Friday, February 22, 2013

Rand Paul Wants to Stop Sequester Layoffs

I really don't expect much in real cuts or layoffs as a result of the sequester. They are scaring us. That said, it is sad to note that Senator Rand Paul's alternative plan. It would make sequestration less damaging to the government.

As Murray Rothbard taught us, we don't want an efficient government, the least efficient the better.

But Rand is out with a plan that will limit the damage to the government and result in ZERO layoffs. From a Rand Paul press release:

Sen. Paul Introduces Sequester Alternative Plan: The Sequester Without Layoffs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today unveiled the following plan to offset the anticipated layoffs of employees following the automatic spending cuts set to take place next month as a result of the sequester agreement. Below is a detailed look at cost-saving initiatives that, if implemented, would offset the impending sequester cuts, with a total savings of $85.75 billion annually. 
The Sequester Without Layoffs 
·         Stop Hiring New Federal Employees: $6.5 billion saved annually 
o   Every year, thousands of federal employees retire or leave their jobs. In 2011, roughly 62,000 people ended their careers with the government. Estimates vary, but allowing a federal bureaucrat to retire without replacing that person with another employee can save anywhere from $60 billion to $200 billion over 10 years. This provision estimates to save $6.5 billion in one year. 
·         Bring Federal Employee Pay in Line With Private Jobs: $32 billion saved annually 
o   According to the Congressional Budget Office, the average compensation of a federal employees is 16 percent more than their private equivalents. By reducing salaries to align more with their private counterparts, this provision could save as much as $32 billion a year.
·         Reduce Federal Employee Travel by 25 Percent: $2.25 billion saved annually
o   The latest data provided by the General Services Administration suggested that the federal government spent $9 billion on travel. Reducing the federal travel budget by at least 25 percent can reduce the budget by $2.25 billion a year.
·         Focus Military Research on Military Needs: $6 billion saved annually 
o   According to research done by the staff of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), found that the Defense Department spent $6 billion on research that had nothing to do with military or military-related health inquires.
         Require Competitive Bidding for Government Contracts: $19 billion saved annually 
o   The Davis-Bacon prevailing wages law requires federal projects to pay the employees higher wages. This would repeal this requirement and allow the government to save money by making pay competitive to all government employees. The Heritage Foundation estimates that this will save $9 billion a year. Also, many contracts in the federal government are provided to companies without requiring a competitive bid – or the opportunity for the government to contract work at the lowest price possible. This provision would require the government to competitively bid all contracts. This provision would save an additional $10 billion a year.
·         Cut 50 Percent of Foreign Aid: $20 billion saved annually
o   We spend more than $40 billion a year on foreign aid. When we’re dealing with a budget crisis here at home, it’s only responsible to bring this money home. This provision would eliminate half the foreign aid budget.
Why is Rand wasting time on these type plans, which suggest that government cuts need to be treated with a scalpel instead of a meat cleaver? Government needs to be cut wholesale. As I have said, modestly, as a first step by 95%. If this causes havoc and layoffs in the Department of Education, Energy and so on, well so be it. Government cuts shouldn't be about attempting to prevent havoc and chaos, they should be about creating havoc and chaos, so that the people are freed from the junior tyrants in all these agencies.


  1. Couple of things:

    Davis-Bacon would be a massive hit to unions and democratic supporters. Don't see democrats agreeing, but this might be a play to get democrats to play defense.

    Getting pay in line with private sector pay while freezing hiring? That means laying people off OR forcing people to take a paycut. You'd rather just fire them. No one takes a paycut. Just hire new, just as productive paper pushers at half the price. And NO new worker gets a govt pension.

  2. The efficiency of the Federal Government seems to be a recurring theme of Rand's pronouncements to the press. Why, I am beginning to believe that Rand has always had a fondness for the storied efficiency of Il Duce, who was praised for making sure the trains ran on time.

  3. Rand wants to be in charge of the government. Can't do that if there's no government anymore, can he?

  4. I generally agree with your Rand assessments but not in this case. I think the major point that should be taken from this is that if this gets traction it can be a case in point for us to say "hey, look Joe Sixpack these cuts aren't even really cuts but the two parties were going to lay people off first without cutting the multitude of programs we don't need". That is the strength of this and should be embraced. To expose the corrupt as the extortionists that they are on both left and right to the common man who votes for these buffoons might go a long way. But first this has to get traction with the voters across both isles, which is unlikely given the current media situation but it's nearly unobjectionable to both democrat and republican voters. I think it's a brilliant move.