Shrinking Government and Seeing a Shrink

The National Treasury Employees Union has a PDF document on its website which shows why any attempt to shrink the government is foredoomed.  “The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) is an independent labor union representing approximately 150,000 employees of 30 agencies of the United States government. The union specializes in representation of non-supervisory federal employees in every classification and pay level in civilian agencies.”


The document urges NTEU members to oppose a list of “bad bills” now before congress. Here is the list of “bad bills” verbatim.


  • H.R. 243 (Ross, R-Fla.) would extend the freeze on federal employee pay through the end of calendar year 2015 and  would require deep cuts in the federal workforce.
  • H.Con. Res. 96 (Ryan, R-Wis.) The House Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2015 contains $125 billion in cuts to federal retirement programs. It would require federal employees to contribute close to 6% more toward their retirement, would limit agencies to hiring only one employee for every three that leave, end the FERS supplement and phase out the defined benefit annuity portion of the federal retirement system, leaving only TSP. Would eliminate repayment by government of student loans for federal employees.
  • H.R. 1780 (Camp, R-Mich.) would require most federal employees to leave the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and instead join health plans established under the Affordable Care Act.
  • H.R. 237 (Marino, R-Pa.) would impose a hiring freeze on the federal government until the budget deficit has been eliminated.
  • H.R. 824 (Lummis, R-Wyo.) would require that the total number of federal employees does not exceed a maximum number spelled out in the legislation for each quarter of each calendar year. Reductions in the number of federal employees, if required, would be made through attrition and a freeze on hiring.
  • H.R. 1541 (Meadows, R-N.C.) would place limitations on the amount of awards or other discretionary monetary payments that can be paid to federal employees.


  • H.R. 107 and S. 785 (Gingrey, R-Ga. and Paul, R-Ky.) would repeal provisions of law that authorize the use of official time for union activity.
  • H.R. 249 and S. 1045 (Chaffetz, R-Utah and Coburn, R-Okla) would require the federal government to fire federal workers who fall behind in paying their taxes.
  • H.R. 2679 (Gardner, R-Colo.) would prohibit collective bargaining at the IRS.
  • H.R. 2557 (Johnson, R-Texas) would make imprisonment mandatory for unauthorized inspection or disclosure of tax return information.
  • H.R. 3139 (Duffy, R-Wis.) would abolish the NTEU-represented Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and replace it with an agency with inferior pay and benefits.

As can be seen, the “bad bills” are exclusive authored by the Republicans, who are causing gridlock in Washington.

Clearly reformers can reduce the size of Washington to any degree they like provided that they don’t. This is what is called the “ratchet”.  Spending goes only one way– up. And votes from the NTEU probably go only one way as well.  It doesn’t matter how much the administration messes up the world or the economy. It doesnt matter how often Kareem Jabbar notes that the real issue facing black America is the lack of money.  They’ll vote for the “good guys” and never the bad guys.

Avik Roy at Forbes describes why he feels that Obamacare is unrepealable. Once a government program starts sending out tax credits or welfare checks it is more firmly enshrined than the US constitution.


Imagine this scenario: The Republican presidential contenders spend 2015 and 2016 competing with each other to see who can denounce Obamacare—and pledge to repeal it—in the most full-throated terms. If you thought Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” comment was bad in 2012, wait until Hillary runs ads aimed at the tens of millions of voters whose health coverage would be disrupted by repeal.

Once the gravy train gets rolling you can’t stop it. You can try to get out of the way. Recently, Martha Rosenberg at denounced the unpatriotic flight of medical innovation and pharmaceutical companies from the US.

It’s called “inversion” — US corporations reincorporating in countries like Britain, Ireland or the Netherlands to duck US taxes, often by merging with a European entity. …

As safety questions about medical devices continue to surface — and some are replaced and withdrawn from the market — “Big Device” companies are starting to look a lot like Big Pharma. So, it is no surprise that along with AbbVie — and the drug companies Mylan, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Actavis and Endo – the device maker Medtronic is enacting a tax inversion and fleeing to Europe.

This summer, the Minneapolis-based medical device-manufacturer announced it was buying device-maker Covidien PLC which is “headquartered” in Massachusetts but is “domiciled” in Ireland.

It never occurs to Rosenberg that they’re running away from people like her and Bill Moyers.


Perhaps this explains where there is so much antipathy towards the Ferguson police force in public opinion. With the police in cammies and riding armored vehicles, they look a little too much like an occupying army for comfort. In too many people’s minds the government has turned from being the servant to the master. It’s understandable to see why some might think that.

The only thing that will stop the NTEU is what stopped Detroit. Running out of money. And maybe not even then.

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