work for an employer who is completely owned by a foreigner or that the company just might not be sitting on USA soil tomorrow.

You're a nut case!

Posted by: darbyohara | January 11, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

This is a good start.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 11, 2011 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Start by cutting all the incompetent czar slugs that Odumbo hired without congressional approval. Then get rid of Moochelle's band of high paid servants.
Those two alone will make a big dent in the federal budget.

Posted by: LarryG62 | January 11, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Very modest proposal compared to Russia's, where Medvedev wants to reduce bureaucrats by 20% over three years. When we can't at least equal the communists in a commitment to smaller government, we are in hurt city.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | January 11, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

We have too many people in Congress. With today's high speed telecommunications we don't need 535 people to stir the pot. There are too many cooks in the kitchen. DOWNSIZE CONGRESS!!!

Posted by: TooManyPeople | January 11, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm dismayed by this.

I look at the failures in the intelligence community over 9/11 and Iraq, the past decade of gross fraud on Wall Street, the neat destruction of the national banking system, the continued challenges to our environment posed by things like continued CO2 emissions and the Gulf oil spill, and the lack of any serious breakthroughs in health medicine (AIDS, cancer, Alzheimers) ... and wonder if we should not have more federal works so that our regulatory bodies can do their jobs fully and properly.

The military and DHS have been given blank checks to get the bodies they need to do their jobs well, and they have, in spades. Why short the rest of the federal government? The depression we barely escaped in 2008 should be ample warning.

Posted by: tslats | January 11, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

And LarryG62, we'll ensure that any future republican president doesn't have czars and the republican first lady doesn't have staff either. You sound like a dummy if you think that Obama and Michelle have staff that previous administrations didn't have. Nancy Reagan really knew how to play the game.

Posted by: missingwisc | January 11, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Brady should have to share his office and cut his staff in half. After all, what purpose do they serve? Anybody can answer phones and lick envelopes including Brady himself.

Posted by: ForceOfOne | January 11, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

If he wanted to phase out all consultants (They aren't called Beltway Bandits for nothing) first and then cut staff based on need, I might think this was something other than empty posturing.

Posted by: david6 | January 11, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

lets also start cutting politicians by 10% & reduce thier pay & bebefits also paid by taxes from the average citizen. maybe brady could set a good example to the american people by being the 1st to resign on the way to reduce the great number of politicians sucking on the public dole!

Posted by: rwnbeachdriveswyahoocom | January 11, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to apologize for even suggesting that we cut the defense budget. What kind of a patriot am I? Sniff. God bless the USA.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | January 11, 2011 3:45 PM | Report abuse

A very small start. We also need to go after the unions inflated pensions. When we start seeing mass defections from the federal ranks then maybe we can ease up a little bit.

Posted by: stevevan1 | January 11, 2011 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It’s amazing how politicians can get stuck on one idea and then beat it to the ground over and over again; Simple minds with simple ideas. The first politician says “Hey, Government uses too much money and people work for the Government. Let’s cut their pay”. Good idea – done, pay freeze for 2 years. Then the next guy says “I got an idea…let’s cut back some more” (I’m brilliant) and then the third guy says “Hey, I got an idea; let’s cut their benefits” (We are all so smart). If Robin Hood kept stealing from the same person he would turn that guy into a poor person. Share the load. Use your brains; I see very few ideas of where to cut Federal Budgets from besides the Federal work force.

Posted by: goodtoknow | January 11, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Clinton cut the Federal workforce? Then it greatly expanded under Bush. At that time I'm sure Democrats were all behind the former, and dead set against the latter. Republicans didn't say much a about it when it happened under Bush. In 2007 Obama spoke out against raising the debt ceiling (Dems said hurrah! Repubs said booo!). Then the republicans wanted to vote against it in 2011 (Dems said booo!). I'm just wondering if straight-line ticket punching partisans realize how partisan and hypocritical they are. Find any issue, and any given politician will either be for it or against it depending on what his opponents across the aisle think. In the interim, nothing gets done and we all lose.

Posted by: pswift00 | January 11, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Save taxpayers money?

Unemployment benefits are taxed, so why
not:

tax welfare checks
tax section 8 checks
tax food stamps
tax all the other - numerous - hand-outs

This will increase revenue for the US treasury, and save hard-working taxpayers
money.

