Government plays a crucial role in creating safe and thriving communities in our country. In order to lead a good, productive life, we need clean air, decent roads, safe foods, good health care and education. Providing these basic necessities are the function of government, and Americans get it. That’s why a majority of them consistently tell pollsters they want the government to do more. They also want the government to have a bigger role in creating jobs, including hiring people to work on government projects.
So what is the problem?
Why do we keep hearing that government is bad and needs to be downsized and outsourced? Well, decades of anti-government propaganda by the corporate-funded misinformation machine and their allies in Congress have turned a lie into distorted reality.
Make no mistake about it — these lawmakers and their corporate buddies want less government because less government means fewer regulations for polluters. Less government means fewer rules for factory owners who can do away with safety measures that save lives. Less government means fewer regulations for Wall Street bankers so they can once again cash in on toxic deals while the rest of us pay for it.
No wonder they’re attacking the EPA, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the government in general. They’re also getting creative. They realize another way to weaken the government is by getting rid of employees who make sure everybody plays by the rules. So when you hear someone propose a “hiring freeze” on government employees, remember that’s code word for fleecing America.
So, these corporate big wigs and anti-government lawmakers get rich while the rest of us have to live off their scraps.
Some good news: A group of 106 House lawmakers are trying to prevent a hiring freeze. Led by Congressman Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, the lawmakers are asking President Donald Trump not to go through with his proposed governmentwide hiring freeze. Not hiring people to deal with an increasing workload will only lead to expensive outsourcing at the expense of taxpayers.
“We should be strengthening the federal workforce by increasing efficiency and ensuring agencies are fulfilling their missions, rather than implementing a devastating hiring freeze that will increase backlogs, decrease the quality of service, and raise contracting costs," Lynch said.
The lawmakers also noted that, more than ever, the country needs talent in several critical areas including cybersecurity, science, technology, and engineering. It’s crucial to our national security to be able to fill these positions quickly. The proposed hiring freeze would also hurt many agencies that are already underfunded, understaffed, and still devastated by sequestration cuts and a 16-day government shutdown.
Starving the Government Is No Way to Run It
Forbidding agencies from hiring the people they need, when they need them, to carry out the people’s work is no way to run the government. In addition, many agencies already are operating under unofficial hiring freezes due to budget cuts, forcing federal employees to do more with less.
“A hiring freeze will inevitably lead to the federal government outsourcing work, which has been proven to be far more costly than federal employees doing the work,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. “Hiring freezes also have a disproportionate impact on veterans and minorities, who make up much of the federal workforce.”
“For every day there’s a hiring freeze, understaffed VA hospitals go without the doctors and nurses they desperately need, retirees wait in longer lines to visit their Social Security offices, and communities that depend on federal jobs for their economic survival suffer,” he added.
Employees can't do much on their own. Middle managers and political appointees often fail to pass on the message about what's happening on the ground. But when government workers join AFGE, we're able to ensure that Congress and the White House gets the message. When government workers get together and work in union, there's no one who can silence their voice. Learn more about AFGE at www.afge.org/join.