We’re well aware of the entitlement disaster looming as more and more baby boomers hit retirement age. House Republicans are attempting to make the best out of this baby boom doom with a proposed bill: only hire one new federal employee for every three that retire or leave their job. Republicans claim this alone would reduce the federal workforce by 10% by 2015, and would save $127.5 billion over ten years.
If we are serious about shrinking the size of government, at some point we will have to shrink the federal payroll as well. Replacing only a fraction of the retiring workforce seems to be a creative way to cut government spending without having to send large numbers of federal employees to the unemployment lines.
Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) is against this idea:
“This is just the latest in a series of attacks waged by opponents of effective government. Our Federal workforce plays a critical role in delivering crucial services such as Social Security and Medicare. They serve alongside our men and women in combat overseas. Our nation faces serious financial challenges, but indiscriminately slashing federal jobs to meet an arbitrary quota is counter-productive and damages the government’s ability to provide for its citizens.”
It appears as though Rep. Moran is misrepresenting the Republican proposal in order to whip up his constituents (65,000 of them are federal employees). The bill would require each agency’s full time work force equal no more than 90% of the fiscal year 2011 employee numbers, but gives the executive branch discretion over the process of choosing those specific positions eliminated as individual employees leave.
Democrats and Republicans will naturally differ on the best ways to address our nation’s financial problems. But as my colleague Carrie Lukas points out, the Democrats’ plan is to have no plan. Once again, Democrats demagogue and misrepresent Republican proposals without offering any ideas of their own.