House GOP moves to cut 30K FAA workers from government payroll

posted at 8:01 am on February 5, 2016 by Jazz Shaw

We recently noted a survey which showed that up to 25% of federal workers might quit their jobs if Donald Trump were elected president. (I personally doubt any of them would walk away from that sort of gravy train, but if true it might be a reason to give Trump a second look.) This week, however, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee introduced a measure which could save a bunch of those workers the trouble of turning in their notice. Under the proposed plan, tens of thousands of federal employees of the Federal Aviation Administration would be shed from the government ranks and moved into a non-profit, private entity. Government Executive has the details.

Republicans in Congress have introduced a plan to de-federalize air traffic control, which would move 30,000 federal employees into a non-profit corporation.

Proponents of the U.S. aviation overhaul say it would bring stability to a system that has been devastated by a partisan and volatile Congress. While the privatization of the Federal Aviation Administration has long been touted and debated, the renewed effort gained momentum after the union representing air traffic controllers signed on to the plan.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., chairman House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act on Wednesday, as part of the regular process of re-upping the agency’s power.

We’re talking about jobs that can’t simply be eliminated here because it’s primarily the air traffic controllers and supporting staff at the nation’s airfields. The FAA would continue to exist under this plan, but in a vastly reduced role dealing primarily with safety and regulation of the airline industry.

As proposals go, this one is rather hard to evaluate. One of the first places you’d think to look is the reaction of the unions: if they hate it then it’s probably a good idea. But in this case it’s a mixed bag. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is supporting the measure because they claim that it would stabilize the funding stream for the FAA rather than leaving it up to the whims of a gridlocked Congress. That might be the biggest warning sign here because current FAA functions would be paid for through fees charged to the airlines for the service, not tax dollars. That means, of course, that the costs would be passed directly down to the public in the form of higher air fares. But on the other side of the coin, the American Federation of Government Employees and some other public workers unions are opposing it as a “privatization” effort.

Moving this important function to the private sector might work, but that’s not what’s being proposed. They’re talking about a massive new “non-profit” organization which would run it. That’s generally a red flag for me because non-profits have very little incentive to be either efficient or lashed to a dedication to excellence. But who knows? Once they’re off the taxpayer payroll perhaps this could work.

Circling back to the first point I mentioned here, it’s rather curious that a quarter of our federal workers say they would consider quitting if The Donald moved into the Oval Office. They must be the Democrats, because a different survey shows that among Republican federal workers, Trump is out to a pretty big lead.

Donald Trump has widened his lead among Republicans who work for the federal government, according to a new survey, with his closest opponent for the GOP nomination trailing by 15 points.

Thirty-two percent of federal employees who identified as Republican or Republican-leaning Independents said they would vote for the real estate mogul during the campaign primaries in a poll released Friday by the Government Business Council, the research arm of Government Executive Media Group. Trump’s support was similar in an October GBC survey, but his lead has grown as the GOP field shakes out.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ranked second among the same group, with 17 percent saying they would vote for him in the primary election. Cruz was in fifth place among federal employees three months ago, with just 4 percent of respondents supporting him, a dip from an earlier GBC survey last August when he garnered 9 percent support.

It’s a rather minor data point to toss out, but it fits in with the rest of this story and it’s one of our favorite games to pursue here. You might think that federal government employees would be one demographic with a decidedly unique perspective on elections, so they could easily sway from the national pack. But at least for the moment, they’re following the national trends neatly, holding Trump and Cruz near the top. The only real shifts are in the harder to measure, low level buzz around the establishment lane candidates.

Exit question: How much of the federal government (at the least the parts we couldn’t do without entirely) could be effectively privatized without increasing costs or deteriorating the quality of services?

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Comments

Exit question: How much of the federal government (at the least the parts we couldn’t do without entirely) could be effectively privatized without increasing costs or deteriorating the quality of services?

About half, and that would actually save money if Congress reduced the tax burden but they wouldn’t.

