WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees today urged lawmakers to vigorously resist attempts to rehabilitate the fatally flawed recommendations of Morgan Stanley Director Erskine Bowles and ex-Senator Alan Simpson.
“The Simpson and Bowles plan died two years ago when their commission failed to endorse it, and I don’t see any reason to dig it up now,” AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
Not only does the Simpson-Bowles plan rely too heavily on spending cuts and not enough on raising new revenue, its spending cuts fall disproportionately on federal employees, who make up just six-tenths of one percent of Americans.
“It is outrageous and indefensible to ask an infinitesimal fraction of middle class workers to bear fully half of all discretionary non-defense cuts to reduce a deficit that they did nothing to create,” Cox said.
Simpson-Bowles cuts the deficit on the backs of the Veterans Affairs nursing assistant who makes about $24,000 a year caring for our wounded veterans, and on the Border Patrol agent who risks his life hunting down drug smugglers for about $40,000 a year.
Here’s what their terrible plan would do:
Federal employees were not the villains in the Wall Street financial crisis or the Great Recession. Yet the Simpson-Bowles plan would force them to shoulder fully half of the domestic discretionary cuts that the Budget Control Act of 2011 requires.
In a population of 312 million Americans, federal employees make up just 0.6%. Federal employees are the dedicated public servants who guard inmates in federal prisons, provide health care to veterans in VA hospitals and clinics, ensure Social Security and veterans’ benefits checks are sent out on time, protect public health by enforcing clean air and water standards, and protect our homeland.
“Simpson-Bowles is an ugly, unfair, and immoral assault on the federal workforce, and their ideas deserve total rejection and repudiation,” Cox said.