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Fox News Deficit Reduction Idea: Lay Off 400,000 Government Workers

Reported by Guest Blogger - November 15, 2010 -

By Brian

On Saturday’s (11/13/10) Bulls & Bears “business show,” the panel discussed the debt commission’s idea to cut the federal workforce by 10% over the next decade. Regular panelist Eric Bolling wanted more. He suggested cutting 400,000 federal jobs right away. Host Brenda Buttner “asked” a liberal panelist, “Doesn’t Eric’s plan make sense?”

Liberal Jehmu Greene had a good answer. "It's pretty clear to most Americans that what they need to hear now is, ’You're hired,’ not ‘You're fired.’ …Eric, you want to just take a bulldozer and knock us back into the ditch."

Greene also noted that it was great to see private sector jobs increasing over the last 10 months, then added, "You also have to take into account the services that federal workers provide for us. What do you want to say? Just that we're not going to have food safety inspectors, we’re not going to have people inspecting mines, we’re going to have veterans waiting in lines longer to get their benefits, elderly and disabled having to navigate the Social Security system, make it more difficult for them? This is not the way to get us out of the recession, is to fire 400,000 people."

Regular Gary B. Smith used the opportunity to attack unions, by claiming that because of them, federal workers earn “about 60% more” or double “if you throw in benefits” for “like to like jobs. ”You can adopt Eric's approach, which actually, I think is fine, or maybe we'll do a combination of what you and Eric were talking about, maybe just privatize it. For example, Canada; all the air traffic controllers there are privatized. We can do the same thing here and cut expenses."

His brother and fellow regular Tobin Smith brought up a fave Fox talking point, that the number of people making over $150,000 a year has doubled. But last year, USA Today analyzed the growth in federal salaries and noted that a) many of the increases were due to steps taken during the Bush administration and b) President Obama and the Democratic Congress took steps to rein in two out of the three key causes for the increase. Funny how Buttner didn’t mention that.

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