Johnnyreb on February 5, 2016 at 8:05 AM

Start with getting rid of all the “nonessential” workers who don’t have to show up during a government “shutdown” then move on from there.

ConstantineXI on February 5, 2016 at 8:09 AM

That’s generally a red flag for me because non-profits have very little incentive to be either efficient or lashed to a dedication to excellence.

So there’s no difference with what we have now.

hal_mccombs on February 5, 2016 at 8:10 AM

A federally funded and controlled “non-profit” is in fact adding *another* layer onto the federal bureaucracy. It will be the same organization, same function, but now with another federal agency to oversee its operations.

And “non-profit” whatever, it’s still going to get its money from the gruberment.

Lance Corvette on February 5, 2016 at 8:10 AM

Oh great the FAA gets to join the USPS(USPoS) as another non profit government subsidized private enterprise. Sounds like a great idea doesn’t it? Smoke and mirrors at it’s finest.

bgibbs1000 on February 5, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Exit answer: easily 66%, not including the military, of course. Depts. like energy, education, HUD, should be totally abolished.

devan95 on February 5, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Personally, I think most non-profits are scams.

Fallon on February 5, 2016 at 8:14 AM

Really need to eliminate about 50,000 TSA goons…. Absolutely no added safety from these clowns. Never stopped a single thing…..ever

elowe on February 5, 2016 at 8:15 AM

House GOP moves to cut 30K FAA workers from government payroll

…’moves’ that never move anywhere.

JugEarsButtHurt on February 5, 2016 at 8:16 AM

Really need to eliminate about 50,000 TSA goons…. Absolutely no added safety from these clowns. Never stopped a single thing…..ever

elowe on February 5, 2016 at 8:15 AM

The whole DHS department should be eliminated.

The FBI should be downsized and only allowed to investigate crimes on federal property.

The military should be reduced to training an all volunteer militia.

ConstantineXI on February 5, 2016 at 8:17 AM

Exit answer: easily 66%, not including the military, of course. Depts. like energy, education, HUD, should be totally abolished.

devan95 on February 5, 2016 at 8:13 AM

Good start. The way things are progressing, one could add the DoJ, ICE, and Congress to the list.

smokeyblonde on February 5, 2016 at 8:18 AM

25% of demorat federal workers would up and quit if Trump is elected?

Fresh look at the man.

Bishop on February 5, 2016 at 8:20 AM

25% of demorat federal workers would up and quit if Trump is elected?

Fresh look at the man.

Bishop on February 5, 2016 at 8:20 AM

The average civilian pay for federal workers is $84k/year, not counting full health care.

Ain’t *nobody* up and quitting that kind of job.

Lance Corvette on February 5, 2016 at 8:22 AM

To be clear here, this is far from privatization. This is creation of rent seeking organizations with a built in ‘taxing’ mechanism. Prizitization would imply free exchange of goods and services, competition and the possibility of creative destruction.

But that would mean free markets, something we no longer believe in in the workers paradise the US has become.

nemo on February 5, 2016 at 8:26 AM

They’re talking about a massive new “non-profit” organization which would run it. That’s generally a red flag for me because non-profits have very little incentive to be either efficient or lashed to a dedication to excellence.

I don’t what the differences might be between non-profit and not-for-profit (NPOs) but a lot of integrated health care organizations are not-for-profit now. I’m employed through one of these organizations. We have to compete for our share of the market with other healthcare providers, so there is a driving force for efficiency and quality of care.

Perhaps it depends on the industry.

lineholder on February 5, 2016 at 8:28 AM

Start with getting rid of all the “nonessential” workers who don’t have to show up during a government “shutdown” then move on from there.

ConstantineXI on February 5, 2016 at 8:09 AM

Exactly! I’ve always thought this.

First step: Shut down the government — “reluctantly,” of course.
Next step: Issue executive-branch statement reading, “Now that you’re all home and comfortable . . .”
Last step: Go back to congress and ask, “Do we really need to reopen?”

