Will Feds Pay The Price of Cuts?

October 22, 1996

Will Feds Pay Price of Cuts?

Every cut has its price, and one scholar says the price of both President Clinton's and Bob Dole's budget plans would be paid for by federal workers.

Brookings Institution fellow Robert D. Reischauer, the former head of the Congressional Budget Office, wrote in a recent Washington Post opinion piece that Dole's plan in particular would require massive cuts in the civilian bureaucracy.

Dole has promised to save $90 billion over six years from a 10 percent across-the-board cut in administrative overhead. But that definition of "overhead," Reischauer argued, includes total spending on all federal activities except defense, interest payments, entitlement programs and capital purchases. It includes, for example, the salary of every federal employee.

"Does the Dole campaign really look upon the paychecks of the VA nurse, federal prison guard, FBI agent, Border Patrol officer, air-traffic controller and park service firefighter as administrative expenses?" Reischauer wrote.

President Clinton's plan to balance the budget by 2002 also relies on some questionable accounting, Reischauer argued. Clinton has placed a good deal of faith in spectrum auctions and asset sales to bring in revenue, sales that result in one-time budget boosts but offer little long-term help.

To have a meaningful debate on federal spending and taxation, Reischauer concluded, "politicians must stop promising a future in which Americans can have it all: lower taxes and all of the services and entitlements they want."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.