Drudge is pushing this headline today:
It goes to a Washington Times story talking about the increasing workforce of the U.S. government – not a bad thing with unemployment where it’s at. But let’s take a look at where these numbers are coming from:
Mr. Obama says the civilian work force will drop by 80,000 next year, mostly because of a reduction in U.S. census workers added in 2010 but then dropped in 2011 after the national population count is finished. That still leaves 1.35 million civilian federal employees on the payroll in 2011.
From 1981 through 2008, the civilian work force remained at about 1.1 million to 1.2 million, with a low of 1.07 million in 1986 and a high of more than 1.2 million in 1993 and in 2008. In 2009, the number jumped to 1.28 million.
Including both the civilian and defense sectors, the federal government will employ 2.15 million people in 2010 and 2.11 million in 2011, excluding Postal Service workers.
So there really hasn’t been that big of a jump in the size of government, well except for defense, which is about 79% of the increase. Will the right start demanding that we make cuts there? Haha yeah right. Let’s take a closer look at these defense numbers:
After years of decline at the end of the Cold War, the Defense Department is restaffing. Mr. Obama estimated that the Pentagon will have 720,000 employees this year and 757,000 employees next year – up from a low of 649,000 in 2003.
The data also show that the Department of Homeland Security will grow by 7,000 a year in 2010 and 2011, and the Veterans Affairs Department will grow by 12,000 in 2010 and an additional 4,000 in 2011.
One thing that blows my mind there is that we have to keep hiring more and more people to oversee these contractors. It really seems like it would be cheaper to do away with contractors and hire the people directly.
The Washington Times also speaks truth here, but I believe their intent is a little out of context:
Mr. Obama is in a situation similar to that of Mr. Clinton, who took office when the budget deficit was at a record high and government bureaucracy was expanding, even though the Pentagon was shedding workers with the end of the Cold War
So Obama and Clinton share the same experience entering office. What else do they share? Could it be the fact that they inherited those deficits and huge jumps in government bureaucracy from Republican administrations. Nah that wouldn’t be the case. We are talking about the party of “fiscal responsibility” and “small government” after all. I also just saw a pink unicorn running past my window.