Lolo on February 5, 2016 at 8:29 AM

You can cut 90% of the IRS workforce since only 10% of the employees actually do work there.

Cecil Corn on February 5, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Exit question: How much of the federal government (at the least the parts we couldn’t do without entirely) could be effectively privatized without increasing costs or deteriorating the quality of services?

Very little, a percentage of federal spending.

Defense is 21%. Aside from the questionable political and moral aspects of a vast privatized military, it would only institutionalized cronyism and profiteering — as we have often seen in the Middle East over the last 15 years.

Pensions (mostly Social Security) is 25%. A very efficient system — almost no overhead compared to the amount of money distributed.

Health Car is 28%: Again, very efficient and mostly de facto privatized as it is. HHS is as efficient or more efficient as the private sector in cutting checks; most of the health care is actually already provided by private or non-federal entities.

Welfare is 10%: Another low-overhead check cutting program.

Interest is 7%.

So, 91% of government spending is pretty much as efficient as it’s ever going to get (since it’s largely transfer programs.

This does not mean that these programs should be cut, or that procurement processes can;t be improved or that eligibility for welfare programs shouldn’t be tightened — entirely separate arguments that we can have on another day.

It just means that privatization is — like the endless images of cutting “waste, fraud and abuse,” a mirage when it comes to real cost-cutting.

The other problem with privatization is that once you privatize a program, you’ve handed a monopoly to and entity whose primary goal is to turn a profit, not to provide the service. Think in terms of Enron and California electricity, or your local cable company.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 8:35 AM

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 8:35 AM

Oh, there is still room to cut the fat out of those programs. Modernizing them alone would improve productivity and cost-effectiveness. Government may not do that, because leaving them outdated gives our Congress Critters a way to milk taxpayers every year in developing a budget. But the private sector might take on that challenge, especially if this was set up in a manner that encourages competition.

lineholder on February 5, 2016 at 8:47 AM

It just means that privatization is — like the endless images of cutting “waste, fraud and abuse,” a mirage when it comes to real cost-cutting.

The other problem with privatization is that once you privatize a program, you’ve handed a monopoly to and entity whose primary goal is to turn a profit, not to provide the service. Think in terms of Enron and California electricity, or your local cable company.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 8:35 AM

Well, the primary goal of a government run program is to get bigger, increase “services” and get votes for politicians.

Sounds like the only answer is to get rid of the programs entirely then. Just SS and health care alone would be a savings of over $2,000,000,000,000 a year, or $167,000,000,000 a month.

darwin on February 5, 2016 at 8:47 AM

Exit question: How much of the federal government (at the least the parts we couldn’t do without entirely) could be effectively privatized without increasing costs or deteriorating the quality of services?

Very little, a percentage of federal spending.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 8:35 AM

What kind of percentage are we talking?

Surgeon General: Gone
VA: Privatize
Education: Gone
Labor: Gone
Housing: Gone
Energy: To the states
Transportation: Downsize
DHS: Gone
HHS: Gone
Commerce: Gone
Agriculture: Gone
DOJ: Under the FBI
Interior: To the states

Lolo on February 5, 2016 at 8:48 AM

Removing the controllers from the “whims” of Congress by spinning off a government sponsored non-profit will only encourage bad-behaviour and irresponsible finances.

We’d be better off creating a set of requirements for contractors to meet and opening the positions up to competitive bidding. If one firm can’t do the job efficiently, they lose their contract and someone else will take it.

bettercallputin on February 5, 2016 at 8:55 AM

The FAA proposal is something that has been percolating for years. There are different models of air traffic privatization, but they’ve been successfully operating for years in the United Kingdom (NATS), Canada (NavCanada), all across Europe and in fact in most industrialized nations. The FAA has drawn lots of criticism for not implementing air traffic modernization on time and on budget, and many people think government just isn’t set up to run something so intensely operational other than the military. Federal budget debacles don’t help either.

