.
Should we cut 10 percent of federal workers instead of cutting defense?
July 24th, 2012
03:05 PM ET

Should we cut 10 percent of federal workers instead of cutting defense?

By CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With mandatory federal spending cuts looming on the horizon, some Republicans say we should cut 10% of the federal work force instead of slashing the Defense budget.

Writing in Politico, Congressman Tom Price of Georgia and Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler of Missouri warn that the planned defense cuts would have "devastating consequences."

They say it would mean layoffs for more than 200,000 members of the military. In effect, downsizing our military to the lowest levels in decades.

They say we could be risking national security if we can't keep up militarily with the rest of the world.

The House Armed Services chairman describes cuts to the defense department this way: "We're past cutting the fat and past the muscle. Now we're cutting into the bone."

Price and Hartzler argue for a House Republican plan that would put off these defense cuts for one year. They would do this by trimming the federal workforce by 10% "through attrition."

In other words, for every three federal workers who leave their jobs, departments could only hire one worker.

It's no secret the federal workforce has long been criticized as bloated and inefficient and could probably stand a haircut.

Meanwhile these upcoming spending cuts all go back to the so-called Super Committee's inability to agree to a deficit reduction plan.

Its failure meant $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts over the next decade. About half are expected to affect the defense budget.

Meanwhile these cuts don't even begin to put a dent in government spending. We are still running annual deficits of more than $1 trillion.

Here’s my question to you: Should we cut 10% of federal workers instead of cutting defense?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Posted by
Filed under: Government
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. pat in michigan

    we should cut 10% of everything and raise taxes 1% on everyone. till deficit is gone.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  2. Mikey

    Jack, that's a pretty dumb question. Federal workers are people too. They're not just faceless beauracrats but our teachers and firemen and policemen.

    Why should we make more unemployed people? Why can't we stop making more guns and fighter jets?

    You sound as if cutting 10 percent of federal workers will make more than a scratch on the deficit.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
  3. tom bulger, canandaigua, NY

    Making more people unemployed takes salaries out of the middle class. That means less money spent in small businesses that are hoping to create jobs, Taking money from the Pentagon eliminates waste in the Military-Industrial complex just as President/General Eisenhower recommended.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  4. JD in NH

    No. Unless you like e. coli in your beef and air you can see before you breathe it. I'm kind of sweet on the air traffic control people, too. Our military is larger than all the others in the world combined, so I think we can afford to take a break and create jobs rather than bombs.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
  5. LeeMarie

    We have yet to be able to cut anything in the federal budget except the defense budget. I think 10% of the federal workforce is a good place to start. It may wake up Washington DC.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  6. Michael M

    I think e should cut pay of all governmental workers by10% and require that they contribute at least 10% more to there cost of medical inurance and pension plans.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  7. Bob in Ohio

    Ten percent seems woefully inadequate, twenty percent from both would be a good place to start.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Russ in PA

    Do both, as anything else is pointless. We need to end the wars, to end the drones, and end the militarzation of the police. And cut the public workers drastically. Let the free market handle thejob as it used to before the Progressive Left and Right got in the business of trying to manage things. After all, haven't we learned anything from the policies of so many other countries?

    July 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
  9. Doug Ericson

    We should layoff all the Federal Workers who are doing nothing, which would be about 90% of them. The Military could get by easily on half of the money they are recieving. The money saved by these layoffs could be used to pay down the debt and to hire people and companies to improve the infrastructure where needed. Doug, Pepperell, MA.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  10. Martha Brooks

    Cutting either will result in more unemployment which none of the politicos want to acknowledge. Right wingers will howl that if we cut defense (which also affects the bottom line of their rich defense contractor buddies) it will reduce our National security and put workers in those industries out of a job. They will say ditch folks from Agriculture, the FDA, HHS etc. So everybody dependent on those Departments – most of us, really – will lose out. REAL cuts in "defense" are unlikely. It's Washington, so what else is new?

    July 24, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
  11. Bob in Ohio

    Neither. All you have to do is simply stop supplying the thousands and thousands of vehicles (and gas) to government workers. Most of us work for much less and provide for our own transportation.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  12. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Tell me again how cutting federal jobs is supposed to reduce the unemployment rate instead of increase it? If you can square that circle, then go ahead. Until then, I'm not going to treat any GOP budgets with any serious thought.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
  13. John from Alabama

    Jack: Defense needs to be cut, before someone finds out we are getting out of the war business. War is very costily on this nation. Blood is worth more than gold, silver, and most definitely oil. We should defend the little guy like Kuwait, but do not go to war on stupid intelligence. We owe those who will pay with their blood smarter leaders in Washington than the Bush Administration. Reasonable cuts in all government activities is a better game plan.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. JM from DFW

    Both!

    I understand we spend more than the next 27 developed nations on defense so we can show the world who is boss.
    While at the same time, we want to give our seniors vouchers for medical care and decrease the overall quality of life for the majority of the people. The 2% are part of the "job creators" who get rich off of our national defense program.
    Let's cut defense and make them a part of the 98%.

    Include congress, we don't need to pay someone for doing nothing. Allow the President to make this decision and I believe we will get something done.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  15. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Put people out of work to continue pouring money into an already bloated military? Absolutely not. Not every 4 star admiral needs an aircraft carrier with their name on it. In there was a military float in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, no one would be aware of another float. Defense spending should be halved, and this from a Vietnam Veteran.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  16. jk in MN

    No – unless we fire the Congress! It's time to invest in America instead of the Military Industrial Complex!!!!! We spend FAR more on defense costs than any other country in the world. Since this is the age of Selfish how about America be a little selfish and invest in crumbing infrastructure.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  17. Gary in San Jose, California

    We should cut both. Our debt stands at $15.9 trillion (104% of GDP) and we're still spending $1.3 trillion (8.5% of GDP) more that we generate in revenue. We need to cut the federal work force, cut military spending, increase the age requirements for Social Security and Medicare, and increase taxes if we're going to stand any chance of getting our financial house back in order.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
  18. METALWORKER

    Are not members of the military federal workers. How about Cooks, dishwashers and other military contractoers, they get paid trough the defeence budget. One cannot cut defence without cuting government workers.
    So, Jack, that being said, whos job would you cut? Air marshals, ATF, FBI, CIA, THE VA, Doctors,and nurses careing for wounded service members. I know fed. judges, oh wait, the repub. house will not confirm judges so the cousystem is under staffed.
    The list goes on, Jack, so for once say what you mean and mean what you say.

    METALWORKER in IL

    July 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
  19. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    Jack, here's one example of useless spending. We have military in 130 countries, with the lions share of the expenditures going to supporting contractors there, and here. Isn't that the reason they want to cut 10 percent of federal workers. Federal workers spend their income here, and the military and their contractors spend overseas.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
  20. Ed from California

    We need to cut the pay of congress by half. Along with no more free medical and stop paying their expenses, Also, we need to stop giving them lifetime medical and retirement, when their out of office. Also, all members of congress can't work for any company that does business with the U.S government or any government that does any business with the US government as well.

    It's not the workers who are at fault, it's those who run this government who are at fault. Where to start looking? the first place to look is in the Speakers office!! Mr. Boehner, "Where are the jobs??" Remember, all you teapots ran on that....remember?? Get America back to work and no more worry about cutting defence or anything else.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  21. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    With the United States spending more on the military than the next twenty-six countries combined, it's obvious the defense budget should be cut. Rome, the Ottoman Empire, the British Empire all faded from history as will the U. S. You were once a great country, defeating Germany and Japan and making great strides in science, technology, medicine, and humanitarianism, but that hour is passing. At least, go out gracefully.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
  22. Richard Texas

    It depends. If you fire 10 percent of the government employees that means they now qualify for unemployment which cots us money as tax payers. So now you have cut the budget but increased the unemployment expenditure. What have you gained Jack? The line at the unemployment office just got longer and the tax payers are out more money. Are you that naive to think the government will do something responsible with that money they cut?

