Perry: Freeze Federal Civilian Hiring and Salaries Until Budget is Balanced

GOP Presidential candidate Rick Perry has released his plan for cutting federal spending and reducing the deficit. It contains some proposals that are likely to be of interest to federal employees.

The 2012 Presidential election campaigning is in full swing now, with the GOP candidates already having had several debates. The federal deficit and government spending are issues that are often at the forefront of these debates. Since federal employees work for the government, proposed cuts or changes to the budget to help reduce spending stand to have an impact on them, for better or worse.

The different GOP candidates have each put forth their ideas on how to combat the growing deficit. Ron Paul recently released a plan to address what he saw as some of the more pressing problems, and now Rick Perry has put out a plan to show what he would do. Perry’s plan contains a number of ideas, some of which would directly impact federal employees in the event they were to be enacted.

Balancing the Budget

According to Perry’s plan, “The federal government has a spending problem.” It is clear from his plan that Perry believes the best answer to this spending problem is a balanced federal budget, and he says that a balanced budget amendment that does not raise taxes is the best means to achieve this as it will “force Washington lawmakers to finally make the tough decisions about federal spending priorities.”

Some of the suggestions the plan makes to achieve this goal include:

  • Reduce non-discretionary spending by $100 billion in the first year
  • Eliminating earmarks
  • Requiring a Presidential signature on every budget
  • Requiring emergency spending to be spent only on emergencies
  • Ending bailouts

Another cost cutting proposal is to freeze federal civilian hiring and salaries until the budget is balanced.

According to the plan, “The federal workforce has ballooned under the current administration, with 175,000 new positions being created since 2009. Americans deserve a leaner, more efficient federal workforce, not one that pays its employees far more than what comparable private employees receive, or one that hands out bonuses and promotions regardless of performance. Federal bureaucrats should not receive real increases in pay while taxpayers are losing their jobs and struggling to pay their bills.”

Automatic Shutdown Protection

While most federal employees probably won’t like this proposal, there is a one in the plan that could help the federal workforce. The plan also recommends instituting automatic government shutdown prevention. This would fund discretionary federal spending at the previous year’s level of spending if no budget or specific spending bills were signed into law before the end of a fiscal year.

The stated impetus for this proposal is to benefit troops and senior citizens because they are negatively impacted during a shutdown; troops don’t get paid and seniors may not get their Social Security payments. But federal employees are also unlikely to get paid during a shutdown (or at least may not get paid until after the issue the created the shutdown is resolved), so having this in place could be a boon to many of our readers.

So how likely are you to see these proposals enacted?

That all depends on who wins the Presidential election. If Perry secures the nomination and ultimately goes on to win the election, there is a much greater chance of some of these proposals seeing the light of day. If Obama wins re-election, it is doubtful that these proposals would be enacted, although the current pay freeze was instituted under the current Administration. The full plan is available for reading at the link below.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.