If there is no interst in taxing the
above hand-outs, then end the programs
- with the exception for the diabled
and elderly - and make these people
do something for once!

Posted by: Sirius2 | January 11, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Considering that the annual attrition rate for federal workers has averaged 5.8-9.2% over the last several years, a 10% reduction over the next decade should not result in layoffs.
http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20101103/PERSONNEL02/11030305/1001

darbyohara,
Btw, the federal government does employ cashiers and chefs. You obviously have never been to a National Park or military installation. The person collecting the fees at the park gates are federal employees and the military employs lots of cashiers on bases. They staff the commissary, the PX/Exchange, and Recreation services. Military and VA hospitals, and the Forest Service also have cooks/chefs. The Census Bureau employs people to conduct on-going field surveys and interviews that can involve telephone work(kind of like telemarketers). You obviously don't know as much as you think about the federal workforce.

Posted by: sammann | January 11, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Fire all government employees including congressmen and their staff and outsource their jobs to India.

Posted by: msjn1 | January 11, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

I love these ridiculous euphemisms--"rightsizing"--it really means exporting jobs to China and India to increase corporate profits. Of course government jobs have to "privatized" before they can be exported. True right sizing would be having and adequate, well trained, motivated work-force that provide the necessary services. Of course, it might also mean cancelling the blank check for anything called "homeland security."

Posted by: Jaggedadze | January 11, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Cutting workforce without eliminating or reducing missions, programs, and madates will produce nothing but greater inefficiency.

This is the "starve the beast" philosophy that believes in cutting personnel and budget to force agencies to become more efficient and do the same amount of work with less. But it never works.

This is the same uniformed mentality that too many Tea Party newbie legislators espouse that we should cut taxes and then cut spending, which just raises the deficit because they never get around to the cutting side of the equation. Except here, they cut people first then try to figure out what work to take off the plates of the remaining people.

Posted by: RufusPlimpton | January 11, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Not enough! Let's start with a 20% reduction in the government workforce. A two year freeze on salaries---with promotions only allowed for combat personnel.
Also, with communications the way they are today, let's move the bureaucrats to nowheresville and then we can save on security.

Posted by: ears37 | January 11, 2011 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Leaders lead from the front. So, Congress cut your own pay say 10 to 20%.Perhaps the many millionaires in our Congress could become "$1.00 per year" men and women. Sure they could do that but that would mean a "sacrifice" on their part. It will never happen.

Posted by: caseyb1 | January 11, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Union leaders and other observers have warned that significant changes to federal benefits would drive many eligible workers to retire, potentially draining agencies of senior, experienced career officials.'

Its already happening....If I was out of school. I would not join the FEDS...Its not worth being a meat puppet to the rethuglicons...while they give tax breaks to rich people so they can get a Bentley....I'm punching out as soon as I can...

Posted by: nowhine | January 11, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

How about a 10% cut in Seats in the House of Representatives?

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 11, 2011 4:39 PM | Report abuse

How about if Texas volunteers not to receive any federal money for a year. That would take guts, Rep. Brady.

Posted by: pjohn2 | January 11, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

As far as cutting funding to NPR and PBS they should stand on their own two feet, public donations end of subject, Oh and wasn't it funny the woman NPR got rid of lost her"bonus" Federal workers are way to many cut cut cut, same with the states cut cut cut. This is not going to be fun but necessary.

Posted by: independent31 | January 11, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have always believed that you can lay off all american workers and still have a prosperous economy.

Will someone explain to me how that works.

Posted by: insider9909 | January 11, 2011 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Great. At a time when unemployment is so high, let's eliminate some government jobs. Sure makes a lot of non-sense.

Posted by: Write-Guy | January 11, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

If you want to cut the Federal workforce, then stop creating worthless agencies like Homeland Security, FEMA, and TSA.

Posted by: GaryJean | January 11, 2011 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Start in Texas. Close all the Social Security offices, empty out all military bases and re-deploy people elsewhere, cut Federal Medical Assistance reimbursement to 50%, like it is for NY and CA, down from 60% like it is for Texas. Cut highway repair expenses by requiring Texas to match each Federal dollar through imposition of tolls (why does NY pay tolls on the thruway, and NJ pay tolls on the turnpike.....)

etc.