    July 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    Absolutely not. Need I say more?

    July 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  24. Barbara

    Cut each by 5% and then give Congress a decrease in pay, cut off their benefits (healthcare and pansion).

    That should do it.

    And raise taxes on the super wealthy. They don't need it, and certainly haven't used it to create jobs in the past 13 years.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  25. Jenny Sills from Rome Georgia

    How about both. With the service I am getting from my postman, I am all in favor of cutting his federal worker position. Of course the fact that my dog bite him may have something to do with this.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  26. steve barfield

    They need to cut the federal work force by 50 percent and the goverment as well .as far as defence spending we already have enough stuff to blow up the world ,so we need to cut that too. steve from il

    July 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  27. James - Alexandria, Va

    Being a federal employee I actually would have to say yes. But getting rid of the contractors would be a better way to go. Why you ask.....because it is more expensive having a contractor around than a federal employee. You can take a contractors salary and times it by 2 and that is double the waste right there. So you have a government employee making 50,000 a year and the contractor making the same but add an additional 50,000 the government pays the contracting firm for the employee and well you get the picture.......

    July 24, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  28. Carl

    Jack,

    How about we cut politicians salary and perks, and give them term limits. It doesn't matter who gets elected, our once great country is being ruined by self serving and all corrupt politicians, that continue to sell our country out, each and everyday!! Elections mean, old corrupt garbage out, new and improved corupt garbage in, if you don't believe me, just watch and see!!

    July 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  29. Beth

    Thank you, thank you for finally asking this question Jack. 10% of Federal workers should NOT be cut instead of defense cutting. Go back to the wild fires in Colorado a few weeks ago, those firefighters worked tirelessly, risking their lives for weeks on end. Last weekend in Colorado, police officers risked their lives to try to defuse the bombs, etc. that Holmes' had in his apartment. Then there is 9/11. Hundreds of firefighters and police officers lost their lives then. These men and women are heroes and should be the very last people to lose their jobs. To even consider it is an outrage.With regards to cutting teachers, the U.S. ranks about 26th in the world in terms of education (it used to be at or near the top). This is hardly the time to cut teachers. Instead, make sure they are qualified and pay them a decent salary.

    A guest on CNN recently said that Americans are 'war weary' and well they should be. How many lives have been lost and how many trillions of dollars have gone into fighting in Irag and other parts of the Middle East? It is admirable that the U.S. thinks of itself as the saviour of the world but I think the American people deserve to have the focus on them now.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  30. Cactus Pat in Wyoming

    Trick question - no doubt about that. Sounds like the Tea Party got to you, Jack.

    For Pete's sake, do not cut any jobs! And defense???? Those folks are wasting
    money, misspending money, burning money -- so, please cut defense! Cut the
    loopholes, the state-level pork barrels, the lies - well, you get the idea. Investigate
    the Dept. of Defense and all its suppliers. Thanks for asking.......

    July 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  31. Steve, Clifton, Virginia

    There is fraud, waste, and abuse in both the Military and Federal/civilian spending. Typically, the entity which has received the least amount of spending oversight is the greater abuser. The Military needs to be rained in and challenged as does the Federal Civilian bureaucracy. If we truly want to know the answer to your question we will insist on totally removing politics from budget decisions as the budgets and spending of both need to be trimmed.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
  32. Mysterious

    It depends on which federal workers. Are you speaking about members of Congress who make way to much money to keep the country on lock-down? Or are you speaking about office workers, federal prosecutors, and the like?

    July 24, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  33. Jenna Roseville CA

    Should we cut 10% of federal workers instead of cutting defense?

    If we cut those bloated No Bid Defense Contracts we can keep American workers EMPLOYED.

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    July 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
  34. Mel - Houston

    We should probably do both. Lord knows there is enough bloat in the Defense Department and there is enough dead wood in the civil service section. Although I have some strange idea about a global military that would be the policeman of the world and get the US out of that role. In doing so we could dramatically cut the defense budget since all nations would fund the global military. A restructered United Nation would probably be the controlling body. Just like NATO the United Nations was designed for the Cold War. The Cold War ended in 1990/91 over 20 years ago. What we have left in the United Nation is a toothless lion that no one trusts to get the job done.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  35. Dave R-Seattle

    The defense budget should be cut significantly since we are getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We spent way to much on the Iraq war, subcontracting KP to Haliburton. Its worth noting that the economy boomed under Clinton. The return on investment of war is low.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  36. Jack

    That would be a beginning but lets make it 25% for good measure

    July 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  37. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    We should always preserve jobs, even if it means retraining or relocating. And should always look first to becoming more efficient.

    No one can begin to explain to me how any government department is a model of efficiency. Cutting waste alone in the military, or medicare, or social security, would probably put this country in the black immediately. There are processes such as six sigma and lean that would save government jobs, increase the value of these programs without cuts, all while reducing waste in the trillions of dollars.

    But we have politicians who see normal in the abnormal and fear any effort to create efficiency. I'll wager the military are still buying those $50 box of paper clips, or those $100 hammers.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  38. EdfromMD

    All we do is offense, why not cut a little defense?

    July 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  39. Tonybottomline

    Well, cutting 10% of federal workers would increase our already high 8.2% unemployment rate and also our national debt– from spending on unemployment checks; But, cutting defense would not affect our stance in the world– as the world leading superpower; Therefore, i think the better option, for now, is cutting defense.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  40. Thinks2010

    We should cut defense, leave the federal workers in place and work on eliminating duplication of regulation, effort and paperwork in and across each level of government, fund and enforce existing laws (once duplication and streamlining has taken place) and stop passing phony political window-dressing laws that our politicians have no intention of funding or enforcing. Too much time, effort, and money is being wasted on feathering already well-feathered nests related to the military industrial complex and in political empire building.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  41. Texasgomer

    Both ideas are as bad a flat tax. Cutting should be done with a scalpel, not a meat cleaver.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  42. Sarah/Dumfries,VA

    It's just common sense cut defense & let people keep their jobs,Mormon bishop Romney & his Republican/Teaparty have their crooked wicked plans but GOD has his different plan &they will soon find out they can't fight GOD

    July 24, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
  43. perry jones

    well 25 percent would be better than 10 but if reducing the federal jobs program by 10 percent is a start then go for it

    July 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm |
  44. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Why all of a sudden has the federal worker appeared in the crosshairs of the weapon of reduction? When everything was prosperous, no one even cared about the federal worker. Reducing the federal workforce by 10% will not even scratch the surface of the 15 trillion debt that faces this nation-–and cutting 10% of the defense budget will only add, and I may say, in great numbers to the unemployed population. Defense contractors will not carry on the employment rolls employees if theire is not contracts. So the choice of 10% of the federal workers or 10% of the Defense Budget is not the solution--and to be honest--I don't think anyone has the solution or and idea on how to achieve the defecit reduction. The money merchants we have in now are only understudies of Wall Street--and in most cases bad habits and practices are most often impossible to change. We are a nation out of control--and sooner or later--we are going to crash!

    July 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  45. Pete in Florida

    Part of the Republican effort to delay economic recovery and make Obama look bad is to cut hundreds of thousands of government jobs at the federal and state levels, thus increasing the unemployment numbers by almost a million so far. As we wind down the GOP's wars, defense budgets and spending SHOULD go down. What everyone needs to remember, however, is that spending cuts alone will NOT eliminate our deficit and debt – it's gonna take a combination of spending cutes AND revenue INCREASES. Wake up, folks!