So that’s what this is about.

Chriscom on February 5, 2016 at 8:57 AM

The 30,000 feds would be turned into contractors, who are usually paid better than feds (or at least cost more in salary) but who don’t get the same retirement package.

NoDonkey on February 5, 2016 at 8:57 AM

the frderal gobernment is a huge afirmative action employer. without it black unemployment would akyrocket.
nothng will change.

losarkos on February 5, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Most days it seems that the Congress has gone private sector already. Just a matter of them wearing their sponsor’s Logo Jackets.

Robert17 on February 5, 2016 at 9:01 AM

Look up Aeronautical Radio ARINC). This is a company established in the 1920s to control aviation radio. It is owned by the airlines, manufacturers, and government. Until recently, they controlled over the ocean air traffic, and as recently as 9/11 operated a radio system within the US. It is a good system and has worked for years. One caution, in a new company, do not let one airline get control of the operation. However, that being said, it is right that the airlines pay their own way. Competing transportation systems pay their own way.

Old Country Boy on February 5, 2016 at 9:06 AM

Reagan got rid of 10,000 in his first year and didn’t even slow down traffic. Now the video game controllers are even less critical.

Kneale on February 5, 2016 at 9:16 AM

Defense is 21%. Aside from the questionable political and moral aspects of a vast privatized military, it would only institutionalized cronyism and profiteering — as we have often seen in the Middle East over the last 15 years.

Pensions (mostly Social Security) is 25%. A very efficient system — almost no overhead compared to the amount of money distributed.

Health Car is 28%: Again, very efficient and mostly de facto privatized as it is. HHS is as efficient or more efficient as the private sector in cutting checks; most of the health care is actually already provided by private or non-federal entities.

Welfare is 10%: Another low-overhead check cutting program.

Interest is 7%.

So, 91% of government spending is pretty much as efficient as it’s ever going to get (since it’s largely transfer programs.

This does not mean that these programs should be cut, or that procurement processes can;t be improved or that eligibility for welfare programs shouldn’t be tightened — entirely separate arguments that we can have on another day.

It just means that privatization is — like the endless images of cutting “waste, fraud and abuse,” a mirage when it comes to real cost-cutting.

The other problem with privatization is that once you privatize a program, you’ve handed a monopoly to and entity whose primary goal is to turn a profit, not to provide the service. Think in terms of Enron and California electricity, or your local cable company.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 8:35 AM

Let’s take a look at these individually, shall we?

Defense, 21%… Defense is mentioned in the Constitution, but only for a standing navy, armories, bases and ports. The rest is authorized for Congress to spend on the training and arming of citizen militia (that’s us). Thus a large portion of this is illegally spent on a standing army instead of citizen militia as required. (And if you want the definition of who is included in the militia, read your state’s constitution. It’s defined there.)

Pensions, 25%… UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Should be eliminated. My proposal is to shift it entirely to a 401K based system.

Healthcare, 28%… UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Should be eliminated. States are already responsible for determining insurance requirements. It should remain there. Personally, I’d prefer medicare/medicaid to be an HSA system, uncapped, where anyone (individuals, charities, state government) can contribute any amount.

Welfare, 10%… UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Should be eliminated. Could be picked up by the states.

Interest, 7%… SHOULD NOT EXIST. Since this is an indicator of inefficient and incapable government management, this should be eliminated. It is our debt, run up by government, that we are paying interest on.

Funny… I just eliminated an additional 70+% from your “efficient” government just by following the US Constitution as required by law. It is when you DON’T follow the law that all this idiotic largess appears.

Have a great day!

dominigan on February 5, 2016 at 9:21 AM

If Trump is elected, I hope 25% of Federal employees DO quit their job. I’m suspecting those are the ones who are the most corrupt and most abusive in the first place. I can’t say I’m happy with the way most federal agencies operate, as the most undesirable workers always manage to find themselves in a government job or position, and are the types who couldn’t last two weeks on a job in the private sector.