Posted by: kamdog | January 11, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Okay, for all of you who have ideas, and took the time to write them here, your next step is to write your ideas down and send them to your Congressional representation, your Senators, and the President. Make darn sure you point out what you want, and what you don't want.

Posted by: murrayh | January 11, 2011 5:12 PM | Report abuse

I've worked for two federal agencies over 32 years, and I can attest to the dedication and hard work of the vast majority of federal workers. However, having served in high level management positions for twenty years, I can tell you that I could initiate 10% cuts tomorrow the workforce that I managed, and no one would know the difference. I'll bet this is true in every federal agency. There is a sizable element of employees who underperform. I'm not sure that private sector is any better. Instead of freezing salaries across the board, give federal managers the power to reward outstanding performers and to get rid of dead wood. In my experience, 20 percent of the workers do 80% of the work.

Posted by: wjssparky | January 11, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Bear with this comment for a minute or three:

the number of Federal Civilian workers is just about half of what it was in 1953 or 1954, despite more than doubling the U.S. population.

Not to say that more can't be done, but a lot of trimming has gone before us--and to get the government's work done with fewer employees, massive contracting out of services has been the pattern for decades.

So, a lot of what was government work is being done through the private sector, through contract employees and service providers.

If anyone is serious about cutting costs, they'll have to go after the work done by contractors, too. Otherwise, we're liable to see a federal worker cut and a contractor employee hired to make the statistics right...at a higher cost.

Begin by asking what needs to be done, rather than pretending that cutting Federal employee numbers is the same as economizing.

Posted by: Socrates2 | January 11, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

The money to be had is in the hands of the corporations and Wall Street...leave the little guys alone...someone please have the courage to do what is right here and get the big money to pony up.
They have plenty of money to spend on our elections now...how about paying some taxes and stop raping us all.

Posted by: mrvance | January 11, 2011 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Just more hate from the party that always needs a focus for their hate. Wonder if they'll allow cuts to the House cafeteria and gym. I doubt it, those are necessities.

Posted by: Fate1 | January 11, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

What an ignorant. All of this is already happening. There is a two-year freeze on federal salaries and retiring feds employees sparingly at best, in most of the civilian government. Fact is the big savings are to be had in reforming social security and medicare, and restructuring the tax code. This congressman avoid all the difficult questions and is a coward.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | January 11, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

May I suggest the the first federal jobs to be examined should be the positions reserved for political appointees? Until the Federal Government can rectify the bloat PAs add to the Federal payroll, perhaps we should leave the career Feds alone

Posted by: loser353 | January 11, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

This is an insult. Make the percentage 30% including the staff of those legislators. Institute term limits and do away the the Dept. of Education and cut he powers of the other useless government departments.

Posted by: nomobarry | January 11, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

What I found infuriating is the old farts federal employees, usually high pay grades, who retire and then come back as contractors! Uncle Sam is paying them a (far too generous) pension, and a contractor salary! What a waste of money! These dollars could be spent to hire fresh young talent instead of postrate conscious elderlies. This just should not happen.

Posted by: RegisUrgel | January 11, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

'Chris Edwards, a budget analyst with the Cato Institute, said the bill "only nibbles around the edges" by saving just $43 billion annually, or 3 percent of the federal deficit. The government could save more money by cutting billions of dollars in business and farming subsidies and Medicare and Medicaid payments, he said.'

Chris, Chris, Chris. You are so naive it's cute. You believe that Brady's goal is actually saving money and not political posturing....

Posted by: va2009 | January 11, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

There is a warning for all government workers about their jobs on toyota runaway org. That site is warning people to be careful with their finances thru May 10th. This article makes clear why toyota runaway org put this warning out.

Posted by: Moley2 | January 11, 2011 6:41 PM | Report abuse

There is a warning for all government workers about their jobs on toyota runaway org. That site is warning people to be careful with their finances thru May 10th. This article makes clear why toyota runaway org put this warning out.

Posted by: Moley2 | January 11, 2011 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Understaffed and underfunded? That's good comedy. What does the government produce? What do these people do at "work" all day? I'll give you a hint. NOTHING. Cut away at the Federal workforce.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 11, 2011 6:46 PM | Report abuse

This is my suggestion; Freeze all polititians salaries. Then, inversely adjust their pay in accordance to how much they reduce the deposit. If they reduce it by 10 percent, then they geat a 10 percent pay raise. Now there's motive to getting this country, and our polititians in ship shape real quick.