    July 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  46. Nora H G Corpus Christi

    My husband is a federal worker and if you can wait till 2014, when he retires then ok! We have to cut somewhere and it is difficult to cut defense,but not an easy choice for either one. That is going to be a lot of unhappy people!!

    July 24, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
  47. Michael Bindner

    No, we should however cut both civilian and military positions in the service departments. The product commands should report directly to the Office of the Secretary of Defense rather than having every major systems acquisition go first to the
    service staff and then to OSD before a final decision by the White House. It takes way to long to make a decision in DoD and keeping the service departments in place is why. Getting rid of this make work will save billions.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  48. Jim in Denver, CO

    Jack,
    As part of cutting the 10% of Federal Workers we need to start with both houses of Congress. They don't do their job and get paid anyway. Time to get rid of that waste.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  49. Don in Saint Louis

    Any private organization, when faced with budget issues, reduces staff to keep their costs in line. I have been scratching my head for 3.5 years now wondering why Club Fed keeps adding personnel. And during the budget 'crisis', why was it Social Security and Defense personnel in danger of losing their checks instead of Congress and congressional aides? Defense funding and senior entitlements should be low on the list of budget cuts. Start with the administrivia and proceed down the line from there, just like any private business would do.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
  50. Robert

    I say cut the federal workforce by 10 percent and cut defense. No other allied and/or non-allied industrial nation is wasting their country's money with deploying and sustaining their national naval, airforce and ground forces to strategic foreign regions to create local, national and transnational dissension, through their physical presence, occupation and interference in their socio-economic and political affairs. The future of strategic conflict and crisis management will be carried out through clandestine and covert action(s) – special operations and special forces unit deployments.

    If we only push to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent, there will be no immediate notable effect on the national economy. However, cutting defense will provide an immediate and long-term boost to the economy and allow for funds to be reallocated towards tax-breaks for businesses and help balance the budget – reducing the national debt.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
  51. Mark, Oklahoma City, OK

    No, instead let's cut 10% of all political campaign ads.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  52. Loren, Chicago

    Easy to say, but when it comes to implementation, the 10% that gets cut will be the ones that work, not the overpaid managers, political hires and consultants that have really caused the bloat in the federal budget.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  53. Patsy, TX

    Jack, how about we cut Congress' salary. They have taken a minimum of 10 weeks off since January, and are
    taking the entire month of August off soon. They work half-time, lets pay them half-time. At the very least, let
    them pay for their own health care, postage, anything that shows a willingness to bear some of the pain that
    they have caused. After all, doesn't the House have control of the purse strings?

    July 24, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
  54. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y

    DDG-1000 Stealth Destroyer $5B per ship ($1T total) It cannot defend itself or the fleet it's assigned to defend.
    F-35 Joint Strike Fighter $28M-$35M=$38M each depending on which branch of service it's going to. The military
    doesn't want it.
    Next generation of Super Carriers $22B per ship.
    These costs are today's estimates.. If history is any indication their actual cost will be 3 to 4 times higher

    How do any of these weapon systems protect us from terrorist attacks, cyber attacks., home grown terrorist that shoot up movie theaters?

    July 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
  55. 1grasshopper

    The military could use a little triming, I mean $125.00 tin ashtrays and what would be considered as golden latrines, trim is a loosely used term.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm |
  56. Bob Gray

    What a great idea. I am personally aware that at least 10-25% of federal employees are underworked and overpaid. There are examples in every department. One example, of the 75 employees at one federal marine lab, 12% take a daily nap, on an average day 8% are "on leave" and the balance don't have work assignments that can be monitored on a weekly or monthly basis. A 10% reduction at every grade level would be a good beginning.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  57. dan

    Why are the republicans so willing to take money from everyone but the top money makers in this country? Their riches are not shared by the common man. Why must the common man carry them on our backs. Come onwould it really hurt someone with 10 million to have to get by on 10 thousand less? Many of us are trying to get by on only the 10 thousdand and still they want more from us?

    July 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm |
  58. calaurore9

    The defense cut scare is a canard. Always was. So, yes.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    July 24, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
  59. john

    The republicans would love that! They could weaken unions, punish a segment of the population that is primarily democrats, and have nothing to lose if a budget deal fails. Here's an idea. Congress actually does its job and comes up with a compromise budget.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  60. Riley ODay

    Cut the defense 10%. We will still be safe. We have plenty of personnal and equipment for the defense of our country. We might not protect the 1% business intrest as well, but they care not for me and I care not for them.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  61. I'm a Rose

    Let's just do away with the Bush/Republican/ wealthy tax cuts and go ahead and keep the Federal workers and the defense. That sounds like a plan that is best for all. The wealthy can then say that they saved thousands of jobs, the saviour of the day. Wouldn't that be so nice of them!! Ha! We can't keep policing the world, these unnessary wars have got to stop. Romney is just itching to get in there and start another war as was McCain. Let our Troops rest and enjoy some ME time with their families. No wonder they have so much stress syndrome.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
  62. calvin

    we should cut out all the waste in the goverment. every branch has at least 50% waste. if we stop that there would be no need to raise taxs or find the rich because they make the money. Obama is using this as a way to make him look like robin hood. all his followers trying to make him look good and cut down the GOP as the rich guyes but two of the richs men in american are democrats. all the rich use the laws that congress writes and the white house sign in to law. so were should the changes be made.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  63. wayne, va beach, va

    Don't stop at 10%, Jack, lets do 30%.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
  64. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    Let me try to anwer your question with another question, Jack?
    Is it better to spit out ten per cent of the pits from the poison portion of the orange instead of eating the pulp?
    The American economy has been mortally poisoned by obscene overspending on both government and defense. It's going to be brutal to hack off the diseased portion of your spending, but if you don't do it pretty damn quickly, the whole orange will have to be discarded.
    If instead you want a temporary fix, Canada would be happy to buy Montana, Idaho and North Dakota for a trillion bucks or so. At least that would allow you to continue your current level of government and defense for another year. Let our Prime Minister know if you're interested, and he'll cut the check.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
  65. TomInRochNY

    How about we do both? Keep up militarily with whom? We're far and away the leading military power in the world. No one even comes close. So, trimming some fat off the bloated military budget (as well as military contractors' budgets) seems like a very good idea. Yes, the government has gotten bigger in recent years. Downsizing through attrition is a good idea too.

    The bad part about all this though is the number of workers that will be entering the already bad employment market. That's the downside of cutting anywhere, public or private. You could raise revenue by taxing those who have a lot of the money and aren't using it to hire people. Then you can use that money to keep people employed, instead of letting them wonder how they're going to support their families with ever decreasing assistance from government or the private sector. What am I saying? That's just crazy talk.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    July 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  66. john Charlotte NC

    Republicans would love that! They could weaken public sector unions, punish lower-level federal workers who are more likely to be democrats, and eliminate any need to be reasonable and flexible on the budget. Heads they win, tails we lose.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  67. Pete in Georgia

    10% ???

