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Dougan: Just Job Cuts Won’t Work

The June 30 Guest Observer by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) to justify cutting more than 200,000 federal jobs during one of our nation’s biggest economic slumps begs for a more deliberate analysis.

His assertion that a 10 percent reduction in the federal workforce will result in a “smarter and leaner” public workforce is simply wrong.

Any proposals designed to reduce the number of federal workers without a corresponding reduction in federal agency mandates will only increase the number of contract employees that agencies will be forced to use to pick up the workload. While not technically federal employees, taxpayers pay for contract employee salaries the same as civilian federal workers, yet contractors cost taxpayers more in most cases.

If Ross is serious about truly reducing the size of government, he and others in Congress should lead a genuine conversation with the American people about what specific programs should be reshaped or scaled back. While this effort may be more difficult politically, it is the only genuine way to reduce the size of the government.

After all, you can’t measure the size of government by the number of employees — you measure in dollars and cents.

— William R. Dougan, national president of the National Federation of Federal Employees

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