Gov Careers

By Phil Piemonte

Blog archive

So be it or not so be it

At a press conference this week, after claiming that President Obama has added 200,000 new federal jobs since taking office, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said that if some of those jobs fall victim to budget cuts, “so be it.”

With the unemployment level being what it is, you might be asking: “Is adding 200,000 new jobs a bad thing?” Or, “Isn’t that ‘job-killing,’ too?” Or, “What constitutes a ‘real’ job?” Or, “Are real jobs only in private sector?”

The president apparently believes they are real jobs. His 2012 budget calls for adding yet another 15,000 employees.

The administration’s position is that adding these employees is not really “growing” the workforce, but helping it to catch up to where it should be. That case is grounded in the White House’s observation that in 1953, there was one federal worker to serve every 78 U.S. residents, and that by 2009, that ratio had dropped to one fed for every 147 residents.

Others are already picking up on that general premise. In reaction to Boehner’s statement this week, National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association President Joe Beaudoin noted that “over the last 10 years, the federal workforce has significantly shrunk compared to the overall U.S. population.”

Of course, no issue is ever as simple as that. But American attitudes, especially these days, seem to be swayed not by reasoned discourse (if any survives) but rather by the simplest notions.

As the budget battles heat up, you’ll probably hear this argument repeated.

So be it.

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Feb 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM


Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.