This is not to say ALL federal workers are that way. It has been refreshing to encounter those that are genuinely committed to their jobs, and who view the public as their benefactors and not as serfs. Those persons deserve my respect.

Turtle317 on February 5, 2016 at 9:27 AM

Surgeon General: Gone

Yes.

VA: Privatize

Yes.

Education: Gone

Yes, absolutely.

Labor: Gone

Yes.

Housing: Gone

Yes.

Energy: To the states

No. Maintaining the national electric grid is a necessity. Make it a small subdepartment in Commerce that employs experts, not bureaucrats.

Transportation: Downsize

Same as above. It should be a part of the Commerce Dept.

DHS: Gone

And salt the ground on which it stands.

HHS: Gone

Yes.

Commerce: Gone

No. It’s an enumerated constitutional power. Push the court to limit it by killing Wickard and Kelo instead.

Agriculture: Gone

Yes.

DOJ: Under the FBI

No. Again, it’s an enumerated power. Just make every appointment with the power of decision subject to Senate confirmation, no recess games allowed.

Interior: To the states

Yes.

Lolo on February 5, 2016 at 8:48 AM

Rix on February 5, 2016 at 9:36 AM

You really think the govt is going to give up that many employees when the VA couldn’t/wouldn’t fire two women who defrauded the agency? Progress in the right direction doesn’t happen. It only goes left.

Kissmygrits on February 5, 2016 at 9:39 AM

That’s generally a red flag for me because non-profits have very little incentive to be either efficient or lashed to a dedication to excellence.

So there’s no difference with what we have now.

hal_mccombs on February 5, 2016 at 8:10 AM

I agree, the “non-profit” stipulation could make it a “Cost-Plus” operation which is the government model. The only way privatization works is competitively bid with appropriate pre-bid qualification.

tej on February 5, 2016 at 9:47 AM

Surprised no one has mentioned EPA yet, who are currently busily scurrying around the countryside with advanced degree political appointee or affirmative action hire folks in charge who have no practical knowledge of anything, and as a result wind up causing more contamination than they prevent.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 5, 2016 at 9:48 AM

I’m as conservative as the next guy. I’m also a federal employee. I’m a professional person with a doctoral degree. I’ve lived through multiple shutdowns. Here’s what happens. It’s hard to get anything done. The labels “essential” and “non-essential” are gone. But people you need to work with aren’t on the job. They would work if it were legal. But they can’t. Things back up. When funding resumes, almost all of us end up working uncompensated overtime to try to catch up on the backlog of work while dealing with current issues.

So the “non-essential” thing is just as brainless knee-jerk reaction with no basis in reality. Is the fat in the government? Plenty of it. But realize that transfer payments constitute a massive part of annual expenditures. Eliminating every single employee would do nothing about that, unless those programs are shut down as well.

Every time I see an article by Jazz Shaw about federal employees I shudder. His good points are almost always obscured by his ritual repetition of myths about how every federal employee is underpaid and doesn’t really accomplish anything.

35tww on February 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM

dominigan on February 5, 2016 at 9:21 AM

Here’s the thing: your typing “unconstitutional” in all caps does not make it so.

Most days it seems that the Congress has gone private sector already. Just a matter of them wearing their sponsor’s Logo Jackets.

Robert17 on February 5, 2016 at 9:01 AM

I like the way you think. On this, anyway.

Well, the primary goal of a government run program is to get bigger, increase “services” and get votes for politicians.

Sounds like the only answer is to get rid of the programs entirely then. Just SS and health care alone would be a savings of over $2,000,000,000,000 a year, or $167,000,000,000 a month.

darwin on February 5, 2016 at 8:47 AM

as I said, a separate — and legitmate — argument. However, having paid into the system since 1976, you can take my Social Security when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Lolo on February 5, 2016 at 8:48 AM

Of all that, you’re only privatizing $168B out out $3.5T – a small percentage. Curious what a privatized VA would look like.

