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Because nothing says economic recovery like eliminating 300,000 jobs, Orrin Hatch and Tom Coburn are looking to reduce the federal workforce by that much, in addition to freezing salaries and cutting contract workers and travel budgets.
Under the bill, S. 1476, salaries and bonuses would be frozen for three years, which Hatch said amounts to $140 billion in reduced spending over 10 years.

And I'm sure we wouldn't lose any highly qualified experts who could be earning far more in the private sector but are instead keeping us all safe at FEMA and the CDC. In a wage freeze, it's all too likely that the people who have options leave.

It would also require the administration to cut the size of the federal workforce by 15 percent over 10 years, amounting to 300,000 fewer workers. "This could easily be accomplished through attrition and would save taxpayers over $225 billion over that time," Hatch said.

That's only easy if you think that not replacing people as they leave, regardless of the importance of the positions they fill, is a good idea: "Well, we didn't fire anyone, and who needs mine safety inspectors, anyway?" (Note: This may be Hatch and Coburn's actual position on mine safety.)

A 75 percent cut to the federal travel budget would save an estimated $15 billion. "[I]mprovements in teleconferencing technology and web-based communication have made much of the government-sponsored travel that was required in the past unnecessary," he said.

Hey, maybe it could have saved us some trouble in the FAA shutdown if safety inspectors had done their work by Skype!

Think Progress provides some depressing context to this proposal:

As Matt Yglesias has documented, more than 500,000 government workers have lost their jobs since January 2009. Federal payrolls have been mostly flat for years, even as the population has been growing. In November, President Obama announced a two-year pay freeze for 1.9 million federal workers.

Heaven knows that what our economy needs is still fewer jobs and lower pay.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why not start... (22+ / 0-)

    ...with the staff of our Representatives and Senators?

    Less government? Less need for staff!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:18:50 PM PDT

  •  What's the bets that (4+ / 0-)

    Obama caves here as well?

    •  Way too easy to make money on that bet (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tmo, Major Tom, shaharazade, Blue Bronc

      It wouldn't be fair.

    •  I didn't know the President was Majority Leader. (5+ / 0-)

      Who knew the President had anything to do with legislation.

      Let me check Article I again....

      Nope.  Nothing.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

      by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zen (3+ / 0-)

        Before any legislation becomes law, the President needs to sign it.  

        Actually, Zen, you need to check ARTICLE 2, not Article I.  They're both in the official United States Constitution. Really, I'm not kidding.

      •  Hey! Cut these guys some slack. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They are driven to deride President Obama 10 times per hour, 24/7. That is a tough job, let's not get in their way...

        I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

        by doc2 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:40:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And we must understand, and they will beat on us (0+ / 0-)

          until we do that our economy is not ours, but is theirs to play their ideological games with until something goes reallybad, and then they will give it back to us to fix with hoots about how it's our fault we let them do it or some twaddle like that. "WE" are not in their plans save for blaming time.

      •  What does the President (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vigilant meerkat

        have anything to do with? Who knew that this office was powerless and the the leader of our party could not stand up or speak for us.  He is just a victim a powerless figurehead we elected to give the illusion that there was a  democratic change of power. I'm so sorry that I expected a powerless figure head to actually implement change in a two party representational democracy. So what good does it do in your case to bother to vote or to care which figure head is elected? Thanks that takes away my fear as if Romney is elected he will be powerless too and the farce of democratic representational governance will continue.  

    •  I want to hammer and bash Republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sja, bear83

      in the House and Senate instead of every thread bashing Democrats. But that is just silly me, I guess.

      I want to gear up for 2012 by having  these quotes and information about Republicans ready to go.  We can urge Democrats to use this stuff to hammer Republicans in ads.

      •  Bravo. Well said, wishingwell. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The fact is that Republicans hate workers. All workers. They've hollowed out our manufacturing base, are strangling unions and are now gunning for federal, state and local public sector workers. Republicans hate us. Period. They will not rest until we're all low-paid burger flippers. Oh. And forget about the minimum wage while you're slaving away. Republicans hate paying us a decent wage. Health care? Republicans hate our medical needs. Want a dignified retirement in your old age? Get a job as a greeter at Walmart -- because Republicans hate our Social Security and Medicare. Why the hell are so many smart people focusing on the side show and bashing our own party? Not me. I'm with you wishingwell, we should be hammering Republicans not Democrats.

