More than a FEW
However you want to characterize it, there is no doubt that Congressional budget hawks have zeroed in on federal jobs, pay and benefits.
While some feds complain that they are being picked on because they provide an easy target, others argue that—at about 2 million or so strong—feds have a lot more clout than they give themselves credit for. Factor in spouses and federal retirees, and that’s a lot of critical mass.
As we noted in Federal Daily a few days ago, the nonprofit group Federally Employed Women has just updated its online database listing the numbers of federal employees and retirees by county and congressional district, and even by agency.
FEW says they hope that lawmakers—as they make decisions affecting active and retired feds—take a look at their districts and see how many of their constituents (aka voters) are on the federal payroll, buying goods and services and paying taxes and otherwise supporting the social and economic fabric of their home communities. It’s good grassroots information.
As a byproduct, feds themselves also could use those statistics—to support their own advocacy, make a little noise, and refuse to be easy targets. And perhaps to remind lawmakers that government and politics are not the same thing.
Just a thought.
Posted by Phil Piemonte on Jan 21, 2011 at 4:02 PM