Let's put it to a refferendum on the 2012 ballot.

Posted by: localgoober | January 11, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be in favor of laying people off, but cuts through attrition? Sure. And if the American people wonder why they don't get the service they're used to? Let them speak to congress. And let's not forget. Many government employees are not the overpaid sort. Rather, the GS-4 to GS 9 sort, working hard every day for little pay.

Posted by: John991 | January 11, 2011 6:51 PM | Report abuse

@Moley2: Toyota runaway . org is a crazy person website. I hope you don't believe what is on there.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 11, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

@localgoober: Please learn to spell.

Posted by: Jsuf | January 11, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

The Federal workforce is the same size as it was under Nixon. Just sayin...

Posted by: zackool | January 11, 2011 7:14 PM | Report abuse

What the Republicans really want to cut is at the IRS. They would love to see a 90 percent reduction in agents which would allow them to cheat even more on their taxes without fear of conseqences

With fewer government lawyers Corporations could violate every rule in the book and destroy Americas water, air and food without any fear of retribution. They could steal from the government even more than they do now. You can make all the laws and regulations to protect the American people from corporate greed, but without money to back those laws up then they are pointless.

Posted by: brcox | January 11, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse


Congress could save a little change by not printing the Congressional Record. This has always been a useless document and now its uselessness can be saved digitally.


Posted by: mortified469 | January 11, 2011 7:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm a 5 years retired Fed. About 7 years ago, there was a blurb in "The Post" about the budget and deficit. The portion of the Federal budget allocated to PC&B for active and retired employees was 6%. I'm sure that number is somewhat different today but not dramatically. It doesn't take a budget whiz to understand that you can't balance the budget by tinkering with 6%. The ugly truth for both citizens and elected officials is that entitlements (that's another discussion) plus the defense budget take up over 60% of the budget and that is where you have to make cuts to have any real chance at balancing the budget and reducing the deficit.

Posted by: aeleanorsuddenlinknet | January 11, 2011 7:35 PM | Report abuse

This is a ploy to divert attention away from the real problem -- Wall Street and Corporate America. Pick on the little guy. Typical Republican strategy.

Posted by: CAC2 | January 11, 2011 7:42 PM | Report abuse

You can jump on that bandwagon up until we have the next oil spill. Who needs inspectors?

Posted by: onifadee | January 11, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

A 10% cut over a 3 year period!! How can the country possibly survive with all of the lost services?
If Congress was serious about cutting cost they would make these cuts mandatory and permanent in 90 days. Then, there needs to be the same type of reduction annually for 3 years. And, no one will miss a single government benefit.

Posted by: mike9270 | January 11, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

It would be much more productive to cut 15% or 20% of the federal workforce, but provide raises and bonuses to those who actually do work hard. An across the board freeze will cause the best and brightest to leave federal service and leave those who could not find other work or who prefer the easy life of government service with its grossly inflated pension. No one in private industry gets the post retirement benefits given to any fed who sticks around long enough.

Posted by: willC78 | January 11, 2011 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I'd feel better about Rep. Brady's wish to freeze pay at Federal agencies for the next three years if he were also in favor of changing tax policy to help assure that overall wage gains over that time are more fairly shared than they are now. Over the past 20 or so years, the wealthiest 1% or 2% of the population benefited the most from any gains in income, while the bottom 60% of the population has either barely stayed even or lost ground.

Posted by: apn3206 | January 11, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Laying folks off only add to unemployment and loss of health care.

You save by bidding on drugs and health services. Not like the new bill paying for the same old broke system. Get lobbiest out of DC. We have to repeal the fair trade agreement which is not fair. The agreement is taking American jobs by the thousands each year and giving them to other countries.

Cut the prez and congress salary and benefits. They are failures...

We need a peaceful citizen revolt of collecting name to vote congress and the prez out at will. Why listen to the lies...

