The PJ Tatler

Paul Presents 'Sequestration Without Layoffs' Plan

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has put forward a plan for sequestration spending cuts sans layoffs.

Paul said his plan would offset the impending sequester cuts, with a total savings of $85.75 billion annually. Here’s his proposal for a sequester without layoffs:

Stop Hiring New Federal Employees: $6.5 billion saved annually 

o   Every year, thousands of federal employees retire or leave their jobs. In 2011, roughly 62,000 people ended their careers with the government. Estimates vary, but allowing a federal bureaucrat to retire without replacing that person with another employee can save anywhere from $60 billion to $200 billion over 10 years. This provision estimates to save $6.5 billion in one year.

·         Bring Federal Employee Pay in Line With Private Jobs: $32 billion saved annually 

o   According to the Congressional Budget Office, the average compensation of a federal employees is 16 percent more than their private equivalents. By reducing salaries to align more with their private counterparts, this provision could save as much as $32 billion a year.

·         Reduce Federal Employee Travel by 25 Percent: $2.25 billion saved annually

o   The latest data provided by the General Services Administration suggested that the federal government spent $9 billion on travel. Reducing the federal travel budget by at least 25 percent can reduce the budget by $2.25 billion a year.

·         Focus Military Research on Military Needs: $6 billion saved annually 

o   According to research done by the staff of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), found that the Defense Department spent $6 billion on research that had nothing to do with military or military-related health inquires.

·         Require Competitive Bidding for Government Contracts: $19 billion saved annually 

o   The Davis-Bacon prevailing wages law requires federal projects to pay the employees higher wages. This would repeal this requirement and allow the government to save money by making pay competitive to all government employees. The Heritage Foundation estimates that this will save $9 billion a year. Also, many contracts in the federal government are provided to companies without requiring a competitive bid – or the opportunity for the government to contract work at the lowest price possible. This provision would require the government to competitively bid all contracts. This provision would save an additional $10 billion a year.

·         Cut 50 Percent of Foreign Aid: $20 billion saved annually

o   We spend more than $40 billion a year on foreign aid. When we’re dealing with a budget crisis here at home, it’s only responsible to bring this money home. This provision would eliminate half the foreign aid budget.

Paul said on Fox last night that he’d start by “cutting foreign aid from countries who are burning our flag and chanting death to America, countries that don’t really seem to be acting like our allies.”

“But once again, the large bulk of the cuts we’re talking about, even larger than foreign aid, would be paying federal workers the same as you pay private workers,” he said. “If you brought that into parity, you’d save nearly the entire amount that you need for the sequester.”