Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney yesterday said the path to saving a half-trillion each year lies with slashing federal jobs and pay, merging agencies, and cracking down on improper payments.
Romney’s proposals largely reiterated planks in the platform the GOP adopted last month, and other proposals Romney and other Republicans have made in recent years. Romney, speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, said he wants to save $500 billion a year by:
- Cutting the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition;
- Combining agencies and departments to reduce overhead;
- Stopping roughly $115 billion in improper payments made annually by government programs;
- And bringing government compensation in line with the private sector.
The issue of government compensation and whether feds are overcompensated when compared to private sector workers is a tricky one, and largely depends on which study you look at. The government’s own studies find federal employees are greatly underpaid, but other studies (including one by the Congressional Budget Office) have found that feds receive more, especially when benefits are factored in.