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Sunday, April 02, 2017

D.C. needs a recession

The Washington Post ran a snotty little story yesterday by Christopher Ingraham, "The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby's."

Good luck getting one-third of the nation's electricity from a roast beef sandwich.

Ingraham is peddling the narrative that coal jobs are lost solely because of automation, ratherthan admit the harmful effects of a federal bureaucracy that thinks carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

His target readership is the bureaucracy, not coal miners.

Well, the shoe may soon be on the other foot. Yahoo News reported: "Trump's budget could plunge nation's capital into recession."


The federal government has grown by leaps and bounds while the nation has stagnated. Some of the richest counties in America surround the capital.

Until now, we insulated federal employees from recessionary layoffs, firing, and demotion even with cause.

The result is an expensive bloated bureaucracy. Oh, they will claim that federal employment has not increased over the years.

But won't they won't tell you is the clerk typists of yesteryear have been replaced by expensive lawyers and Ph.D's.

Their pay is way out of line.

From Government Executive magazine, October 8, 2015:
Federal employees on average earned 78 percent more in total compensation than private sector workers in 2014, according to a new study from a conservative think tank.
The Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards compared data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis to show that, in his view, civilian federal workers are overcompensated. Factoring both salary and benefits, Edwards pointed to BEA data showing the average federal employee earns about $119,000 annually, compared to the private sector worker who earns $67,000 per year. When comparing just salaries, feds collect 50 percent bigger paychecks, Edwards said.
The wage gap between the federal and private sectors has grown since the 1990s, Cato’s director of tax policy studies found. The divide has doubled since 1990, when it was just 39 percent. The growth, he said, came from not just raising pay levels and offering more generous benefits, but also a more “top-heavy” bureaucracy that routinely moves employees into higher salary brackets and redefines jobs as higher earning positions.
“The federal government has become an elite island of secure and high-paid employment, separated from the ocean of average Americans competing in the economy,” Edwards wrote in his findings.

78% more -- just for passing a Civil Service examination.

I am sure that most federal employees are just as hard-working and able as the coal miners.

But you know something?

Good workers lose their jobs every day because when a company loses money, payrolls get cut and factories close.

In the last 17 years, the federal government has posted a total of $14 trillion in losses despite record revenues.

The government is slated to lose another $3 trillion over the four years.

We cannot afford this.

Cut the spending. Cut it. Now.

From Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The booming Washington region has long been an easy target for Republican lawmakers who want to cut federal spending. Last year, a GOP congressman from Iowa tweeted a picture of construction cranes on the waterfront south of the Capitol with the comment, "D.C. needs a recession."
In the unlikely event that Congress approves President Donald Trump's budget proposal, Washington could get one.
Trump has proposed deep spending cuts at nearly every federal agency other than the Defense Department and eliminating 19 independent agencies altogether. Although his budget has little chance of being enacted, it offers a glimpse into the priorities of Trump and his advisers, including chief strategist Steve Bannon, who has pledged the "deconstruction of the administrative state."
While many of the targeted federal agencies have offices outside Washington, Trump's dream budget would hit the region disproportionately, with tens of thousands of jobs at risk. The cuts would be felt throughout the city, with fewer people riding the already-beleaguered Metro subway or eating at restaurants. It would also hurt Washington's already-shaky market for office space.
Economist Stephen Fuller of George Mason University, who has studied the regional economy for decades, estimated 20,000-24,000 federal employees and 10,000 federal contractors would lose their jobs under Trump's proposal. That equates to 5 percent of federal workers in the region.
With those workers earning an average salary of $111,000, the job losses would mean more than $2.2 billion in lost wages, Fuller said. That would reverberate around the city.
Tell West Virginia about it. The coal industry cleaned up its act over the last 50 years, and yet Obama's Environmental Protection Agency placed ludicrous restrictions upon it, forcing mines to shutter.

When the mines shut down, liberals chortled and cat-called about the free market deciding it as electric companies were forced to switch to natural gas.

Liberals laugh a lot at unemployed Americans. Here, have some more food stamps.

Meanwhile, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency by the way created the largest freshwater industrial pollution catastrophe when it polluted the Animas River in Colorado with 3.5 million gallons of toxins and heavy metals. To date, no one has gone to prison for this crime.

By contrast, the U.S. attorney made sure president of Freedom Industries went to prison after the spill of 10,000 or so gallons of an industrial alcohol into the Elk River in West Virginia in 2014.

Fewer federal employees -- and 24,000 is about 1% of the federal work force -- should mean fewer mistakes, especially as President Trump requires them to reduce and rescind their regulations.