    How about 25??? ........................................................for starters.
    We have allowed this socialist administration to multiply the USELESS, BLOATED, and UNPRODUCTIVE assemly of federal employees for only ONE reason.
    To create even MORE dependancy on the wasteful, almost criminal federal government.
    Our ancestors have run out of room turning over in their graves.
    Despicable.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  68. Allan Hanson Placerville, ca

    We should do both. There are too many agencies with out a needed function.
    Defense needs to be cut dramatically as it is one of the most wasteful agencies in the Govt. We spend more on Defense than all the other countries in the world, this is idiotic.Makes Administrations want to start wars to use them.
    The Military Industrial Complex runs the Government. Didn't Ike warn us against this?
    We are not the worlds police, Quit acting like we are. We can't solve all the worlds problems.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  69. Nick from Weatherly, PA

    By defense do you mean foreign wars? Either way we have people here that need jobs and even at a pay cut deserve to keep their job. Why should we watch our fellow Americans be faced with unemployment when they have a job. I have people that get jobs at my work for two weeks just so they can quit and get Government paid benefits when they are completely capable of working. I say then that we cut defense and use the fact of our nation having the most amount of civilians with guns as our "big stick" for defense.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
  70. Gordo from NJ

    While I've been out of the service for 40 years, I have not seen anything to indicate it has relinquished its role as the gold standard for "bloat and inefficiency." If you cut the number of Generals and Admirals by 50%, efficiency would probably double. If you reformed congress's cost-multiplier role in the military industrial complex, we wouldn't have an over priced F-35 that flew as a prototype in 2000 and has yet to enter active service. Maybe the Pentagon needs free-market competition. We should solicit Russian MiGs or Eurofighters to compete for USAF contracts.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  71. Thomas retired USA ARMY Chicago, IL

    Why do I have to chose? Why can't we just tax somethng to get the money and keep both?

    The military is at war. How you gone cut that? I hate talking to recorders.Can't we have real people on the other line. A job is a job and we need workers to keep the economy growing anyway.

    July 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  72. Ram Riva

    Neither....they're both very important...cut 50% of Senators and Representatives from both parties...that'll make a lot more sense...

    July 24, 2012 at 3:52 pm |
  73. Steve

    Cut 10% of the federal workers, especially the ones that belong to the Unions. They are the ones that are milking the system.
    Union mentality is, they won't do the little extra on their job, "if it's not in my code descrption, I'm not doing it".
    No incentive to perform well and beyond and no consequences for bad decisions.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  74. Mark in BC NV

    Yes! Start with a 10-10-10 plan; 10% cut in salaries/wages for all federal employees, civil and military, 10% cut from all budgets, civil and military, and 10% cut in employees, all civil. Then we get rid of NPR, and other non value entities. Run this governent like a business instead of a "free" ride.
    Balancing a budget is quite simple, it's called responsibility, not no one seems to uphold.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
  75. ray at clinton ct

    we need to cut 10% of both !!!!!!

    July 24, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  76. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Cut defense and federal workers thru attrition if they are not needed. I can't believe all the whining about cutting 50 Billion dollars a year from a 1 trillion dollar budget over 10years. Defense should be cut 25% or 250 Billion each year instead of only 50 Billion a year. Obama and the dems have turned into a bunch of war mongers and neocons.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
  77. David - Augusta, Georgia

    Well yes we should! If we dont invest in defense and get attacked, there wont be any jobs to work in the federal government!

    July 24, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
  78. Renee, Illinois

    I'm not buying it. I'm almost 50 and we've been spending like a drunken sailor on defense since before I was born. Did it prevent 9/11? Did it bring a swift and favorable conclusion to the two wars we've been fighting the last ten years? We've already had devastating consequences. Not the least to our economy. Those who want to spend more on defense always like to talk about American strength. This isn't strength, it's insecure saber rattling. Cowards wave guns to draw attention to themselves, the strong step in front of a bullet to save someone else. We just had horrifying evidence of that fact in the last week. This country as a whole needs to find it's real strength, not in weapons but in ourselves. Cut defense spending we don't need, we're already the strongest nation in the world.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
  79. Bob, St. Thomas PA

    Your question is a bit of a false choice, Jack. How about cutting both? And while we're at it, let's distinguish between defense spending and military spending. We could cut military spending without cutting defense at all. Let's also be truthful on another matter- the cuts aren't really cuts at all- they are reductions in proposed increases. No one is "cutting" anything.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  80. Ed in Sacramento, Capitol of the Faulty State of Kalifornia

    Yes and start with some of the congressional aids and white house czars. How much could be saved if we pink slipped the Peanut Butter and Chitin Czars?

    Sorry that was a gross combination, but the intent was to get a chuckle out of you!

    July 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
  81. Ray in Knoxville

    Jack, I wonder if the members of Congress who are fighting military cuts are getting bribes... I mean campaign donations (I keep getting those two terms confused,) from defense contractors. Don't let the far right confuse you, there is plenty of pork to be cut in military spending.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
  82. Kevin in CA

    No we shouldn't mindlessly cut an additional 10% of the federal workforce. Instead, we should let the Republicans decide which of their wars they are going to cut visa-vi defense cuts.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  83. John J. Grimes Watertown, Ma.

    We could easily cut 20% off of the defense budget if we could only mind our own business and not try to be the policeman of the world. If this country could only have the trillions of dollars, not to mention the lives lost, from Vietnam, Iraq & Afghanistan.....we would all be better off.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  84. Jim Charlotte NC

    Better to eliminate the Government worker. How can we rule the world if we cut the Military. Cutting the government employee only adds up to more unemployed with little money to consume leading to less Chinese people needed to produce products for those who have enough money to shop.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  85. Randy

    No, defense could be cut by fifty percent if we actually defended just ourselves. Congressmen rush the microphone on a daily basis to tell citizens to sacrifice, then turn around and tell israel that the checkbook is open for them to start yet another war that they expect Americans to pay for and fight. Ridiculous!

    July 24, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  86. Vampy

    Will 10% be enough? It will only help if we cut 10% off the top and not the bottom from either side. Have you seen the pay scale of government workers because they have been there for more then 20 yrs...and the Brass in the Dept of Def. pay scale, no yes or no answer, the system is broken for many reasons. Come have coffee and we will chew the fat, if there is any left in this economy.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  87. betty from massachusetts

    ys starting with the president and his cabinett

    July 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  88. Earl Speigner Georgia

    We must cut military spending. 2/3rds of the increase in federal spending over the last decade was military spending. Before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Secretaries of Defense and high-ranking military officers complained about money wasted on unnecessary weapons programs. The withdrawals from both those countries should become an opportunity to cut back on combat spending as well as spending on weapons systems already labeled as unnecessary by Secretaries of Defense (from both parties) and career military leaders.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  89. Cres from Florida

    IT SHOULDN"T BE A QUESTION OF ONE OR THE OTHER JACK!!!!!!
    DO BOTH!!! There's enough wasteful spending to go around in so many areas, 10% cuts in a whole
    lot of areas and departments and programs would still result in excess spending.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  90. Frank Poynton from Los Angeles

    Just where will the 10% of federal workers go for another job? Whereas we can probably do without another bomber, aircraft carrier, tank, etc, etc, etc. Trim the military appropriations budget by at least 10%. If you want to cook a chicken you cut off the head first, not the legs.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  91. Name*jim

    Not just 10, how about 20 percent. Why does the public have to pay for the problem. I believe a failure to govern has gotten us where we are today. Put people in elected office that want to fix problems, not work for the best benefits in the world. We need citizen representatives no career politicians in govt.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  92. chris

    we need both maybe 15 percent and cut defense govt spends too much and we don't need to be all over the world cut defense too

    July 24, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  93. Jeff in Minnesota

    Depends on which workers you want to cut. The SEC and FDIC are understaffed based on what they need to get done, so they cannot necessarily afford to lose examiners. But to just do a 10% across the board cut of federal workers is a meat cleaver move.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  94. Doug-Dallas

    Wow, the Republicans who passed the law dictating the cuts are having second thoughts? I wonder if their 10% cuts would include members of Congress who happen to be the most over paid, under worked Federal employees we have?

