Panel urges cutting federal employment as part of major spending cuts

'Moment of Truth’ report backs down on some previous explicit defense cuts

The White House-led Commission on Fiscal Reform and Responsibility today released its final recommendations for slashing the federal deficit, calling for reduced spending in all government areas and cutting federal employment.

The recommendations, made in a report, seek to save $4 trillion by 2020, include trimming the government workforce by 10 percent by 2015, fixing a “broken” American tax code and imposing annual limits on war spending.

“We must end redundant, wasteful and ineffective federal spending, wherever we find it," the report states. "We should cut all excess spending – including defense, domestic programs, entitlement spending, and spending in the tax code."

Although a Nov. 10 draft proposal of the recommendations included specific cuts to the Defense Department budget, the final report leaves out some of the explicit military cuts, including those to force structure and weapons programs, and instead appears to make room for future DOD input.


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“Congress should also consider a [special commission] for terminating major weapons systems, appointed and headed by the secretary of defense, for trimming redundant or ineffective weapons from the Defense Department’s inventory,” the report recommended.

The debt commission called for defense spending to be reduced equally with domestic spending and stresses that the federal deficit remains a national security concern.

“Any serious attempt to reduce the deficit will require deliberate, planned reductions in both domestic and defense spending,” the report states. “As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, has noted, the most significant threat to our national security is our debt. The ability of the United States to keep our country secure over time depends on restoring fiscal restraint today.”

The report recommends capping discretionary spending, including defense, for two years at 2008 levels, and then allowing increases for half the rate of inflation.

In the report, all DOD spending is included under security, which makes up two-thirds of discretionary spending. War spending would be kept in a separate overseas contingent operations category subject to its own spending cap.

The so-called "Moment of Truth" report is subject to a vote by the commission Dec. 3, which will determine if the recommendations progress. At least 14 of the 18 commissioners must approve the measures for the recommendations to go to Congress.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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Reader comments

Sat, Dec 4, 2010 USA

The last one that should be cut is IRS. Most people are willing to work with us and set up payment plans. We have criminal investigation for others. But we were so cut back during Bush. Those getting away with it were the corporations. Not only did they not pay the tax in, their employees took credit when they filed--it's called double dipping. Wake up America!

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 BB Mid-America

Thanks to the politicians we have a huge budget deficit, so now as a federal employee I'm supposed to fall on my sword and do my part, have my salary frozen, my benefits reduced? The politicians want to go after my little 1.4% raise for 2011, but ignore fraud, waste and abuse like an FBI system that is $100 million over budget, $1 billion paid to dead people or the untold millions tied up in unused federal property and buildings. If this kind of stuff can be dealt with then I gladly suck it up and do my part!

Fri, Dec 3, 2010 CyberSamuri

Why wasn't DHS targeted? They are the second largest Federal Agency and all the proble,s that were to be resolved by their creation are still with us. I also believe they have the lowest approval ratings among the American public. The Federal Government aught to abolish the DHS and go back to the oldays of doing business. It couldn't be any worse and think of all the billions we could save!

Fri, Dec 3, 2010

Remember Ill-Wind in the 80s? The military-industrial complex has gotten fat all over again. The dirty little secret is the overhead rate. That's what fuels the pyramid scheme in defense contracting.

Fri, Dec 3, 2010

This sounds like a plot to push Contractors into more federal jobs.

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