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Perry: Freeze federal hiring, salaries

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Texas governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry at the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry yesterday released his “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan for cutting federal spending and balancing the budget. It includes what should be a familiar refrain by now: Freeze federal employees’ hiring and pay raises “until the budget is balanced.”

The federal workforce has ballooned under the current administration, with 175,000 new positions being created since 2009. Americans deserve a leaner, more efficient federal workforce, not one that pays its employees far more than what comparable private employees receive, or one that hands out bonuses and promotions regardless of performance. Federal bureaucrats should not receive real increases in pay while taxpayers are losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills.

This is the first presidential campaign I can recall where federal staffing and pay has been such a hot political issue. With Republican lawmakers peppering the deficit reduction supercommittee with proposals that hit feds’ paychecks and jobs, feds should expect a lot more of this kind of talk over the next year.

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  1. Andrew Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Isn’t Perry factually wrong? Isn’t the size of the federal workforce smaller than it was in, say, 2008? He is patently wrong about the amount that federal employees make.

  2. craig Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    they are determined to put us federal workers on food stamps!

  3. craig Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    The GOP that is!

  4. Eric Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    Don’t these candidates realize that the majority of Federal employees work for the Department of Defense and traditionally vote Republican? This type of rhetoric will GUARANTEE four more years of Obama.

  5. Jennifer Says:
    October 27th, 2011 at 8:05 am

    If they want to pay me like comparable private workers, I say BRING IT. Private workers maker MORE than I do!!

  6. Meyer Says:
    October 27th, 2011 at 8:12 am

    What a fool, as are all of the rethuglican candidates. They want to “shrink” government so they can give contracts to their private sector contributors to do government work. No more Texans.

  7. Jerry Says:
    October 27th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    When Perry came on board, I was hopeful. But as a conservative federal employee, I’m disappointed. I’ve spent nearly 26 years on active and Reserve duty. I continue to serve my country in the military, as well as in my federal job. I have worked my way up in the private sector during my military time and have earned every penny I get. Many federal workers are veterans. Come up with something more fair and stop sacrificing the people that actually keep the government going. Congress seems only interested in the next election.

  8. Jerry Says:
    October 27th, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Just found this information. Thought it is interesting considering the whipping boy placement of the federal workforce.

    Ed O’Keefe of the Washington Post does some number-crunching today, trying to get a handle on the size of the federal workforce relative to the population of the country as a whole. He uses figures for the total federal workforce (including postal workers, who are often left out of the equation in such calculations).

    The bottom line? Uncle Sam’s workforce is shrinking relative to the U.S. population:

    1962: 2.48 million feds, or 13.3 percent of a total population of 186.5 million
    2010: 2.65 million feds, or 8.4 percent of a total population of 310.3 million
    I should note that while, under these calculations, the total federal employment figure is higher today than four decades ago, at several points in the intervening years, it was higher than it is today. Even during the height of the small-government Reagan years, for example, the figure stood at 2.77 million.

  9. Poly (as in politician) H8R Says:
    October 28th, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    DO NOT VOTE for anyone who wants to cut your pay and retirement benefits. If they are already in office and have this mindset, you need to vote them out of office as soon as possible. When you see them standing by a subway exit or in front of a grocery store trying to hand you some flyer or talk to you, put them on blast. Instead of picking on the average Janes and Joes, they need to practice what they preach and they can start by not giving themselves pay raises for the next 5 years. Cut Congress’ income and that will decrease the deficit in lightning speed. These elected officials won’t be satisfied until we have another depression. Craig (another commenter) is right…we will need food stamps before too long.

  10. Glenn Says:
    October 29th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’d sure like to know what forms the basis for the persistent statements regarding how much federal employees are overpaid compared with their private sector counterparts.

    I have been employed as a DoD engineer for over 24 years and have had a marvelous career. Years ago, I could have made 25% more in the private sector. Today I can make anywhere from 5 to 15% more in the private sector. In fairness, the gap has shrunk. No credible data supports the notion that the private sector, as far as EEs are concerned pays less than the government.