Oh, there is still room to cut the fat out of those programs. Modernizing them alone would improve productivity and cost-effectiveness. Government may not do that, because leaving them outdated gives our Congress Critters a way to milk taxpayers every year in developing a budget. But the private sector might take on that challenge, especially if this was set up in a manner that encourages competition.

lineholder on February 5, 2016 at 8:47 AM

there is always some room for cutting, but the idea that there are huge savings lying around is myth. Government agencies don’t modernize in large part because they rarely get the lump sum appropriations needed to make a major investments — lump sums a private entity would have an equally hard time getting appropriated (though, they do have lobbyists and cash to throw around). While defense, transfers and entitlements continue to grow, discretionary spending has been squeezed for years.

By the way, having worked for a couple of Congress Critters, I can assure that – while advocacy government programs does bring expansion — that is not the primary goal. If you invent a program that magically delivered some benefit while cutting costs/bureaucracy, even the most liberal critters would vote for it. Everyone likes to run for re-election on a tax cut.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Next time a flock of geese gets sucked up into a jet turbine, Democrats will know who to blame.

Glenn Jericho on February 5, 2016 at 9:55 AM

as I said, a separate — and legitmate — argument. However, having paid into the system since 1976, you can take my Social Security when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Being dumb as a snail, you haven’t realized yet that it has already been taken – mostly by the same scum you keep voting for. You’re holding a bag of cut paper, like a good paying customer of The Great Barnum.

Rix on February 5, 2016 at 9:58 AM

On the side, there is a benefit to moving as many things as possible off of the federal budget. Any time we have something that is “self funding”, but the revenue goes through the treasury, it can be used as a hostage by the democrats to pass a bigger budget. The more things we disconnect from the treasury, the easier it will be to get tough on the budget.

Count to 10 on February 5, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Pensions (mostly Social Security) is 25%. A very efficient system — almost no overhead compared to the amount of money distributed.

There is the sign of a mind, and I use the term loosely, that has gone way round the bend.

F X Muldoon on February 5, 2016 at 10:03 AM

Constantine likes national self destruction via anarchy.

Count to 10 on February 5, 2016 at 10:03 AM

Privatized, yes; bogus not for profit, not in a million years.

Lord Whorfin on February 5, 2016 at 10:20 AM

More BS from the we will fund it in the omnibus spending bill before we attempt to ban it party. Now they can go home and say they tried.

davod on February 5, 2016 at 10:26 AM

Energy: To the states

No. Maintaining the national electric grid is a necessity. Make it a small subdepartment in Commerce that employs experts, not bureaucrats.

Right, a national electric grid is crucial in terms of security. I just didn’t realize it was part of the DOE, which I was thinking to be more along the lines of natural resource allocation and the like.

DHS: Gone

And salt the ground on which it stands.

HA!

Commerce: Gone

No. It’s an enumerated constitutional power. Push the court to limit it by killing Wickard and Kelo instead.

The enumerated powers included that for post offices. No more postmaster general, either. And there’s one for “Standard of Weights and Measures,” but no need for a Department of Standard of Weights and Measures in the White House cabinet. I mean, wouldn’t a Department of Necessary and Proper be foreboding?

DOJ: Under the FBI

No. Again, it’s an enumerated power. Just make every appointment with the power of decision subject to Senate confirmation, no recess games allowed.

Rix on February 5, 2016 at 9:36 AM

Creation of the FBI isn’t an enumerated power, but it’s part of the federal government. I don’t see why that cabinet post couldn’t be similarly appointed by a president and then handed off to the FBI for a ten-year term or something.

Lolo on February 5, 2016 at 10:28 AM

Good idea, wrong agency.

Start with the EPA and the IRS.

