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

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  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2012 3:10 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal

    When you talk about the "bloated, unsustainable....." federal bureaucracy, were you also talking the same way in 1991 when the federal government was it's largest? So when you say the past three years the federal government has grown by huge numbers, it still has a long way to go to match the size of the federal government during the Reagan/Bush era. If you don't believe me, look it up for yourself.

    1981, 2,806,000 (President Reagan) - number of Americans - 229,465,714
    1986, 2,966,000 (President Reagan) - number of Americans - 240,132,887
    1991, 3,048,000 (Presidnet Bush) - number of American - 252,127,402
    2010, 2,776,000 (President Obama) - number of Americans - 308,745,538

    So the percentage of Americans working for the federal government is down from 1.2% in 1991 to .8%. Care to explain how that is more bloated than when the beloved conservatives were in charge?

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 3, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    @procuradorfiscal

    "You can't honestly believe the American public favors the bloated, unsustainable, unaccountable bureaucracy that has grown up over the years, particularly the last three?"

    So you do want to have the public vote on every employee in the federal government, right? The next time Hill AFB wants to hire a forklift driver, I hope his name is on a ballot that you can vote for.

    The American public has the opportunity every two years to elect members of Congress who will actually do something, yet they choose time and time again to vote for blowhards who actually accomplish absolutely nothing but bluster and pander to their base who eat it up like starving dogs. What has Mr. Chaffetz actually done in his five years to solve this issue other than talk about it?

    And, no, I don't work for the EPA, and I don't have an entitlement mentality. I work for my paycheck, and take nothing for granted. I make a fair wage for the work I do. It is a little less than my counterparts in the business world make, but that's okay.

    You don't have to incite war on me personally.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    April 3, 2012 12:01 p.m.

    He should vote to cut his salary in half, fund his own heath care, cut his staff in half, close HAFB and then he would not need to make self serving spin statements appealing for more money for his re-election.

  • Doug10 Roosevelt, UT
    April 3, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    I don’t think Mr. Chaffetz was thinking when he brought up this topic. He wants to cut other government employees wages or jobs but not his.

    Mitt wants to cut $100 million annually from overseas budgets, yet we spend $180 million each day. Mr. Chaffetz idea to cut the jobs of federal employees will do about as much good.

    What don’t these folks understand?

    They keep away from talking about the military sacred cow. Since World War 2 our country has maintained bases around the world. It seems we can no longer afford that luxury.

    In Europe we maintain 100,000 troops, families and housing and equipment at what cost?

    Last month 228 people died in Chicago due to no health care, more than in Iraq and Afghanistan put together and that is only 1 US city. Our government will fix Afghanistan’s problems and still be unable to remedy problems domestically.

    In 2010 USA spent more on AC tents in Iraq than on all teachers’ salaries in USA.

    There are cuts available to the governmentif they choose to use common sense.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 3, 2012 4:55 a.m.

    Re: ". . . the American public has given their approval through their votes."

    You can't honestly believe the American public favors the bloated, unsustainable, unaccountable bureaucracy that has grown up over the years, particularly the last three?

    You must work for the EPA.

    It's that smug, entitlement mentality on the part of 95% of government bureaucrats that gives the other 5% a bad name.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 2, 2012 12:26 p.m.

    The most important job to be done is to limit corporate power and put people back in charge. Rep. Chaffetz is a shill for the corporate lobbyists' who influence him and the rest of the congress. Corporate America governs and controls the congress with money, lobbyists and determining elections of public officials. It won't be easy for the people to fight the rule of giant corporations, but if they fail America is going to be a totally different social, cultural, economic nation than that of our present constitution. It will be more like mideaval Europe feudal system than what we have today

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    April 2, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    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. "

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 2, 2012 8:35 a.m.

    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.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 2, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    @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?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 2, 2012 7:08 a.m.

    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.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 2, 2012 7:01 a.m.

    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.

  • bluecollar Kearns, UT
    April 1, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    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
    April 1, 2012 9:16 p.m.

    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.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    April 1, 2012 8:52 p.m.

    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.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    April 1, 2012 5:33 p.m.

    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.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    April 1, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    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.

  • wrz Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2012 1:19 p.m.

    "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.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 1, 2012 11:43 a.m.

    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.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 1, 2012 11:16 a.m.

    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.

  • Wally West SLC, UT
    April 1, 2012 10:10 a.m.

    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.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    April 1, 2012 9:57 a.m.

    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.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    April 1, 2012 9:38 a.m.

    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.

  • Furry1993 Clearfield, UT
    April 1, 2012 9:16 a.m.

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

    Chaffetz is the one who should lose his job.

  • skiwampis Sierra Vista, AZ
    April 1, 2012 7:35 a.m.

    Amen!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 1, 2012 1:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    April 1, 2012 12:32 a.m.

    " 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.