    July 24, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  95. NateFromIndiana

    Sadly, in order to balance the budget we're going to have to do both.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  96. Michael, from Smiths, Alabama

    Why not do both? As it has already been stated, the Federal workforce is bloated and could use some trimming. In truth, we could also do with a decrease in the Defense budget. Unless the Republicans are planning a new war in the Middle East...against Iran, for example...then there should be no reason why defense budget cuts shouldn't take place. But that's just my two cents worth on the matter of paying off the billions in deficit.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  97. Larry in Houston

    Should we cut 10% of federal workers instead of cutting defense? Good Question.
    Answer : That's why more & more people are in agreement withthe fact that we need to improvise the tax code – and our whole tax system as a whole. This country would be better off with an across the board tax system. Doesn't matter if you're a trillionaire / billionaire, millionaire / or on welfare – everybody should pay the same rate(s) – for instance, it doesn't matter how much you make, when you have to put gas into your vehicle, you pay the same tax. Same way with income tax, and the whole 9 yards. THAT will eliminate the "waste" not to mention the "dead weight" in Washington.

    There is a lot of other places our government can cut – besides our military. If we cut our military in a huge way, other countries will end up taking note, then this country will be more vulnerable than it ever was, in our over 200 yr. history.
    I honestly wish there was another party running, but our only choice is between Romney & Obama – You'd think with all the smart people we have here in this country – this is our choices – I mean, if you think about it, with all the people with P.H.D's / Master's Degrees / Doctorates / Rocket Scientists / Entreprenures / & etc. You'd think we would have waay more smarter people running for the highest office in the land.
    Vote – Democrat – 2012

    July 24, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  98. Mark in Houston

    Oh...this is easy, federal employees of course Ten percent of those making up Congress would be roughly 54 employees . So why not outsource 27 from each side of the aisle to some place like China. Let them be in charge of inspecting cheap junk that's shipped to the US.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
  99. thom richer

    No. End the senseless wars, bring the troops home and dump overseas military bases. Stop corporate welfare and tax religions, charities and universities and other tax exempt businesses. Everybody pays. No exceptions.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    July 24, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  100. Jake in Austin, Texas

    A 10 % cut in the defense buget is just a drop in the bucket. I bet about 30% or more of our tax dollars are simply wasted both on equiptment and lives.

    July 24, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  101. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    We have non-military people earning more than our enlisted military due to our defense spending which is over the top and out of control and to propose cutting 10% of federal workers should be non-negotiable.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  102. Dave, Orlando, FL

    It’s not either/or. We need to cut both. Our military is bloated and the military-industrial complex surrounds a hard core of waste, fraud and graft that no one sees. And we also don’t need so many government workers. We need teachers, firefighters and police, but we do not need the bureaucrats that keep us waiting forever to process simple things; they can probably be replaced by machines, since none of them can use their heads or answer simple questions or solve simple problems.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  103. Sandstone

    "Try cutting 25% first, and then talk about it again. Don't forget 'The private sector is already doing fine."

    July 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  104. Sean from Thousand Oaks, CA

    The United States accounts for less than 4.5% of the world's population but 40% of global military spending. It is followed by China, which constitutes almost 20% of the population and 8.2% of all military spending...and they have the draft. There is no justification for this; and it is certainly not a rationale for laying off thousands. Our economy needs every wage it can get. You can cut back on the military without firing personnel – how about holding back on the 2,400 $200 million per plane F-35 stealth jets? It's not like al Qaeda has access to fighter planes.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
  105. RickFromDetroit

    I don't think we should be cutting either. We should be stimulating the anemic bottom end of the economy so we can generate some new revenue. We are currently in self destruct mode with our budget cutting.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
  106. stephen hapke

    Anybody expecting WW3? Cut defense

    July 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  107. Shawn

    We spend more on defense than the next 17 countries combined. I think we can afford to cut back on defense a bit.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  108. Brian in MN

    Try cutting both and then a lot more. We already spend 44% of all the defense spending in the world. We aren't keeping up, we're far ahead of the rest of the world already.

    The federal govt needs to be slashed by up to 90% in reality.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  109. Daniel

    Jack,

    I'd cut them both, since both are bloated and in dire need of a diet.

    I see no reason why the government can't learn to do more with less. The rest of us have to.

    Daniel

    July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  110. Sanjeev Pathak

    Yes. It is absolutely essential that at least 10% for the federal work force be eliminated.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  111. PHIL

    How about getting rid of all congressmen, they haven't done anything for 3 1/2 years. How much would that save?

    July 24, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
  112. Nathaniel

    Our defense budget is larger than reasonable. We have more federal employees than necessary. Cut 10% of both.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  113. Bill Kahn, MN

    Why choose one? Prioritize and cut where it makes the most sense.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  114. Kenneth

    Jack:
    We should not only cut defense spending, we should also cut 20% of the federal "work" force.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  115. Lisa

    Jack, many of the people who work in defense work for the government. Many of the people who work for the government work for the federal government. Seems to me like if you cut the federal workforce by 10 percent nobody wins. By the way Jack, the active duty personnel in the Defense Department are government employees.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  116. Ben

    Of course not. The whole point of this ridiculous chicken game that congress played was that if the two parties _couldn't_ agree to a sensible set of cuts, then _both_ sides would get cuts to each of their sacred cows. What the republican party is suggesting is "Hey, sure, we could kill one of your cows and one of mine. But, hey I've got an even better Idea! What if we just kill _both_ of _your_ cows, and leave mine all alone?"

    July 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  117. Mike From Virginia

    It is willful ignorance to keep saying that we cannot cut the defense budget. Our Budget is more then the next dozen or more countries on the list, combined. What country or threat is out there that we need to take defense cuts completely off the table? We could cut the defense budget by a quarter or a third and probably only effect the overall capability of the US war machine by a factor of zero. Half this budget is wasted anyway on Super fighters we never use and stupid pet projects.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  118. Alex Landi

    CA

    Jack-If we cut defense spending, a lot of jobs will be lost anyway, both federal (military and civilian government workers) as well as defense sector workers. We will have lost both high numbers of jobs and security in a very dangerous world. Laying off 10% of the federal workforce would not endanger the country.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  119. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    What would be so wrong with not being the world's cop, so wrong not jumping into every conflict on the globe? There are many ways of helping each other than invading countries.

    We are long past being the world's most co-dependent nation, maybe it's time we adjust our image of being the toughest and baddest entity in the world and become the most compassionate and empathetic group of people on the globe.

    Maybe that might work better for us, because what we are doing sure isn't helping us at all.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  120. Name*B Pomerantz

    Definitely the solution is to cut the government workers and not cut defense. The world is becoming more dangerous everyday. The government has soapy departments duplicating the SAME jobs that it would force the government workers to become more efficient. This has already occurred in the business world.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  121. Ken Lynch

    No brainer – YES in a hartbeat.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  122. David in Ottawa ON

    Why not both?

    Govt workers do perform a lot of necessary services, but it's no secret there's a lot of waste & abuse as well. Like you said, it could do with a trim. The whole defense argument is a load of crap though! The U.S. spends nearly $700 billion a year now, more than the next ELEVEN COUNTRIES COMBINED! Last time I checked, we weren't in the middle of WW3.