Now.

chuckh on February 5, 2016 at 10:31 AM

each a/p will have to pay its own controllers.
they all will have to operate under specific federal guidelines.
really not much different than what rail dispatchers do now and really close to how they (rail) used to operate many years ago with dispatchers and most stations.

dmacleo on February 5, 2016 at 10:38 AM

So, the FAA wants to create another organization like the Post Office.

AtTheRubicon on February 5, 2016 at 10:46 AM

You might think that federal government employees would be one demographic with a decidedly unique perspective on elections, so they could easily sway from the national pack.

Nice way to generalize over 2.5 Million non-uniformed federal employees who work in all 50 states and around the world. Do you really think you have the same demographics for DoD employees compared to the EPA, HHS or the IRS?

Emil Faber on February 5, 2016 at 10:46 AM

From a pilot’s perspective, this will add another level of bureaucracy somewhere in the food chain to collect the user fees. Curiously, there’s already a mechanism to pay for these services: fuel tax. All the better because the heaviest users of the system… airlines… pay more because their aircraft consume more fuel. The little guy… us general aviation folk… would in some cases be inclined to bypass air traffic services as a cost saving measure, as we have no one to pass the cost on to. That’ll be a detriment to safety.

If we’re not paying our fair share, I’d be happy to pay a bit more in fuel tax. But like most issues regarding our system of taxation, figuring out what our “fair share” should be is highly problematic.

Douger on February 5, 2016 at 10:53 AM

When I started to work at age 17 to pay for my college education, only 25% of the populace were in any type of government job whether federal or local. So, removing the bulk of the fed employees would be a boon and save enough to pay down the terrific debt this empty suit and Congress have given us (that includes both Democrats and Republican Demolites). Jobs then given to those who really want to work and won’t get all the benefits and bonuses handed out like candy to fed workers. Should have started decades ago, so for once Congress go for this! However, the “new” employees in the private sector would have to apply and compete for the jobs, and not be given jobs without being vetted by the employers. No fair share of anything any more. Why? Whose fair share and why any fair share. They get removed as fed employees and then get to look for work in the reals world. Hope they have good work experience that will make them viable for a decent job. Otherwise, they can work for that fabulous $15/hr. job!

Roselle on February 5, 2016 at 11:06 AM

I wonder how long it would take for a privatized ATC system to successfully implement NEXTGEN?

sesuncedu on February 5, 2016 at 11:35 AM

From a pilot’s perspective, this will add another level of bureaucracy somewhere in the food chain to collect the user fees

Airlines and other commercial operators already pay a variety of fees and taxes to numerous entities including the feds, airports, DHS etc.

The bill as submitted exempts piston GA and non-commercial turbine GA from paying any fee to access the system. For GA pilots here that’s even better than NavCanada, which charges a mere $70 a year. Who knows how it’ll turn out when passed, but there you go.

Chriscom on February 5, 2016 at 11:37 AM

The military should be reduced to training an all volunteer militia.

ConstantineXI on February 5, 2016 at 8:17 AM

Are you a member of the Kentucky Militia, if not why not.

RickB on February 5, 2016 at 11:54 AM

So the salaries for the employees would come from where?

If taxpayers are no longer paying, then an increase in ticket prices is guaranteed. which I don’t mind because I quit volunteering to be treated like a terrorist quite a while ago.

TerryW on February 5, 2016 at 12:47 PM

Under the proposed plan, tens of thousands of federal employees of the Federal Aviation Administration would be shed from the government ranks and moved into a non-profit, private entity.

So, the gov’t is “shedding” these jobs…. like the Post Office did? Criminy – just what we need is the airspace controllers working up to the standards of the US Post Office……

I’m glad I already minimize my flying. Will the TSA allow you to bring a parachute as a carry-on?

GWB on February 5, 2016 at 12:53 PM

The FBI should be downsized and only allowed to investigate crimes on federal property.

ConstantineXI on February 5, 2016 at 8:17 AM

For cross-state fugitives, would that be the FBI or the US Marshalls?

