Comments about ‘Rep. Jason Chaffetz: Federal government should reduce the size, scope of the federal workforce’

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Published: Sunday, April 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

" the federal government should begin now to reduce the size and scope of the federal workforce to a more sustainable level."

Fine. We don't need a military budget that is three times higher than China's. Start there. Trim the Pentagon by 40% so we only spend twice as on our military much as China.

When we see Mr.Chaffetz defend closing Hill Air Force Base and trimming federal spending in Utah down to be less than, instead of more than, the dollars that Utah sends to Washinton in taxes, then I'll take him seriously.

Until then, he's just another shallow, cynical politician blowing the Tea Party dog whistle.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The best gauge of the number of federal employees is the ratio of workers per 1000 residents of the U.S. That figure peaked at 14.4 in 1970. Today it is down to 8.4, lower than it was under Reagan, Bush Sr., or Bush Jr.

skiwampis
Sierra Vista, AZ

Amen!

Furry1993
Clearfield, UT

In other words, Chaffetz wants to make more people unemployed. Why am I not surprized.

Chaffetz is the one who should lose his job.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

Many federal employees are college educated, engineers, lawyers, CPAs etc. Of course they do deserve to be well compensated. WIth that in mind I do agree their is room to make cuts. One issue I never hear debated is the number of paid holidays for federal employees. I believe there are eleven. I can think of five that need to go. How much would that save in tax dollars.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Chaffetz fails to mention that he is one of those federal employees making more than $100,000 per year. Perhaps he should take his own medicine and slash his own salary to bring it in line with the private sector.

Chaffetz's plan is nonsense. Instead of indiscriminately eliminating positions by salary, he should propose eliminating positions that do not relate to the governments central purpose. As a start, all entitlement programs and their positions should be eliminated.

The elimination of entitlement programs would balance the budget in an instant. The elimination of the jobs in those programs will result in additional savings.

We shall see whether Chaffetz is all talk, or if he will take action. Unless he leads the effort to abolish entitlement programs, we will know that he is simply just a talker.

Wally West
SLC, UT

Another train of thought would be to eliminate overlapping agencies and/or consdense departments.

1) Combine Interior, Energy, & Agriculture 2) Meld VA & HHS 3) Merge Transportation & Commerce

Finally, Eliminate TSA & Homeleand Security.

NeilT
Clearfield, UT

Eliminate TSA and Homeland security. Great idea. Homeland Security includes the Border Patrol.

And why be concerned if the airline passenger in the seat next to us has a bomb. Who needs TSA.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Know ye them by their deeds. And desires.

When a businessman takes a job with government you might think that his loyalties would change from the business cult to the general welfare of the nation and it’s people.

It ain’t necessarily so.

Decreasing the federal government, limiting it’s size and authority, removing the services it performs take away freedom from the American people.

Doing the things Mr. Chaffetz desires will reduce the rules and regulations on business which in turn will reduce the freedom of the consumer/workers rights and freedoms.

Freedom to purchase properly made products, healthy products, and work safely and with proper rewards.

If the 50 state governments take responsibility for the lost services and regulations, it will cost much more than the one source of the federal government and it just won’t be done.

The only government we have that is concerned with the rights and freedoms of people is our federal government. It the business world succeeds in the takeover of our federal government, as it has with state and local governments, Americans will no longer have increased freedom but will be enslaved by commercial interests.

wrz
Salt Lake City, UT

"Federal government should reduce the size... of the federal workforce"

Perhaps the government could stop sending tax dollars to other countries first... such as Egypt, etc.

Gildas
LOGAN, UT

Right on Mr Chaffetz! (But read on a little)

1. I like Mr Paul's choice of bureaucracies to eliminate.

2. I agree with the poster who extended the discussion on money saving by asking to consider the vast military complex and its near ubiquitous presence world wide.

