Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Gov't Union Blasts Think Tank Letter on Defense Cuts

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the largest federal employee union, blasted a letter released yesterday by a group of 25 scholars from 10 think tanks which makes the case for major reform within the defense establishment.

AFGE, which represents 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia (DC), has long criticized defense worker cuts.

Here is what the AFGE press release says:
The recommendations of a group of think tanks, purporting to provide scenarios for cutting the budget of the Department of Defense, fail to meet the laugh test because they focus on massive, indiscriminate and destructive across-the-board cuts in civilian and military personnel, while in most cases leaving the more expensive and less efficient contractor shadow workforce intact, the nation's largest federal employee union said.
American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox Sr. blasted the plans as academically lazy and said it is financially disastrous to ignore growing contractor costs while recommending cuts ranging from 10 percent to more than 33 percent of the civilian workforce. The blatant failure to show balance and seriously analyze the true costs associated with various personnel recommendations invalidates the think tanks' findings, he said.
 "It seems easy to pick on the federal employee, labeling him or her as a faceless bureaucrat, because civilian personnel and the associated costs are the most readily identifiable," Cox said. "But transparency doesn't equate to what's most expensive. It is usually what you can't see that will kill you, and that is exactly what is happening with the shadow workforce of contractors, which has exploded since 9/11 and even before."
In Time Magazine, Nick Schwellenbach, Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst at the Center for Effective Government, also questions the report, quibbling with the baseline the scholars used for the Pentagon's civilian workforce.

Here is yesterday's Think Tank Watch post on the joint think tank letter, titled "Defense Reform Consensus."
Read more hehttp://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/03/5467731/afge-blasts-think-tanks-defense.html#storylink=cpy