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Romney Promises 10% Reduction in Federal Jobs, Wage and Benefit Cuts, in Recent Policy Speech

Thursday, September 20, 2012

(National Federation of Federal Employees)

With the presidential elections less than two months away, candidates have started to assert their positions on key federal employee issues. Republican nominee Mitt Romney offered his stance and other key policy positions in a speech before the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, CA Monday (full transcript). His message: cut federal jobs, wages, and benefits to curb federal spending.

“I will look to sharply increase the productivity of Washington by reducing federal government employment by 10% through attrition, by combining agencies and departments to reduce overhead, by cracking down on the $115 billion a year in improper payments in government programs, and by aligning government compensation with that of the private sector,” said Romney in his address. “These things combined will reduce spending by about $500 billion a year by the end of my first term.”

While no one will argue the need to crack down on improper payments from certain programs, there is plenty at issue with his proposed cuts to wages, benefits, and most important of all, jobs. The 10% reduction in federal jobs Romney is calling for would result in the loss of roughly 200,000 jobs through attrition. This would turn an already dire situation into a complete disaster at federal agencies already starved of resources and personnel due to huge budget cuts.  On top of that, his call to “align government compensation with that of the private sector” promotes the false narrative that federal workers are paid better than their private sector counterparts. In spite of the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown year after year that federal employees make roughly 25% less than their counterparts, Romney continues to claim that federal workers make at least 30-40% more.

 

“Mitt Romney needs to truly reconsider his platform on federal employees,” said NFFE National President William R. Dougan. “The former Governor has said time and time again that he wants to be the ‘jobs president.’ How does he expect to live up to that name when his goal is to singlehandedly undertake the destruction of 200,000 middle class federal jobs? In this economy he shouldn’t be talking about slashing jobs, we should be fighting to save every last one.”

 

To make matters worse, Romney’s statements came just days after the House approved a six-month spending measure which includes a three-month extension of the two-year federal pay freeze. President Obama has spoken in favor of the proposed continuing resolution, effectively endorsing the three month extension included in the measure.

 

As Election Day draws nearer, both presidential candidates need to review their policy platforms and strive to reflect the vital necessity of the federal workforce – for the good of our government and our nation. 

 

Comments

mickey   09/22/12 12:47 pm
After 15 years with the federal government I have never seen such partisan politics come out of this union. If you want to complain about us being starved for resources, then you should asked why are we hiring so many GS-12's and above instead of putting more money on the ground. The pay for one GS-13 would pay for all 16 temp sesasonals on a 20 person fire screw. We are in a dire situation at the lower levels of government due to the selfish incompetents of people incharge at the mid-level of government. We hand out cash awards, most of wich are just for us doing our job, when that money could have been used to hire more people on the ground. The cash awards handed out across the whole government could fund the whole forest service for a year. Our agency had a 12% reduction in budget in 2012 but at the lower level we took a 50% cut, now anybody that has common sense can see that this makes no sense at all. We no longer hire people based on experience or qualications but wether they are a diversity candidate or not. I myself like the idea of aligning with the private sector, the lower levels would get a pay raise. Now we can continue complaining about how the people in DC (doesn't matter which party) are screwing us over or we can admit that we are part of the problem and fix it.

bob   09/21/12 8:33 pm
Nothing new
It won't be any different under Obama. The 10 percent cut is coming no matter who's in office, the wheels are already in motion. It's called the search for more money for Obamacare. However, if Romney comes into office, Obamacare will likely go away, but the 10 percent cut will stay. I predict if Romney wins, businesses will go into a hiring frenzy by the millions, knowing they'll have someone on their side. Many businesses want to hire but are sitting on the fence waiting to see who will win, If Obama wins businesses will likely start letting people go, especially if they have a few more than 50 employees, to avoid the tax levis for Obamacare, that they can't afford.

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