GWB on February 5, 2016 at 1:09 PM

Pensions (mostly Social Security) is 25%…

Health Car is 28%…

Welfare is 10%…

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 8:35 AM

And where are any of those authorized in the Constitution? So, 63% of the gov’t can be cut RIGHT OFF THE TOP. Thank you for helping to identify those bits, UE.

UE also helpfully points out that most of the problem with gov’t spending is in the “non-discretionary” realm. But, cutting most national dept’s would still help – with freedom, if not as much with money.

GWB on February 5, 2016 at 1:13 PM

Here’s the thing: your typing “unconstitutional” in all caps does not make it so.

urban elitist on February 5, 2016 at 9:53 AM

Exactly right. It’s the fact it isn’t in the Constitution that makes it UNCONSTITUTIONAL. His typing it in all caps and bold is so that you and other myopic tyranists can read it without putting on your glasses. (That’s a historical reference, in case you missed it.)

having paid into the system since 1976, you can take my Social Security

Sorry, but what you’ve paid in went to others. You have to hope others are around to pay into it when it’s your turn. It has never been a savings program.

the idea that there are huge savings lying around is myth

You already identified those huge savings. You just don’t want to admit it.

GWB on February 5, 2016 at 1:30 PM

Do these numbers encompass the “drone registration program”?

Another Drew on February 5, 2016 at 2:03 PM

Just transfer them all to ICE.

Dexter_Alarius on February 5, 2016 at 2:27 PM

25% of Federal workers leaving the government would then be one of the greatest accomplishments of any President.

claudius on February 5, 2016 at 3:40 PM

We recently noted a survey which showed that up to 25% of federal workers might quit their jobs if Donald Trump were elected president.

After a short adjustment period, no one would notice the loss of bodies except the remaining 75% of government employees who may have to do slightly more to pick up the 5% of work the departing Federal employees actually did.

Bill M on February 5, 2016 at 3:42 PM

Moving this important function to the private sector might work, but that’s not what’s being proposed. They’re talking about a massive new “non-profit” organization which would run it. That’s generally a red flag for me because non-profits have very little incentive to be either efficient or lashed to a dedication to excellence. But who knows? Once they’re off the taxpayer payroll perhaps this could work.

This is the key point, which a lot of comments above noted.
Either go full-gov, or full-private, but these non-profit-NGOs-but-still-in-the-feds-pocket are the worst of both worlds.

On the side, there is a benefit to moving as many things as possible off of the federal budget. Any time we have something that is “self funding”, but the revenue goes through the treasury, it can be used as a hostage by the democrats to pass a bigger budget. The more things we disconnect from the treasury, the easier it will be to get tough on the budget.

Count to 10 on February 5, 2016 at 10:01 AM

Anything “off-budget” balloons exponentially faster than even the things on-budget, IF the Congress / Exec can still control how things are done, although you make a good point about the hostages IF the disconnect is real.

AesopFan on February 5, 2016 at 4:03 PM

Personally, I think most non-profits are scams.

Fallon on February 5, 2016 at 8:14 AM

True. Also includes (some) religious organizations, private schools, charter schools and charities.

Unfortunately, the nature of the beast is such that self-oversight leads to all manner of Ponzi schemes and out and out embezzlement.

But, what’s the alternative? Have politicians and bureaucrats oversee them? More laws? More regulations?

LMAO

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 5, 2016 at 4:18 PM

That should be 30k EPA workers.

jake49 on February 5, 2016 at 5:36 PM

That might be the biggest warning sign here because current FAA functions would be paid for through fees charged to the airlines for the service, not tax dollars. That means, of course, that the costs would be passed directly down to the public in the form of higher air fares.

Double tap. We get to pay the same taxes, and we get to pay more for our tickets. What could go wrong?

unclesmrgol on February 5, 2016 at 6:41 PM

Don’t lose focus, liberals. Fewer government employees is better…remember?

Good grief.

Jaibones on February 5, 2016 at 7:41 PM