    Also I though the U.S annual GDP was $16 trillion? This whole debt nonsense is a joke, there's more than enough money to pay it down and China's still giving you guys money out of confidence – the politicians need to quit squandering this and do something productive for a change starting with the Republicans actually doing their jobs instead of just obstructing Obama at every turn.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  123. Caroline

    I know of two highly paid social security workers that literally take books to work because they have so little to do. Clear answer on that question. Cut federal workers as states cut theirs.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  124. stephanurus

    The Department of Defense wastes more money on toilet paper than what would be saved by firing 10% of the federal work force. It is a very small amount of money that is involved, compared to the size of the defense budget. There need be no cuts (except for waste) if taxes are raised.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  125. Doug in Austin

    Go to a consumption tax (the collection mechanism is already in place). That will cut the federal workforce (IRS) by at LEAST 10%...no more IRS buildings, audits, etc. Put those people to work guarding our borders. I know...that solution is way to simple....

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  126. Mark from New Jersey

    Militarily, we outspend the top 25 countries in the world combined, and most of them are our allies. We could cut 50% of the military budget, and still be the dominant military force in the world. The amount of waste, fraud, and abuse in the military budget is staggering. We spend more defending France than the French. We spend defending Germany than the Germans. We need far more government workers, including those tracking down the waste fraud and abuse in the military and in the budget at large, than we need more malfunctioning weapons systems, but the best congress money can buy are not allowed to cut any expenditures made in their districts, lest their campaign contributions, (read bribes) are lost.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  127. Peg in Ohio

    Um, Jack, I don't know where these "bloated" federal places are...we are so weary of doing more with less that the thought of cutting another person makes me ill! Jack, my dear, who do you think is going to keep the defense industry honest? It's no small job!

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  128. David A Whitaker

    Jack I think you're crazy, those 10% federal workers has bills just like everyone. There is so much fat in defense budget, what is all the fuss about. The US can destroy the world over and over so many time if we don't update the military.

    David
    Martinsburg,WV

    July 24, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  129. Diana

    I am a federal worker and support a 10% cut of federal workers through natural attrition. Hopefully it will reduce any bloat, but it could mean the government will be doing less for the people and we'll have to live with it. However, the defense spending is a much larger chunk and trimming that would go much further in helping to reduce our national deficit. I find it hard to believe some cuts can't be made there.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  130. Chuck

    Yes. We could cut 10pct of the federal workforce TOMORROW and never notice the loss? we will feel the defense cuts at home and all over the world.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  131. Paul Gilliam

    Cutting 10% of the military budget will not weaken, or make us somehow less secure. Even with the cut, the United States will still spend more on defense than any other country in the world. Either way Government workers lose their jobs and public sector workers have taken a hit in this recession along with everyone else. I say let the cuts come, let the tax breaks expire. The congress can't do anything besides argue. Sequester is the best thing that could have happened.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  132. Cee.La

    Jack I think there needs to be cuts all across the board.......I am sick of the Military being protected for the sacred cow it is......they are extremely wasteful too....... but lets cut this Congress also..... have you checked to see how much they wasted......Repealing Obamacare? a purely symbolic gesture that cost milions of $$$$$, 33 times.......or how about that useless glossy pamphlet i get in the mail from my useless congressman.......We are going to have to raise taxes as well as cut spending.......

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  133. John

    In the past 10 years the defense department has spent $4.7 Trillion. They were able to fight two wars and defend the nation. The budget for the next 10 years is over $6 Trillion. Inflation is under control, so the only way we could defend this type of increase is to assume that we are going to fight more wars than we did in the last 10 years. I pray that that will not happen. A $500 billion dollar cut will not make this country weaker. Head for the cliff.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  134. Greg

    WHY NOT CUT BOTH? WE thought EVERYTHING was on the chopping block, Looks like the Military/Industrial Complex is off limits???

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  135. Name*Tom

    Sure Jack, Cut 10% of the federal workforce but cut the fat first...Congress!

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  136. Vicki in Florida

    Cut both Defense and the Federal workforce. We spend more on Defense than 17 of the next largest defense budgets of other countries combined – they don't spend on defense because they know the good ol' USA "international police force" will take care of things for them. Let them pay for their own Defense instead of the US taxpayer. As for the Federal labor force, layoff half of every Congressman's "support" staff and that should just about take care of that over-expenditure AND get the Congressman to do some of his own work for a change instead of boondoggles around the world.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  137. Angie

    So you Republicans cutting 10% of Federal workers? Or do you mean making 10% of Federal workers UNEMPLOYED? Cutting 10% of Federal workers is FIRING 10% of the federal work force, which is a lot higher than your willing to admit. FYI: Cutting 10% of the Federal Defense will also cause unemployment, but at a much lower level.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  138. Vic

    Yes we should. State governments have tightened the belt and gotten leaner, but the federal bureaucracy just keeps growing. The size of our military is getting to be a joke– if China decided to move on the Phillipines I doubt that we have the military horsepower to fight them off. We need to keep our military at an effective level and its teetering on too small.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  139. Ron G from Florida

    The military budget policy is "use it or loose it", I know I was one of them, the military has the ability
    to cut billions and not affect the war capability of the US one bit. But then again, the government has
    more people than they need, Why choose, cut them both, they'll get over it.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  140. TNPatriot

    Let the Bush Tax SALE END, cut defense spending by 50%, withhold ALL pay from members of Congress and the Senate until the budget shows a REAL Surplus. In other words Jack, Congress won't do anything constructive and will vote to bypass this deadline.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  141. Surya

    Cutting back on federal work force would be better . Laying off workers who have been there for more than 25-30 years – not a bad idea if they are just postponing their retirement. Such workers do not do much at their job anyway. Also money would be saved since such workers get a fat pay check for doing nothing.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  142. PhilofLA

    CUT DEFENSE SPENDING MORE. Our defense budget exceeds the collective spending of the next few nations. We spend about four times more than the second country. Our defense budget is terribly excessive.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  143. Chris, Florida

    We spend more on defense than any other country. Cut defense,it will not be as devastating as the GOP says. Gees, the GOP renegs on everything, even when they agree to it. People need their jobs and cutting defense will keep the GOP from taking us into another war. Oh, forgot Bush took us into war and never paid for it ! So we are all paying for it now.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  144. Catherine

    We need to stop looking for the silver bullet and implement everything, one step at a time. Over the last 5 years I have shaved off tens of thousands of dollars from my personal budget by identifying 1 thing at a time and implementing it. The country needs to do the same. No single thing will take care of our debt, but the aggregate will. So I wish Congress would quit saying this or that thing will not take care of the budget deficit, and just begin implementing every cost cutting method that comes along, if it makes sense. In that way, we will succeed in reducing the debt to a manageable point. If ordinary Americans can do this in their own homes, I fail to understand why our government can't use their heads in the same way.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  145. Al

    Republicans knew good and well that military cuts were part of the repercussion of not reaching agreement on how to handle the deficit. Now they want to shift the burden to government employees. Maybe we should cut 10% of Republicans to ge ttheir attention next time that drastic actiion is needed to steer America in the right direction.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
  146. Angie

    Yep Republicans just love to increase the Number of unemployment to great heights, and then turn around and blame Obama for that unemployment. But this time, you got caught.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  147. Marc from New Brunswick

    The have your cake and eat it too mentality will be your demise jack. Lets see....30 times the necessary defence budget....or healthcare for everyone. It's like....lets spend more on defense. I just don't get it.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  148. Ira

    Of course we should stick with the deal struck by the Democrats and the Republicans.

    They both signed up for military cuts and social cuts. Now the GOP wants to back out of the deal – a standard bait and switch tactic used by those who negotiate in bad faith.

    Why would we reward bad behavior?