Posted by: billisnice | January 11, 2011 9:03 PM | Report abuse

The austerity measures should not be focused on reducing the number of Federal employees .In the past and in practice , contractor employees who replace Federal employees , did not help agencies in any cost cutting . There is an opportunity now to combine , reduce and substantially cut down many Federal agencies and corporations . There are scores of initiatives and programs in many agencies , those after review can be combined , eliminated or drastically reduced . Since most spending line items in the Federal budget (a planning document) are proposals from the lowest echelons of the Federal agencies , it would help if the targeted expenditures reductions by 5 to 15 percent from their budgets are done by the Federal agencies and are not mandated across the board by the Congress . Mr. Zandi has recently noted that : " The exclusions, exemptions, deductions and credits that riddle the tax code cost the federal government more than $1 trillion each year." This could be deliberated and agreed up on by the Congress . It is very surprising and unfair that there is no public announcement yet concerning a pay freeze , reduction of pay and allowances of the Cabinet Secretaries , Members of Congress and U. S. Senators . As a former Federal employee my prayers are with Federal employees for their future .

Posted by: dmfarooq | January 11, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

"From the cops, teachers and firefighters who are going to lose their jobs to the regulators in the federal workforce they all do essential work for the country."

Just the same old BS lines obama used to justify his union bailouts. Cops, nurses and firefighters are not federal employees. In fact most nurses do not even belong to unions. The cut in the federal workforce is more than justified. Virtually every industry has had massive layoffs while the federal workforce has grown exponentially, along with their salaries.

And the vehicle budget reduction is brilliant.

Amazing that people are complaining that "it only saves xx billion dollars". Sure, to some maybe a few billion here, a few billion there doesn't seem to be much but in the long run will run into hundreds of billions saved. It all adds up.

Posted by: cathyjs | January 11, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

"There's not a business in American that's survived this recession without right-sizing its workforce, without having to become more productive with fewer workers. The federal government can't be the exception."

Well, of course, it can and it probably should be the exception. Businesses cut jobs because a recession means a drop in sales, so there's less work to do. But in a recession, there's marginally more work to do, with increases in social services, administration of unusual stimulus funds, etc. Plus, this administration is doing jobs that the last one ignored, like food and mine safety enforcement. The Defense Department is still fighting a war with fewer employees than it had in the 1990's. While there are far more contractors to help, that also means far more contracts to be awarded and administered, and experts agree (e.g. the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting) that DoD lacks personnel in the number, and with the skills, to do this larger job.

But watch, the one thing in this bill that will surely not survive is the cuts in Congress' operating budget. The Republican House promises vastly more hearings on the operation of the Democratic Executive Branch - another significant increase in the workload of embattled civil servants.

Posted by: Yaz1 | January 11, 2011 9:45 PM | Report abuse

I think three important points have been lost in the debate reflected in the comments posted so far. First, many of us who work in Federal service joined our agencies because we recognize how incredibly fortunate we Americans are to live in this country. It is not a perfect nation, but it is far better than any place I’ve lived or traveled, and I have lived and traveled all over the world. We joined Federal service because it is an opportunity to serve, and to contribute to part of what makes this country great. In the National Park Service, where I work, our unofficial motto is “We work so that you can play.” Most staff work hard, and many routinely work well beyond the 40 hour weeks for which they are paid. We do this because we believe in what the Park Service does and we believe that it makes this nation better for all Americans. We also do it because we are already short-staffed.

Second, the proposed 10% cut in the Federal workforce makes for a nice sound bite, but it little more than that. Let’s start by asking what it is that we want the government to do for us, and what sort of workforce is required to accomplish it. We have been told we need to be more accountable, and we have no issues with that. But we need to recognize that it takes people to do all of the tracking and analyzing and reporting to Congress that we are required to do. And those people aren’t doing the work, they are simply reporting on the work. The gentleman from Texas would have us reduce the number of people responsible for cutting the grass and plowing the snow, but not the number of people who report on cutting the grass and plowing the snow. All of those bureaucrats we keep hearing about are doing the things that Congress has required of Federal agencies. Does anyone else see the irony here?

Third, while most employees work hard and do good work, there are occasional exceptions. It is incredibly difficult and time-consuming to remove someone from Federal service when their performance is not adequate. We would all benefit by making it easier to hold workers accountable for poor performance and to reward those who excel. But we should recognize that the proposal to eliminate 1 out of 3 positions lost through attrition provides a strong disincentive for managers to take the steps necessary to remove a problem employee. It literally puts the manager in the position of asking “is he/she better than nothing?”