        End of rant.

  •  A smarter thing to do would be buyouts. (3+ / 0-)

    and then REPLACE those workers with new ones.

    Give some incentive to Federal workers across the board to retire NOW, enhanced retirement pay or something like that.
    The older workers are at usually higher pay scales when they retire.  The Federal government hires that many folks back opening up good paying jobs for new workers.  Yes it will cost money, but new hires are usually at a lower pay scale until they get pay increases down the road a few to many years later. SO in essence this plan could partially pay for itself in the near term. AND it would bring new workers in the those same jobs, helping the economy and unemployment.  The older workers that retire would still have income to spend.  All in all it makes good sense for the economy and the country as a whole, which is why the GOP would hate it, and scream bloody murder to stop it.

    One of the reasons the job market is as bad as it is, is that people close to or at retirement age are scared to retire and be stuck living on an uncertain and perhaps diminished income. I bet 100,000 jobs out there would open up if the brinksmanship over SS and medicare by the GOP would stop.

    "OK, GOP you take the millionaires and tea baggers, and I will stand with the police, fire fighters, teachers and union members, guess who is gonna win... "

    by Nebraskablue on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:28:19 PM PDT

  •  Here's a thought: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, doc2

    If you are looking to make effective and efficient government, then there will HAVE to be RIFs.  Having worked in a Census field office, even that low level is affected by bad bureaucracy.  

    What's that saying?

    "The Bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the Bureaucracy."

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:29:22 PM PDT

    •  Of course. When did the meme take (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hold that firing anyone, even someone who is doing nothing useful, is a bad thing? Let's not actually be what our foes call us - tax and spend liberals. We have shown that we know better how to manage government, and part of that means making tough choices, including RIFs.

      I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

      by doc2 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:42:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  And instead of "taking bets", how about hammering (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, in2mixin, sja

    Republicans with this?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:30:02 PM PDT

  •  What a guy (0+ / 0-)

    Orrin Hatch just keeps his good friend Teddy's memory alive day after day, eh?

    "Nonsense!" said Alice, very loudly and decidedly, and the Queen was silent.

    by RIposte on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:32:18 PM PDT

  •  This is Republican politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chitownliberal7, wishingwell, vzfk3s

    constantly playing one group against another to ensure some advantage for the top 1% who for some reason aren't worried about things like food safety and the environment.  I think they envision America as some type of Western boon town circa 1832.  

  •  I have never liked Hatch, but it seems He has (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    made an ever harder turn to the right then before. Whats up with that?

  •  Skype? (9+ / 0-)

    let's start with the cutting the Senate travel budget by 75%.

  •  Salary cuts included congress, no doubt. (4+ / 0-)

    And why not tie congressional benefits to Medicare?  How's that for a plan, boys?

  •  Too bad that the Democrats are (8+ / 0-)

    powerless to do anything, and only control the Senate and Presidency.

  •  This is part of GOP's SuperCongress plan (5+ / 0-)

    I guarantee that the GOP contingent in the SuperCongress will push hard for this Coburn-Hatch scheme to be included in the plan presented to Congress for an up-or-down vote.

    This idea is so freaking stupid. The people who would have had federal jobs, or would have had more pay, would be spending that money in the consumer economy.  Taking that money out of the economy will make the recession last longer.  

    This should never be done during an economic downturn, and especially not in an economy that is as dependent on consumer retail spending as ours is.

    Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

    by MJB on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:36:31 PM PDT

  •  Unfortunately (4+ / 0-)

    austerity, the claim that government spending is the problem (rather than part of the solution) and increasing unemployment as a matter of policy have elite bipartisan support.  

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:36:54 PM PDT

  •  Orrin Hatch and Tom Coburn (4+ / 0-)

    two people we can add to the government workforce reduction.

  •  GOP November 2010 shouted "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they whispered kill, kill, kill.

  •  Have we found our "Supermen"??? nt (0+ / 0-)

    We agree our hair is on fire, we disagree with Paul Ryan's plan to use a sledgehammer to put out the fire

    by JML9999 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:37:32 PM PDT

  •  This is, if nothing else, another way of Rs to (2+ / 0-)

    show their ruthlessness, that they will do anything at all they want, and the mere fact that even this week they were howling about where the jobs were, is irrelevant. They don't want us to bow to them because we believe them but rather because if we don't the damage they do to the nation will only get worse and worse if we don't no matter who is hurt. They are not prepared to be held to any word they give on anything and this is telling us again that we should not expect that. That they just do not care at all about anything other than what they want right now, and we all better remember that. So we're up to 375,000 jobs killed by Rs just this week or proposed to be. Wonderful.

  •  I say get rid of the TSA. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, out of left field

    All of it. No more bullshit security show. Perhaps one plane a year will get hit, out of the 15 million flights per year. I'm fine with those odds. What a friggin' waste of both time and money.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:39:15 PM PDT

  •  I can see this only if a person retires and (0+ / 0-)

    retires voluntarily and his position is not filled, provided there are others doing this same job.  But it if is an absolutely essential job and no one else is doing his or her job and the person retires; that could be prove to a serious problem.  

    I can see this only working if several people are doing the same job and one retires and there are others who can do the job and that position is not filled. Or if say a person retires and their job duties  can be combined with another job to absorb it.

    I say only if someone retires should this happen or if a person voluntarily quits.

    Otherwise, it is just more Teabauchery at work.

  •  NOT fewer jobs (5+ / 0-)
    It would also require the administration to cut the size of the federal workforce by 15 percent over 10 years, amounting to 300,000 fewer workers.
    Understand that this is NOT 300,000 fewer American jobs.  The work will be done by contractors at higher cost to the taxpayers and lower pay to the workers.  Instead of counting the number of government workers, we should be counting the number of government workers PLUS contractors doing long term government work.
  •  Must say (0+ / 0-)

    as a Fed I do not have an issue with slashing the travel budget. I see plenty of waste and abuse when it comes to federal travel and the point about videoconferencing technology is spot on.

  •  Republicans want to destroy us. (0+ / 0-)

    "every time we start a pie fight a wingnut gets his wings"- MinistryofTruth -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:46:35 PM PDT

  •  So everyone go find their Plum Book (0+ / 0-)

    Then figure out how many "older bureaucrats" are left over, aka burrowed into the gov't.  Those who may be responsible for a lot of heel dragging.

      Yeah, I know it is illegal!  

       Just for giggles, I looked at my TP congresscritter, his pay is fixed, while he pays his staff approx $900k/year and that is just their salary, and excludes all the extra project pay.  The longer someone is in DC, the greater the number of staff.  And this is supposedly after their 5% reduction in spending.  

  •  Democrats need to hit the (0+ / 0-)

    air waves and social media and let the voting public know that the Republicans are intentionally tanking the economy so voters will blame President Obama and put a Republican in the WH.  

    Liberals, Progressive, Democrats.  Lend me your ears.  Stop criticising each other and start campaigning against the true enemy. the GOP/Tea Party/Conservatives/ Republicans.

    Don't allow the tolls on this site to keep you mad at Democrats.  It will only ensure you're mad enough to stay home and not vote, so they can win.

    Get a clue!

  •  what a mess (0+ / 0-)

    this is not politics they are 'eliminating' people ( de-population solution) using government as cover

    their limbic brains are wired: 'get them before they get me'


    should cave men 1/2man-1/2beast  be allowed to have power?

    Oratory inspires people but budgets make policy.

    by anyname on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:47:34 PM PDT

  •  Pushing dysfunctional Gov't- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, vzfk3s
    In a wage freeze, it's all too likely that the people who have options leave.

    It's just a constant pressure, from every direction. After enough of this, most people will never even remember a time when Government actually worked.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:54:16 PM PDT

  •  I'm a user-fee-funded Federal Worker (6+ / 0-)

    I work for an agency that gets its revenue from user fees. In other words, my salary is not paid by taxpayers. And yet I got hit by the across-the-board pay freeze, and I would get hit by further cuts as well. To what end? To make taxpayers feel better? Why not just randomly select people whose last name starts with the letter L and beat the shit on live TV for public consumption? Wouldn't that be a kick ass reality tv show. ("So Bob, you're going to get mauled by tigers, how are coping right now?")

    Frankly, I was expecting the debt deal to require fed workers to pay more for their pensions. I guess I should thank the Biden Secret Squirrel Committee for stopping that from happen.

    See the losers in the best bars, meet the winners in the dives -Neil Young

    by danoland on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:54:58 PM PDT

  •  Hello public sector. Welcome to herd thinning. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Anyone who is making something new has to break something else - Taylor Goldsmith

    by SpamNunn on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:56:47 PM PDT

  •  And Obama already said no, only 275000 can be cut (0+ / 0-)


    What a fucking awesome negotiator we have.

    "Repeatedly he [Voltaire] dwelt on the folly and credulousness of the masses and the selfishness and unscrupulousness of the ruling few." 'nuff said.

    by caseynm on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:57:01 PM PDT

  •  Yea But.. (0+ / 0-)

    government jobs aren't really jobs or so say Republicans.  So in reality these people aren't losing a job, they're losing a hobby I guess.

    and now a word from our diabolical corporate overlords...

    by Pursang on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:58:56 PM PDT

  •  This is the new world (0+ / 0-)

    thrust upon us by technology.    It's been going on in the private sector for years.   It's why unions are becoming useless. It's pretty clear that technology can and will streamline public employment,  whether we like it or not.   It is not always political, it just is.   Brave New World.

  •  Shorter: Fuck you, America. We got ours. (0+ / 0-)

    We stole it fair and square.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755
    The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

    by mungley on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 04:59:28 PM PDT

  •  Obama should take a clue from my Gov (0+ / 0-)

    Beverly Perdue. She ain't afraid to use teh old veto pen, and every time she does, she gains a point or two in the polls.

    The big winner in all of this may be Governor Perdue. When PPP asked voters in February whether they had more faith in her or Legislative Republicans to run the state, they picked the legislators by a 44-37 margin. Now Perdue has the 42-40 advantage on that question, including a 40-37 edge with independents.

    "Whenever a fellow tells me he's bipartisan, I know he's going to vote against me."-- Harry S. Truman

    by irmaly on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:02:49 PM PDT

  •  Madness (5+ / 0-)

    Government travel is not limited to to conferences and meetings. When cutting travel budgets no one takes into account Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA, EPA and other agencies that must travel to do field work. Our travel budgets are already cut to the bone and are unable to travel to evaluate ongoing research projects and investigate and monitor insect and disease outbreaks. Apparently these 'legislators' have no idea what many government agencies do.

    "Idiocracy. It's not a comedy, it's a prophecy."

    by wv voice of reason on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:04:16 PM PDT

  •  Obama will bipartisany negotiate 500,000 (0+ / 0-)
  •  We Should Freeze The Pay Of Congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, Brooke In Seattle

    for 10 years before we freeze the pay of anyone.  Shared sacrifice should be shared by all.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:06:49 PM PDT

  •  But the private sector is BURNING UP! And needs.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    Applicants, tons of them!   Why hold back the public sector employees when in this economy they could be bringing down 80k designing and developing export product that would help set us up..

    Oh wait, that's all bullshit.

    So, the plan after they get cut?   I guess they go on unemployment.

    Truly brilliant fucking plan.

    Having Hope and using action to give people hope are different things. Make a difference for someone.

    by Chris Reeves on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:24:58 PM PDT

  •  Let me guess (0+ / 0-)

    Defense contractors are exempt from this?

    Will work for food
    Will die for oil
    Will kill for power and to us the spoils
    The billionaires get to pay less tax
    The working poor get to fall through the cracks
    -James McMurtry


    by SwedishJewfish on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:26:23 PM PDT

  •  I can think of two federal jobs (0+ / 0-)

    I'd like to eliminate:

    Senator from OK and Senator from UT

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:30:31 PM PDT

  •  I'm thinking we could (0+ / 0-)

    rent out office space at the Pentagon.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:32:24 PM PDT

  •  5:1 chances Obama signs this bill (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    just some lurker guy

    Austerity baby!! what a show
    Austerity baby!! here we go.

  •  And I'm sure their cost-cutting (0+ / 0-)

    ...goes to cutting their own pay in half and reducing their staffs by a third.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 05:33:30 PM PDT

  •  Aren't you being overly pessimistic here? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For example ...

    And I'm sure we wouldn't lose any highly qualified experts who could be earning far more in the private sector ...

    Well if they end up making more in the private sector isn't that a good thing?  They'll be paying more taxes which would raise revenue and could ease some of the pressure on the budgets for those that remain.

    That's only easy if you think that not replacing people as they leave, regardless of the importance of the positions they fill ...

    I doubt that this is how it would operate in practice.  I'd expect that as people left the critical positions would be back filled by shuffling people around a little.  So the position which was actually eliminated ends up being a non-critical one.  This would also likely offer opportunities for advancement for some people who are currently in dead end jobs.

    Heaven knows that what our economy needs is still fewer jobs and lower pay.

    You just made the point that moving people into the private sector will likely increase their pay, not decrease it, when you argued against a pay freeze and this would likely result in higher federal revenues which would be a good thing.

    Moving people into the private sector will be a disruption for them for sure, but they will either find or create new jobs to sustain themselves ... and when they do they will have the net effect of increasing the GDP which will ultimately mean increased federal revenues, or do I have that wrong?

    •  That generally leads to having idiots in public (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brooke In Seattle

      sector jobs making life difficult for those that need services provided by the public agency.

      •  I don't agree. (0+ / 0-)

        First, this assumes that people working in federal jobs are idiots ... or at least a significant proportion of idiots ... and that's not necessarily a premise that I accept.

        Second, I don't believe that attrition for things like retirements, career changes, moving to a different city, or whatever are biased towards the non-idiots.

        I'm not necessarily saying that I am in favor of all this, only that if budget cuts are inevitable the picture isn't necessarily as bleak as the diary currently makes it out to be, and relying on attrition alone avoids forced cuts.

    •  You think 15% of all employees are non-critical? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      just some lurker guy


      This is not some magic fantasyland where work gets done for nothing by nobody. 15% fewer federal employees means fewer rangers, fewer meat inspectors, fewer tax collectors, fewer researchers, fewer firefighters and fewer weather forecasters. Hours will be reduced, services will be cut and products discontinued.

      You have bought into the Tea Party meme that government would be awesome if only it didn't actually do anything. Except keep gays from marrying and women from having abortions, of course.

      •  Poor use of terms on my part. (0+ / 0-)

        My bad.  I should not have used critical vs. non-critical.

        The point is that the jobs will be prioritized in any sane scenario for running the government and the more important ones will be back filled while the less important ones will be eliminated.  The diary assumes that the more important positions may well be the ones being eliminated.

        The size of the cuts will be determined by the available revenues, over time obviously, with input from our representatives.

        Again, not saying that I like the proposal only trying to take a realistic look at it.

        •  There shouldn't be ANY across-the-board cuts. (0+ / 0-)

          Again, even starting down this road is a sellout to the Tea Party. A 15% reduction in the federal workforce will result in important work going undone and fewer services provided to the American people.

          Cut 15% of the positions at the recreation area where I work and you're talking about two layoffs. Do you not fill the maintenance position and the lead interpreter position, or the assistant director and one of the field rangers?

          There is no stereotypical easy "director of bureaucracy" to cut, sorry.

  •  If this is true: (0+ / 0-)

    "I'm sure we wouldn't lose any highly qualified experts who could be earning far more in the private sector but are instead keeping us all safe at FEMA and the CDC."

    ...then it would appear to be the case that it is never advisable to reduce staffing of any government agency.

  •  I was under the impression that mine safety (0+ / 0-)

    inspectors can be gotten around, anyway.  Who is that guy, the millionaire, owns a mine or two, who operates killer coal mines?  Don Blankenship?

    "It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up." David Bromwich

    by CarolinNJ on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 06:04:43 PM PDT

  •  The travel budget cut I might agree with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I've seen some outrageous things go on at the federal government's expense in terms of travel. Unnecessary, pointless trips with high-dollar hotels and per diems.

    •  Several years ago, it was mandated that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we (I'm a DoD employee) would use Video conferences in lieu of travel.  Equipment was installed so VTCs could take place.

      I don't remember the last time that equipment was used, but we've sent people to Hawaii to learn how to track changes and others to the Bellagio to learn how to track problems.

      The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'. ~ Larry Hardiman

      by shel3364 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:51:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I work on a federal contract and once a year (0+ / 0-)

        they bring everyone who's working on that contract, and all of the agency staff who administer and interact with the contractors, to Washington to a big three-day conference. The only thing of substance that happens is that they run through powerpoints drafted years ago that recite precisely the same information that is in all of our grant agreements, all of it paid for by the federal government. The total expense has to be upwards of a million dollars. The exact same thing could be accomplished by a one-hour Webinar.

  •  airline industry wouldn't stand for it (0+ / 0-)

    The travel budgets wouldn't get cut...the airlines get huge contracts for government travel.  Their lobbyists would be out in force to keep that pool of money.

    Every year Coburn asks for all the travel budgets.  I had to do these "data calls" when working for the DoD.  It is a special little thing for him.

    If the government wants to cut travel costs, let the employees book their own travel, and if they find it cheaper than the government rate, give them 10% of the difference.  Also stop ALL business class travel.  No exceptions.  Most folks I know ride coach anyway, but many political appointees game the system to get business.

    To Hell isn't where this country is headed, that is where it is coming from.

    by Mote Dai on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:39:17 PM PDT

  •  I work for the Federal Government... (0+ / 0-)

    If he's serious about cutting waste, he needs to address the amount of money that is being poured into IT solutions that go nowhere.

    Look at DIHMRS. The project was canceled in 2010 after a ten-year, half a billion dollar investment (some sources say $850 million). Then Secretary Gates: "I would say that what we've gotten for a half billion dollars is an unpronounceable acronym."

    I just watched another project get canceled this week. I found the IT budget for the federal government online. It showed that from 2005-2008, $25 million per year was spent on this project. I can only assume that they continued to spend $25 million per year from 2008-2011.

    And those are just two that I know about.

    But he has to go after the people first.

    The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'. ~ Larry Hardiman

    by shel3364 on Thu Aug 04, 2011 at 07:47:28 PM PDT

  •  Government agencies have spent the better part (0+ / 0-)

    of the last decade, at least, preparing for the baby boomer retirements.  At least from my perspective in the agencies I deal with daily (FDA, CDC, and NIH, primarily) we have seen the effects of top talent leaving prior to sufficient replacements being in place and trained.  To be absolutely crystal clear, this costs private companies money, and lots of it.  What happens when your 510(K) application for new medical device is slowed down not only because of fewer people working at the FDA but also because staff have tremendous leeway in what they can require of you.  What ends up happening now is the data you used for an instrument last year is now insufficient, so you have to go back and collect more and so on and so forth.  

    The regulations are necessary, and to be most fair to all companies, we ought to have sufficient staffing to assure that the government works for the people to the best of its ability.  Sure bureaucracies can be tedious, but sometimes they are so because the legislators have not sufficiently invested in their government.

  •  The teleconferencing (0+ / 0-)

    thing, using that to reduce the travel budget, could be a good idea, however, the rest is just BS

    Citizenship is a contact sport!

    by horowitz on Fri Aug 05, 2011 at 04:27:19 AM PDT

  •  As a government employee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kaib

    I just love this. For every position that goes unfilled that just means more work for those of us that stay. It's not like we get overtime or have had a decent raise in the past decade. It will also mean that I will watch as more of my friends and colleagues leave for the private sector where we can make 10 times as much.

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