    July 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  149. Rosalyn

    I think we should cut both, the military buget and government employees by 10 percent.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
  150. Peter

    I think it is about time for Americans to realize that defense costs are a massive part of the problem. It's great that the US has the biggest stick, but it is only needed because of all the other sticks it feels the need to hit. As a citizen of your neighbors to the North, having a feeling of safety is cheap to achieve when you offer assistance before the tip of a gun.
    Ajax, Ontario, Canada

    July 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  151. Jim G. (Jersey City, NJ)

    Good Afternoon Jack,

    I do like the idea of not re-hiring when an employee leaves better than letting someone go. I also think every line of the budget should have 10% removed, no questions asked, let every department get impacted. Spending HAS to get cut. I find it incredibly frustrating how our government fails to get spending under control. I would also suggest furloughs for the staff of the representatives and senators first the next time there is government shutdown due to budget.

    Thanks for asking!
    Jim

    July 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  152. John

    Jack,
    Remember when we had the "government shutdown"? All non-essential government workers were to stay home. That was way more than 10%, but 10% would be a good start. Defense is essential. The EPA is not.
    I really like watching you. You remind me of me.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  153. Betty in San Diego

    As a retired federal employee, let me tell you that the federal worker and congress are not the same. We are hired based on our skills and abilities while Congress is elected by all voters. I retired from a job where I basically did the work of two people and was away from my family for 8-9 months out of the year because we were buying defense systems for the military. You always want to cut the "fat" federal worker – just keep in mind that some of us are not the "fat" – but all you ever see on TV are the "fat" ones. How about a spot for those that busted their asses for the rest of the country – and at a lower pay than the general public. Cutting the federal is not always the right answer. Oh, and by the way, I haven't gotten a cost of living increase in my retirement, but my obligation for Obamacare surely has gone up. I did my time, and proudly, now leave me alone – I'm not your problem – the people you elect based on what you see in a stupid political commercial is the problem. Wake up America – do something besides taking the easy train.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
  154. Katie Lou

    Billions of dollars unaccounted for by the Pentagon; millions wasted on weaponry that is outdated before the assembly line even closes. America needs jobs, not a bloated defense budget.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  155. Lefty

    The Federal workforce are a part of the defense budget.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  156. Jerry Mund, Appleton, WI

    Cut defense. The defense budget is such a huge plum because the average Americano lives in constant fear of anything outside of his immediate neighborhood. He is a timorous little weenee. The Republicans know the and play it for all its worth. That's why the defense budget is so bloated; when in doubt vote for more jets and aircraft carriers.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  157. Eric Singleton

    Implement a "LifeWork" Plan. Cut 10% of the of the federal workers hours. Reduce the official work week to 36 hours. Don't add to the unemployment rate. People need their jobs!

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  158. Tom From Boston

    Let's not kid ourselves. We need a scalpel, not a hatchet, and we need to carve out waste from both federal workers and defense. Want some examples? How about the U.S. Agency for International Development (U.S. AID) spending $30 million to spur mango production and sales in Pakistan—which failed utterly. The Air Force spent $14 million to switch three radar stations to wind power; poor planning forced cancellation of one turbine and consideration of the same for the other two. The Federal Aviation Administration devoted $6 million to subsidize air service at small, underused airports. And a federal grant for $765,828 went to—I am not making this up—bring an International House of Pancakes franchise to Washington, D.C. Of course, our politicians don't even want to discuss these things.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  159. Nina Fox

    I vote for cutting Defense contractor’s exorbitant and blatant waste of American Taxpayer’s money. For example, Americans spent billions on malfunctioning weapons systems for contractors to make outrageous profits. I am tired of our money ending up “blood” money through purchasing corporate mercenaries. I am also in favor of reorganizing our federal organizations to be more efficient

    Nina
    Southern California

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  160. Al, Lawrence KS

    By all means, cut defense. We already spend more on defense than the next 15 countries combined. We have all had to learn how to live with less...and it's way past time that the pentagon and defense contractors learn to do the same.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  161. Montana Guy

    I suggest that we cut 100% of Congressional pay until they pass a balanced budget.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  162. mmsierra

    The 10% cut is just a hammer to get both sides to compromise on the budget
    Otherwise they won't compromise – neither side

    But, actually, we SHOULD CUT TEN PERCENT
    These Tea Party CLOWNS want to go to War with Iran
    Make no mistake about it
    \Draft Dodger Romney wants trouble with Iran

    Q: Why did the chicken cross the Road ?
    A: To join the Texas Air National Guard

    What ever happen to those Iraqi WMDs ??????

    July 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  163. Henry in Maryland

    Sure Jack. Cut bureaucrats. That's so easy. So let's cut 10 percent of the people who guard our border. We clearly have too many people there. Our borders are already far more secure than we really need them. Let's also cut 10 percent of VA claims examiners. Returning Iraq veterans can easily wait for VA to process their disability claims. And while we are at it, let's cut 10 percent of VA mental health workers. Vets with PTSD will not mind wait longer for their appointments. And while we are at it, we can easily cut 10 percent of the Defense civilians who support our troops. As long as we don't cut big defense contractors who charge millions of dollars building showers that electrocute the troops and sell us hammers costing thousands of dollars each.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  164. Peter H

    Gradual methods like this will never work. Our government need to focus itself on eliminating the root of the problem: the annual deficit you cited.

    Granted, this doesn't help answer your question. I don't see why there couldn't be cuts in both arenas. The federal workforce is bloated (my thoughts exactly), and it seems likely that our defense sector follows suit.

    Peter H
    Minneapolis, MN

    July 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  165. Ethan, NC

    Jack we shouldn't even considering cutting defense spending because we need to keep a strong national defense obviously but cutting 10% of our workers would leave them jobless and unemployed further slowing our growth. We should find a different department to cut into instead of these vital ones.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  166. FEDman

    Hey Jack, Cut them both. There is nothing but waste and abuse in the management of the government system. Too many employees and too many contractors picking the taxpayers pockets. I was a Government employee for 35 years and ALWAYS questioned why we paid multiple contractors ungodly amounts of money to develope a system, only to have them beg for more to complete the projects they were contracted for. If having a government contract is that important to a business then they should present the final product for review and sale. As far as the Fed Employee goes, way too overstaffed and management heavy. Absolutely no accountability or fear of losing their jobs for lack of performance.

    Signed, still waitng for change

    July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  167. Bob From Florida

    Have you driven around Washington D.C. recently? The Federal Government has grown so big that no person or group can begin to assess the cost/benefit of the thousands of programs that intrude into American life and soak up our tax dollars. There is no way to stop the amoeba like growth other than to starve the beast. Cut Federal employees by at least 10%.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  168. Gigi Oregon

    Yes, let's cut the Federal budget and lay off workers and raise the unemployed numbers... NOT...

    July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  169. D. Wilson

    I say do both. Go to any goverment building and see how many "workers" do little or nothing. Also since congress is responsable for the debt mess, as they can not work on comprmise. They all should take a pay cut. Congress really does not get it. They make way more than the average citizen, have a outstanding health care package, and out standing pennsion. Yet they always want the cuts to come from social security or medicare. They don't care about the little guy all they want is to be reelected and they can do it easy now with all the fat cats pouring money into them.
    D.Wilson St. Louis, MO

    July 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  170. seydou haidara

    Jacque way cuts 10%of federal government employees or military you American peoples should dismiss all the members of your congressman's that ways you will save big Money, Tanks FOR Your Times

    July 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
  171. drake mallard

    Does anybody here think our U.S. congress/ us senate aka government can live on minimum wage?

    Why Not Have congress/senate Paid By Minimum-Wage?

    Ban ALL forms of fundraising/lobbyist for any purpose. that is what has destroyed our government and no more lifetime benefit package.most politicians have no idea what it means to live like the majority of americans, or the people they represent.  maybe changing how they live might change their priorities and politics?