Posted by: Dorset96 | January 11, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I love collective buying!!! Want to get food at the lowest prices? Then the place is called "Printapons" find them online

Posted by: laciedeel | January 12, 2011 4:09 AM | Report abuse

Let us take an example of Texas. The "Wise Health Insurance" is quite popular in Arizona. It provides so many offers for the low income people.

Posted by: jerryburr1 | January 12, 2011 4:42 AM | Report abuse

@pmenenndez - I chose a government job as a lawyer because the private sector has contracted by 25,000 jobs and law schools are still churning our 43,000 grads every year. There aren't many jobs for lawyers right now so I took what I could get, not what I wanted.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | January 12, 2011 8:17 AM | Report abuse

There's considerable misinformation on both sides of the above discussion on the PBS/NPR issue. Cutting CPB's appropriation would save less than $5b over the ten-year period, not $13b. And Ellen Weiss, who resigned from NPR, is not the same as Vivian Schiller, its president, whose bonus was denied.

Posted by: jiml67 | January 12, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

anarcho-liberal-tarian wants to be insulated from the reality of life experienced by the stinking masses

it's time for you to go

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 12, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Easy way to cut HUGE amount of money from federal payroll. Insurance industry will oppose this. Federal employees when selecting health care benefits can choose to insure "self only" or "family" A federal employee can not choose "self and spouse" or "self +1" like in private sector. Self costs the least, self + 1 costs about 60% more than self only, family costs 3x self only. (est) The insurance company is getting lots of extra federal dollars for the millions of childless couples that they charge at the family rate. Insurance companies are charging a much higher "family rate" for two people. A recent Pew report finds that 50% of adults are not married, yet federal govt does not allow unmarried worker to insure a parter, same sex or opposite sex. Benefit rules need to reflect the lifestyle realities of today.

Posted by: DefiningData | January 13, 2011 1:06 AM | Report abuse

So the Congress wants to trim the federal budget by $150 billion over 5 years? I can do better than that without going after federal workers. According to the Congressional Research Service in a report issued last September, with the July 27, 2010 enactment of the FY2010 Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899/P.L. 111-201) Congress has approved a total of $1.121 trillion for military operations, base security,reconstruction, foreign aid, embassy costs, and veterans’ health care for the three operations initiated since the 9/11 attacks.

The sooner we pack up and leave Afghanistan and Iraq, the sooner we can save any unspent money from that FY2010 budget. We should still pay for health care for vets though.

The President’s FY2011 budget request, released February 1, 2010, included $733.3 billion in new budget authority for national defense. In addition to $548.9 billion for the regular (non-war) operations of the Department of Defense (DOD), the request included $159.3 billion for ongoing military operations, primarily funding the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, bringing the total DOD request for FY2011 to $708.3 billion. The balance of the national defense request amounts to $25.1 billion for defense-related activities by agencies other than DOD. If the FY2011 war request is approved, total war-related funding would reach almost $1.3 trillion, including $802 billion for Iraq, $455 billion for Afghanistan. I don't know if the FY2011 war budget has been approved yet or not.

Into the future, the CBO projects that additional war costs for FY2012-FY2020 could range from $274 billion if troop levels fell to 30,000 by early 2013 to $588 billion if troop levels fell to 60,000 by about 2015. Under these CBO projections, funding for Iraq, Afghanistan and the Global War on Terror could total from about $1.56 trillion to about $1.88 trillion for FY2001-FY2020 depending on the scenario.

If Congress is really serious about cutting spending, this is clearly where we need to start, with a big big knife.

Posted by: gsb46 | January 14, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

How about cuts to the Space Program? The space program started in the 1960's because of the "space race" with the Russians. Everyone thought the Russians were going to colonize the moon. We now know that the moon will NEVER be colonized, nor Mars. These are "pie in the sky" ideas by scientists. So, I say we should abolish the space program entirely.

Federal workers are doing pretty well with their pay, contrary to popular belief. And they retire at a young age too with a nice pension and health benefits. I was a Federal worker at one time. They don't work as hard as people in private industry either. There is a lot of FAT in the federal workforce. So, the Federal workforce SHOULD be cut and their pay frozen.

Posted by: jerzeyjim21 | January 16, 2011 3:55 AM | Report abuse

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