3. Why mention "entitlements", Jason?

When a Republican (or a Democrat come to that) says "entitlements" he means Social Security. Hands off that; it's not your money, it's paid for; your guys (Congress) spent it and need to restore it.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Sounds great on pater but is the private sector ready to absorb these jobs? Right now anyway? If not, this would certainly put more people out of work and increase unemployment. To Chafetz and other like minded people, these are just numbers but there are people behind these numbers and their families. If there were jobs these people could go to I would feel better about it all I suppose but I'm not sure this will improve the government or the economy in the short term certainly.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

As usual, Mr. Chaffetz gives absolutely no specifics on which agencies, which department, and which workers will take the brunt of his cuts. Is he going to cut across the board? Is he going to target specific career fields? Is he going to target certain agencies? Is he going to target the DoD, NSA, and VA? Is he only going to target agencies who don't have employees in his district?

So he wants to move away from the GS system for pay. Great. What is his alternative? What specific measures does he propose to evaluate and pay employees? He's been on the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy for five years, and yet no formal plan has been put forth.

As a federal employee, I love my work and believe the work I do on behalf of our great country is of value. I would like to know what his exact plans are, rather than just spewing the same tired figures year after year and not accomplishing anything.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

The proper and logical way to reduce government, isn't to just say we need to cut by 'x' percent. People need to decide what they want to eliminate or reduce.

Perhaps enforcement of workplace laws that dis-allow hazardous conditions at the work place? Perhaps social security? Perhaps we could cease fighting all the wars we insist in fighting all over the world, thinking that everybody elses conflict has to be our own.

I have a suggestion, get rid of the ... Do Not Call ... federal workers. I put my cell phone on the do not call list and a telemarketer insists on calling me every day. I have gone to the do not call website and complained, but the bureaucracy has done nothing. Here are some government workers I wouldn't mind getting rid of.

bluecollar
Kearns, UT

start by eliminating federal employees' and legislators' health care packages. Here's a suggestion that would reduce taxpayers' obligation: give each federal legislator and staff member a $12,000 per year raise, but then take them all off the health care plan they enjoy. they can each take their $12k and just try to find private healthcare insurance for themselves and their families. Then they would know what the rest of us go through and we would soon see some workable healthcare reform.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Typical Republican speak. Rep Chaffetz could hold the federal government as an example. He could point out that in the federal government every employee gets decent health care coverage and work to see to it that every American gets decent health care coverage. Instead he wants to drag everyone down to the lowest level.

Also he got his facts wrong. The reason federal employees are higher paid than those in the private sector is that federal employees have higher levels of education than people in the private sector.

If spending is still too high, how is it that this spending is getting past the republican house of representatives? The most conservative house of representatives in decades? No one is putting a gun to their head to vote for this spending are they? It must be that wars are expensive. Yet republicans complain that president Obama has set a deadline to get out of Afghanistan.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "As a federal employee, I love my work and believe the work I do on behalf of our great country is of value."

No doubt.

But the real question is how do the American people value your work?

And they've not yet been asked.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@procuradorfiscal

"And they've not yet been asked."

Um, yes they have. Since most federal employees work for the Executive branch and their authority derives from Cabinet-level appointees who are approved by the Legislative branch, the American public has given their approval through their votes.

I'm guessing you'd like to have an election over every clerk, doctor, computer programmer, air traffic controller, and truck driver employed by the federal government?

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

JCS "As a start, all entitlement programs and their positions should be eliminated.

The elimination of entitlement programs would balance the budget in an instant. The elimination of the jobs in those programs will result in additional savings." ....Agreed. This would balance the budget and bring vast savings..but what else would happen if you instantly did away with the social wlefare net, medicare, medicaid, and social security? You never broach this..please tell us what your vision of the world is if you could wave a wand and instantly do away with all entitlements..please explain.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

So, if the IRS knows what federal workers haven't paid their taxes are they imposing penalties etc?
If the IRS knows of people not paying their taxes they usually go after them, and can't they garnish wages?

From the Washington Post: "Federal Employees owe $1.03 billion in unpaid taxes."

"Civilian employees of the Defense Department — the federal government’s largest employer — fared the worst. More than 25,600 workers at the departments of the Army, Air Force and Navy owed a combined $225.7 million, while another 4,600 civilian Pentagon employees owed $39.4 million."

"Five staffers at the U.S. Tax Court owed a combined $62,508 and another five at the Office of Government Ethics owed $22,160. Fewer than 1 percent of Treasury Department employees, including the IRS, owed $9.3 million, the agency said. "

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