I am not heartless. I will not offer the sneering advice liberals give small-town America to move to where the jobs are.

But I am not brainless.

We cannot afford a government this big.

Automate it. Or rather, eliminate the jobs already automated. We added all these computers and never seemed to reduce the number of people on the payroll.

This is about survival as a nation. We cannot afford a $10 trillion national debt.

Yet we are headed toward a $22 trillion national debt by the end of President Trump's first term. Help!

Cut the federal budget already.

If that means layoffs, maybe in the future government regulators will listen a little more carefully when industry warns, correctly, that a regulation will cost people their jobs.

I am reminded that during the Battle of London, a Nazi bomb finally hit Buckingham Palace on September 13, 1940. Queen Mary told her children: "I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye."

The Queen also refused to evacuate England, declaring: "The children will not leave unless I do. I shall not leave unless their father does, and the King will not leave the country in any circumstances, whatever."

Her daughter, Queen Elizabeth, reflects her mother's empathy.

Decisions have consequences. When you do not suffer those consequences, you make bad decisions.

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  1. A couple of years ago a poll in France revealed that 95% of French mothers thought the ideal job for their children was to work for the government. If consecutive democrat administrations were to have occurred, this might have been the wish of US mothers in 20 years.
    Personally for various reasons I do not loathe the DC bureaucracy. It didn't create itself and is made up of those trying to do their best most of the time. Not that it couldn't stand a haircut once in awhile. The real issue to me is who is leading it, because bureaucrats, as will employees in general, come to imitate their master at the top. The careless arrogance of Obama was everywhere expressed by his minions who came to believe they were not only his personal servants, but his signet ring too. So with this WaPo clown sneering at people who work in dust and darkness to make ends meet so he may see his computer to jeer them. Yet He is only revealing the lash marks applied by his bald master, and proudly so, one of the chosen to apply nose to tuchis in print.
    Perhaps the main objective of the media schweine is to lower DT so in the eyes of the DC serfs, attentive as most may be, so they will continue to act as though their previous feckless ruler had returned early from his idle on Brando Isle, keep the confusion going, stand down.

  2. Intersting statistic.
    Have read that 50% of African Americans work for the feds, one of the states, a county, or a municipality and that 50% of them recieve some government subsidy.
    Draining the swamp might be rather uncomfortable for some of the swamp critters

    1. Most of the SJW in schools are looking for government jobs

  3. Considering how cute many in Congress must feel in dragging out Trump's appointments, one has to wonder how they'd feel if Trump announced he was cutting those positions (and all those underneath) on the grounds it was obvious the government was doing just dandy without them.

    Be careful of that for which you wish...

  4. Trimming the government employees of DC...
    What to use, what to use... I'd start with a meat axe.

  5. Don, good one. I have been a contractor or worked for a Government contractor.I have seen waste and stupid, venial, decisions.
    The Ltimes had a screaming editorial about
    Trump to the effect:
    Trump's over the Target.
    Flack's heavy. Bombs away...
    TG McCoy

    1. LA Times that is.

    2. Got a twenty says Trump never gets "Number 10 Man" written on his helmet.

  6. They are saying he should be killed,in so many words. Personally I have always hoped the left would take up violence again like they did in the 60s and ruin themselves politically for 20 years. Trump needs Navy Seal or Delta force protection, not the Secret Service. The LAT has become a liberal rectal abscess that will never drain.

    1. `Yep, I saw that too. Not a good thing.
      But Trump hasn't let his Private people
      go they are still there and they are
      ex-snake eaters...
      You may not see them but they are there...

  7. You want to talk alternative employment opportunities, with the construction of suitable pipelines, America could put all its untreated sewage where it really belongs ... DC.

  8. Recessions give companies a chance to clear out the bureaucratic dead wood which builds up during the good years. So after Obama's persecution of the coalies I suspect they are slimmed down and ready to compete and expand profitably.

    Federal bureaucracies never have recessions, so they never get the cleanout and fitness training. They just get more bloated.

    I hope Trump can slim them some, but it seems unlikely that it will be the swathes that companies cut when they cut.

  9. If every fed agency just sent home everyone over 64 or so, the cost savings would be monumental. Send these people home, tell them to play w their grandkids or go out to the golf course, and that they "have gotten theirs." Most of those folks have been in the system well >20 years and have more $$ than 98% of Americans. Cut them off. Then begin ramping down all of them -- USDA (joke! don't need them at all, sorry), Labor, NOAA/Commerce, HUD, Energy, Education. Get EPA back to its 1972-era mission and cut it 75%.

  10. Government employment has basically become a form of very expensive welfare. Most federal employees do no meaningful work and are virtually unemployable in the private sector.