    July 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  172. Joe D

    Jack I work in a federal agency and most of the employees there are already thinking about retiring early and go into the private sector for fear of thier benefits being cut. We've termed it a retirement tsunami, and when they go the experience goes. The federal government employs almost 2 million people, not including contractors, how would the economy look if 200,000 people left the workforce. I'm sure the multi-hundred million dollar jets that don't work can go.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  173. Peter H

    Gradual methods like this will never work. Our government needs to focus itself on eliminating the root of the problem: the annual deficit figure you cited.

    Granted, this doesn't answer your question. I don't see why there couldn't be cuts in both arenas. The federal workforce is bloated (my thoughts exactly), and it seems likely that our defense sector follows suit.

    Peter H
    Minneapolis, MN

    July 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  174. Perry Kuntz

    1Cut defense and the government ( I thought they were same) redirect money into the infrastructure, education, health care, and lower our debt. Jobs lost – jobs created. We don’t need multi-million dollar jet fighters, when drones seem to the weapon of choice. We spend more on defense than the top 15 countries combines. (SWAG) We spend more on military bands than most countries spend on their entire military budget.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  175. Boomer in Mo

    Most businesses have cut 10, 20 percent or more and are doing the same amount of work, or more, in some instances. I say cut.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  176. Ken in Gaithersburg, MD

    Let's see - the budget for everything but defense is bloated but our military expenditures are not and we can fight two and maybe more wars without raising taxes to pay for them. Keeping all the Bush tax cuts in place increases the deficit by $4 trillion over ten years, but we've got to do that. This kind of idiotic proposal is right in line with the intellectual dishonesty and the moral bankruptcy of our political leadership. Meanwhile, proposals lthat don't throw out the baby with the bath water like those of Bowles, Simpson, Rivlin, the "Gang of Six," and others are deemed to be unpassable by our current Congress. Let's stop rewarding politicians who tell us lies they think we want to hear and elect leaders who will honestly and responsibly address the real problems the country faces.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  177. Mike

    Cut t those who can retired after 20 or more years of federal service in upper management. That's were most of your tax dollars go in personnel. I had a forced retirement after 17 yrs with the Army Reserve. I was making $45,000 ($1200 every two weeks) a year and now receive $600 s month with no benefits. That's an 85% cut in pay and I still make it. They can too.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  178. jeff devine

    yes the cuts should be made to defence, the g.o.p. should have learned not to bet what yuo cant afford to lose...they should have made a deal instead of sabotaging the country,trying to get obama out of office.this was there choice let them live with it......

    July 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  179. Don in Maryland

    Yes, cut the Federal government workforce by ten percent AND make the defense cuts. We need to stop our bloating budget and deficit. Cutting 10% of Federal workers will not make any people lose their jobs; agencies will absorb the cut by not filling open positions. Cut to Defense maybe, just might, be a deterrent for our leaders to jump into conflicts around the world where we have no strategic or national defense interest.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  180. MC in TX

    We have the most powerful military in the world and our main geopolitical concern is rag-tag bands of terrorists. It is reasonable to keep investing in defense research but the mainline military still needs to be scaled back significantly. What scares me most is that if some day we are involved in a war with a major power we'll be so broke that we cannot afford it. We do need to invest more in domestic spending. I would not say we should arbitrarily hold on to the 10% of the federal workforce (as you say there exist many inefficiencies that need to be cut back) but to the extent that there are necessary federal employees we should not drop them simply to keep up our bloated military.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  181. Michael K. ferris

    Of course we should cut the defense budget!!! We are getting out of Afghanistan, and are overdue with getting out of Europe. I see no reason to keep the amount of manpower and overpriced weapons systems when there is no threat. But we should ensure that our service members who suffered from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan get top-quality and quality care!!!

    July 24, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  182. Mike Dean

    No Jack. Our military is by far the largest bureaucracy in our government.Militarism removes capital and resources from the free market and allocates them arbitrarily.Just look at the Irag war, the profits of Kellogg Brown and Root.Dick Cheney's old company.Virtually all contracts coming from the military reflect insider trading.Indiffernce to how public monies are spent ultimately destroy those who tolerate it.Cut defense spending by 800 billion and there would be plenty of dollars for healthy care.Go down to the Jersey shore and look out, you won't see a flotila about to invade...

    July 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  183. Eldon Poppe

    Reduce Federal employeees: YES: I am a retired highway engineer, with 40 years of experience, with a midwest State Highway Department. In this area, I can tell you that the Federal Government has not designed and or built ONE highway or bridge improvement. The highway userers fund them, the States and local authorities determine the need, and, for most part, private industry construct them. In my opinion, the Nation would be better off if the Federal Highway Administration were completly elliminated. The money the State's collect from ferderal gas tax could stay in the Sate's and elliminate all the strings and earmarks that come with what is left, after the Federal Goverment has taken their pound of flesh. AASHTO (American Association Of State Highway and Transportation Officials) presently sets national guide lines for all improvements to highways, streets, pavements, bridges etc.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  184. Max

    Jack, we need to cut both. Our current military has 2.5 million soldiers. According to the DoD, it costs on average of 70,000 dollars BEFORE deployment. Do the math and it's astounding. Currently we have around 185,000 US soldiers overseas and the recent congressional hearing found that it will cost 1 MILLION dollars PER soldier in Ghanistan per year of which we have 40,000 there right now. So with over 25 TRILLION in spending for the military, where is the treatment for our wounded citizens returning home?

    People know the government is an inefficient engine. Cutting the fat will help this nation. 10% of this cut needs to also INCLUDE the politicians themselves.

    Recommendation is this:

    Cut defense spending by 50% requiring AT LEAST 40 percent of the defense funding other to be in allocated for transitioning and injured soldiers achieve greater autonomy and less dependance on the system and cut down on suicide.

    Cut 10 percent of government with mergers of the alphabet agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, etc) into one agency to eliminate competition for funding leading to hiding information.

    Cutting is not enough. We need to reallocate the programs our money is used for. Wasteful spending and NO accountability for loss of funds needs to stop.

    Since OUR TAXDOLLARS were used in the GM and Bank bailouts, shares of these companies must be given to EVERY taxpaying citizen so that WE THE PEOPLE may ensure OUR money is not misused.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  185. marybeth, massachusetts

    Jack, Jack, Jack,

    You need to work for Faux News. And by the way, it sounds like you're not aware that members of the military ARE federal workers. What should be cut are the rich contractors to the military, who make billions of dollars. Our military spending is more than the military spending of the next 27 countries in terms of top spending and you don't think we spend enough on defense? We need to protect our borders, but I don't think we need to be the world's policeman. Let the Arab world deal with Syria.

    And no, I don't think cutting federal workers, shutting down programs and depts. is the way to go. Just how will that help unemployment if you add more people to the unemployment rolls? And there are many things the government does that I like. I like knowing that the food I buy is safe to eat, that the air is clean, water is clean. I like knowing that if the woods around me go up, there are emergency workers to put it out and to evacuate people if necessary. Privatizing this will not make it cheaper–privatizing makes everything more expensive. I like the post office. It only costs me what 46 cents to mail a bill or letter or card. If I use a private company like federal express or UPS it will cost me $14.00 to send the same bill to the same company for the same distance. I'd be foolish to use a private company.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  186. Oliver El Paso, TX

    Boy Romney has made a lot of money, but he has not kept up with own republican actions they vote to cut the budget of 6 billion dollars. Stop cutting employment We have enough unemployed, But I am in favor of cutting the do nothing congress salary's it would reduce the national dead and get thing done, those boys have learn a lesson.

    July 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm |