Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Belt-tightening ahead?

The Republican Study Committee—a conservative House Republican caucus—has come up with a bill loaded with spending cuts the group says could trim $2.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years.

The proposal digs right in, and calls for cuts that would bring Fiscal Year 2011 spending down to FY 2008 levels, which proponents calculate would save about $100 billion. (While GOP House leaders also back significant cuts, theirs tally closer to $60 billion for this fiscal year.)

Among other things, the RSC measure would generate savings through attrition-based workforce cuts (hiring one new worker for every two who leave), elimination of automatic pay increases for feds for five years, and cutting out the use of official union time.

The opposition—federal employee unions, a range of public interest groups, and many Democratic lawmakers—say this “starve the beast” strategy will make government less effective and hinder the delivery of services.

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents Patent and Trademark Office workers, has adopted the budget hawks’ new “job-killing” rhetoric, and turned it back at them. NTEU has been calling for more PTO funding, and says going back to 2008 levels could result in a 20 percent staffing cut. NTEU says such a cut would slow the introduction of new patents and thereby “harm our economic recovery, restrict the flow of new products to the marketplace and deprive unemployed Americans of the work these new inventions could create.”

Can your agency operate at 2008 funding levels?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jan 25, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Fri, Jan 28, 2011

I agree that congress should start paying their own way; time to cut out the full pay and full health for life. Believe me, they won't vote for that. Time to forget about party lines, lobbyists, and feathering their own nest and do what is best for the nation. Why should we be penalized? We work hard for our money, pay our taxes, and now we get screwed by freezing our wages. What's wrong with this picture?????

Fri, Jan 28, 2011 VI

Today I have decided to stop drinking the medications my doctor prescribed. I just paid $200 for the generic version of Protonix (one medication). Why should I keep raising my own deficit? It is not worth it. As a GS-5 working my gluteus maximus off, I am tired of seeing the higher ups making so much more money than me and doing disappearing acts to a "meeting" all the time. No one knows where they are or what "meetings" they are attending. And their supervisors are either doing the same or do not care. So why, why hope for a better, brighter tomorrow...Is too much manure to deal with. Sigh!

Thu, Jan 27, 2011 JW

Armand your comment "It's robbery when a congressperson serves one term then retires with FULL PAY and FULL HEALTH for life. Where is the justice here?" is not based in reality. Federal elected officials since 1986 (?) are under the same FERS system that you and I are under.
The President and Vice President are under a special system which gives large untaxed funds involving support and security persons. I believe (not sure) that the former speakers of the house also get some special funding.
Under the FERS rules a member of the house must serve 5 years (2 1/2 terms) and a Senator needs 5 years ( 5/6 of 1 term) to qualify and there is an age provision the same as we have.
The reason they are in office and want to stay in office has to do with power! Most are very rich before they ever run for office. Question what is the net worth of the average federal elected official?

Thu, Jan 27, 2011 John Orlando,Fl

I agree with you lets declare victory and leave!
No matter how long we stay as soon as we leave the results will be the same. So lets leave now!
Just think if we save $1 billion a day we would reduce the growing national debt by 25% which is quoted in the news as being $4 billion a day.
That would be a good painless start to getting the debt under control.

Thu, Jan 27, 2011 John Orlando,Fl

I am amazed at the demonstration of a lack of knowledge so many of the comments represent.
1. I would gladly pay a 10% flat tax to the Feds and to the State if all other taxes were eliminated. My only question would be if I live and work in one state and own property in a second state would I be required to pay each state 10%?
2. Social Security is part of the national debt! Just look at the monies collected and then look for the lock box. You can open the lock box and find the equilivent of an IOU from the federal government. About 3 trillion of the national debt is money owed to the social security fund.
Chile moved to private pensions from a state based social security fund in the 1980ies. They moved to keep some older workers and retired workers in the state system. Today they use a very different system from the United States. The bottom line Chile is a stable country growing with no massize debt. We the United States have a massive debt that must be dealt with now.
3. Cutting spending to the 2008 level still leaves an increasing deficit. The only hope the spending cuts offer is an increase of private sector productivity which would generate more revenue.
4. A question for all to ponder. How much of the national debt is owed to citizens of this country? I am not positive but plan to do some searching as I am sure that more than half of the national debt is owed to individual citizens.

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