The bloviation about cutting the fat in government spending seems mindless. The Republicans always seems to want to cut Social Security, which provides income support for the elderly and which pays its own way. The Democrats always seem to want to cut defense and so-called tax loopholes (i. e., raise taxes). They blather about sacrifice. But whose sacrifice? Do they volunteer to sacrifice anything? Nope. Does one cut fat from those truly FAT, or cut "fat" from those with almost none, people with no reserves at all on starvation diets?
Obviously, we cut from the FAT first.
Where should we start - what type of cuts should be made first and would have broad public support?
Waste & bloat in the federal government would likely get an 80%+ vote in any fair poll.
Let's start with some true sacrifice from the "leaders", viz. a pay cut for the government itself and for government senior executives.
Yesterday's Wall Street Journal have an article about an in-depth study by the General Accounting Office showing that the Federal government had overlapping, duplicative, inefficient and / or ineffective programs. Here are some snippets:
"The report says there are 18 federal programs that spent a combined $62.5 billion in 2008 on food and nutrition assistance, but little is known about the effectiveness of 11 of these programs because they haven't been well studied. "
"The agency found 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances, according to a draft of the report reviewed by The Wall Street Journal."
"The U.S. government has 15 different agencies overseeing food-safety laws, more than 20 separate programs to help the homeless and 80 programs for economic development."
"Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who pushed for the report, estimated it identifies between $100 billion and $200 billion in duplicative spending. The GAO didn't put a specific figure on the spending overlap."
We start cutting there.
Next, what about federal executive pay and benefits? The line of those seeking those cushy positions is out the door and around the block. The Dark City in the Swamp is one of the highest income areas in the United States, virtually recession proof. That GAO reports shows that federal senior executives have failed in their jobs to provide effective management. They are fat and bloated.
More: they are mostly overpaid now. See the following:
"Federal employees earn higher average salaries than private-sector workers in more than eight out of 10 occupations, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data finds ... Overall, federal workers earned an average salary of $67,691 in 2008 for occupations that exist both in government and the private sector, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The average pay for the same mix of jobs in the private sector was $60,046 in 2008, the most recent data available. ...
"These salary figures do not include the value of health, pension and other benefits, which averaged $40,785 per federal employee in 2008 vs. $9,882 per private worker, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis."
In other articles, one can find that Federal workers pay only about 28% of their health care cost. A sole proprietor at most gets a tax deduction worth about 28%. that means the private workers pay 72% while the government pays 72% for Federal workers. That's upside down.
This is grossly obese FAT: Federal workers are apparently overpaid in the range of 12% in salary and by 300% in benefits. Combining these numbers, it's certain that Federal compensation is well over 20% above the private sector, likely 30%.
Cut the pay of government senior executives by 20%, the pay of the rest by 10% and make them pay 72% of the cost of their benefits. AND APPLY THIS TO CONGRESS FIRST!!!
Sacrifice must start at those responsible and at the top. Cut Federal pay and benefits! Cut wasteful, duplicatative, inefficient and ineffective programs NOW!
CUT FEDERAL FAT FIRST!
Word of the Day
"Enounce" - verb, transitive [$100]
Enounce means 1. to utter or pronounce as words, enunciate; 2. to announce, decalre or proclaim.
Sentence: Bunkerman enounces this following principle that all budget deficit efforts should follow: CUT FEDERAL FAT FIRST!