Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Washington Monthly loves its readers

It loves them so so much:

"Strange as it may sound, to get a grip on costs, we should in many cases be hiring many more bureaucrats—and paying more to get better ones—not cutting their numbers and freezing their pay. Because in many parts of government, the bureaucracy has already crossed that dangerous threshold beyond which further cuts can only mean greater risk of a breakdown. Indeed, much of the runaway spending we’ve seen over the past decade is the result of our having crossed that line years ago—the last time there was a Democrat in the White House, a divided government, and calls for slashing the federal workforce in the air."

Yes, people, they really said that "much of the runaway spending" is a result of having too few Federal bureaucrats! Talk about pandering to your audience.

This is just so far out there that no one can really take it seriously right?


Anonymous said...

Is the Onion using NYT logos and PK's picture?

Tom said...

FTFA: "a corporation can shed workers and then revise its overall business strategy..." But not government! Humans may have lived thousands without some particular type of meddling, but -- once started no minding can ever be stopped. !!

Pelsmin said...

On a related note, those of you outside the beltway may not be familiar with "in-sourcing." It's an astounding Obama initiative that has received little media coverage.

Government agencies have been on a hiring tear for two years now. Ask a government contractor how things are and you get an answer like, "Lots of business, but I can't keep my staff." Their government customers have been instructed to hire all the people working for the contractors as a "cost saving" measure.

This is a huge program -- the contractors are having seminars on how to retain their employees, etc. -- and the end result will be a further entrenchment of the bureaucrats and others who make up the federal expense base.

One effect, and possibly the intent, of the program is that now, cutting spending won't just mean terminating programs, it will mean laying off tens of thousands of pensioned, often unionized employees.

Anonymous said...


Contractor's typically earn much higher salaries than federal employees, and moreover, contracting companies have to charge rates high enough in order to make a profit. This can make sense if the service being provided is short term, or the need is urgent, but unfortunately, many of these contracts are now being made on an annual, recurring basis. Federal buildings house thousands of people working as contractors providing essential government services at a higher cost than would the case if they were made regular employees. There are a lot of reasons this equilibrium has come to pass, mostly relating to the difficulty of the federal hiring process. The administration proposal is targeted at streamlining that process in order to SAVE money, not make government more expensive like you claim.

Anonymous said...

What is actually needed is to fire most government employees and hire new ones. We do have runaway costs in government, and it is due to a government culture of over-paid and over-self-valued employees. They want the plasma tvs, the gold plating. They want it now. And their superiors write it into the regs. We then send the dumbest over to Iraq and put them in charge of being Contracting Officer Reps and have the incompetent Army Core of Engineers write mindbogglingly stupid contracts for them to oversee.
-Government Contracting Specialist