Romney outlines $500 billion in annual pay, workforce, program cuts

Romney spoke during campaign stops in Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday. Romney spoke during campaign stops in Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, Calif., Monday. Charles Dharapak/AP

In an address in Los Angeles Monday, GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said reducing the federal workforce, bringing federal pay into line with private sector compensation, reorganizing government and improving its efficiency would result in savings of $500 billion a year within four years after he took office.

"I will look to sharply increase the productivity of Washington by reducing federal government employment by 10 percent through attrition, by combining agencies and departments to reduce overhead, by cracking down on the $115 billion a year in improper payments in government programs, and by aligning government compensation with that of the private sector," Romney told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Romney did not provide specifics on which agencies and departments would be combined. The Daily Caller reported that Romney adviser Ed Gillespie also declined to address exactly which agencies would be affected in a conference call with reporters before the speech. “We’ll continue to talk about those mergers,” he said.

Romney also said he would send certain programs "that have been growing uncontrollably fast" back to the states, and limit their growth to the rate of inflation.

"These things combined will reduce spending by about $500 billion a year by the end of my first term," he said.

Romney said he would push for a 5 percent cut in non-security discretionary spending "on my first day in office." The reduction, he said, would be achieved by eliminating "programs that are not absolutely essential" and cutting subsidies for Amtrak, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Legal Services Corporation, and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

"Under President Obama," Romney said, "federal spending peaked at 25 percent of GDP -- a level not seen since World War II. I propose to bring federal spending back to its historical levels, about 20 percent of GDP, and cap it there."

Romney also drew a sharp distinction between himself and President Obama on the overall effectiveness of the federal government. Obama "wants government to tax more and regulate more because he believes government can do a better job than you can," Romney told the business leaders in attendance. "I believe in you. I believe you can do a better job than government."

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

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

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

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