The GOP doesn’t see federal workers as people – they’re pawns in a political game that’s played with two sets of rules, depending on the president’s political party.
Since President Obama took office, what’s one of the GOP’s favorite fallbacks to obstruct economic recovery while sticking it to the group they hate the most? Target federal workers! This week they want to cut the federal workforce (again):
Republican lawmakers in both chambers on Wednesday proposed reducing the federal workforce through attrition to avoid sequestration this year. The 2013 Down Payment to Protect National Security Act would cut the entire government workforce by 10 percent through attrition at an estimated savings of $85 billion over the next decade. It would replace the sequester for one year: The government will need to trim $85 billion in Defense and non-defense spending in fiscal 2013 if sequestration takes effect on March 1. The bill would allow federal agencies to hire one person for every three employees who retire or leave their job.
As Greg Sargent said, “That would do wonders for the recovery.” If the Republican Party didn’t have federal employees to kick around, they’d have no “ideas” or new bills ever. As Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va says,
“…government employees should not be asked to sacrifice more in the name of deficit reduction. Since 2011, federal employees have sacrificed $103 billion in the name of deficit reduction, more than $50,000 per employee,” Moran said, referring to the extended federal pay freeze and other measures. “It is time for Congress to find a comprehensive deficit plan that asks others to pay their fair share.”
Essentially, the GOP wants to reduce the workforce so we can all spare the wealthy and corporations from losing their very profitable tax loopholes and deductions? They want to reduce the federal workforce so more of their buddies, the private contractors, can be hired to do the work at much higher prices to the taxpayer? Sounds like the same song and dance we’ve been getting from the Republican Party for decades: take from the working and middle class to further enrich their benefactors.
Of course, it’s a much different story when a Republican is in the White House. In June of 2012, Think Progress reported: “Public sector employment is now down 608,000 workers since January 2009, a 2.7 percent decline. At the same point in President Bush’s term, public sector employment was up 3.7 percent. If, over the past 40 months, public sector employment had grown at the same pace as it did in President Bush’s first term, there would be 1.4 million additional people at work right now. That’d be enough to bring the unemployment rate down by nearly a full percentage point.” See graph below:
Ultimately, Republicans would like to see us all working 16-hour shifts in corporate-sponsored mancamps (CorpCamps), living in CorpDorms, getting paid with vouchers which would be good for things like CorpFood or CorpMed. But asking the CEOs of obscenely profitable corporations to pay a living wage to their workers, or wanting a tax system that doesn’t reward wealth and punish everyone else? That’s socialism.
The good news: each corporate mancamp will sponsor its own Thunderdome.