Is It Possible To Cut Spending, Reduce Government Without Costing Jobs?

The federal government has grown grossly out of control.  They are the largest employer in the nation especially when you add the 2+ million members of the military.

Most conservatives and Republicans have been advocating that they want to reduce the size of the federal government and reduce spending in order to try to cut the huge deficit.  But is this possible without cutting more jobs?

Cutting the vast majority of foreign aid would be the first thing I would do.  If we can’t pay our own way here at home, why are we sending billions of dollars to other countries?  Even this would cost some people their jobs here in the states, but not that many.

Next, I would look at all of the frivolous riders to bills that end up funding pet projects to the tune of millions of dollars.  Again, that would end up costing jobs.

There are always hundreds of millions of dollars that could be cut from social programs, which I firmly believe only self-perpetuate poverty and some unemployment.  Cutting these programs will cost federal, state, local and private jobs in the process.

Some Republicans have advocated eliminating a number of federal departments including the Department of Education.  Listed as one of the smallest federal departments, they employ about 5,000 people and had a budget of $71 billion.  A significant portion of that budget goes to funding various educational programs in schools all over the country.  Eliminating this department will not only result in the loss of the 5,000 federal employees, but the loss of federal funds will undoubtedly result in the loss of teachers and educators in schools throughout the nation.

Consider the situation facing Congress at this moment.  The federal government is facing a federal budget sequestration that if not stopped, will result in drastic cuts to various departments.  According to a study commissioned by the Aerospace Industries Association, they estimate that 2 million jobs could be lost if the sequestration is not stopped by congress.

According to the AIA report:

“A study conducted by Dr. Stephen Fuller of George Mason University in October, 2011, projects that more than one million American jobs could be lost as a result of defense budget cuts if the sequestration trigger is pulled. Unemployment would go up .6 percent and GDP projected growth would be cut by 25 percent.”

“The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires Congress to identify one trillion in savings. Failure to do so by the end of the year will result in a $600 billion cut to the defense budget on top of $487 billion in reductions it is already planning. In addition, cuts will impact FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation Program and NASA funding to develop a new vehicle to go to the International Space Station.”

Over 1 million jobs would be lost due to just the defense department cuts and nearly 1 million jobs in the other industries affected by the $1 trillion budget cut.

As a conservative, I want to see the federal government drastically reduced in size and spending, but I’m not sure I want to see 2 million more Americans lose their jobs.  At a time when the unemployment rate is still dangerously high, the last thing we need is to add millions more to that list.

This places quite a burden on lawmakers who have been promising constituents to reduce spending and the size of the government.  As soon as they start to make good on those promises, people are going to start losing their jobs and that won’t set well with the voters.  This places those politicians in a Catch 22 situation.  They may be damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

How would you reduce spending the size of the federal government without costing thousands of jobs?