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What are they thinking?

The Senate has passed a budget. For federal employees the subtext of that passage may be this; however bad you thought it has been, if this were enacted, it would get much worse. The budget would cut $496 billion civilian agencies over the next ten years. The Defense Department received a $187 billion increase during that same period.

With the majority of the costs of the federal government being personnel, if put into place, this budget would necessitate significant cuts to the workforce of many if not all federal agencies. For those that are not related to homeland security or the justice system, the cuts could be even more severe, as there is a race to the bottom in going after programs that are defined as "nonessential"

Cuts of this magnitude would increase the pressure to cut staff and fuel deeper demoralization and bring about more adverse job actions and other discipline, as managers are pressured to find ways to remove employees.

Of course, this budget is not likely to be received by the current administration in a positive light, and stands little chance of being enacted. It really only functions to "move the goal posts" and provide senators running for reelection with sound bites of them standing up to the "big spending" administration.

The federal government is large. That is because it does a great deal. The real question is not whether government is too large, but rather what programs would you be willing to cut to reduce its size?

Arbitrary, across the board cuts are ham-fisted and generally ineffective. They could require the General Accountability Office and the various Offices of Inspector General to cut their work, which could mean the cuts would increase waste and inefficiency and cost taxpayers more in the end.

Federaltimes.com, "Senate passes budget slashing civilian agency funding," Andy Medici, May 6, 2015

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