Rep. Chaffetz: Too Many Federal Workers Being Paid Too Much

Utah congressman on GOP plan to cut 10 percent of government workforce


NEIL CAVUTO, HOST OF “YOUR WORLD”: In the meantime, a fellow with a different idea, creating private jobs by cutting government jobs.

Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz not only thinks it will work. He has a bill to prove his point and prove it will work.

Congressman, good to have you.

REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, R-UTAH: Yes. Thanks for having me.

CAVUTO: So, how does this work? Get rid of the government guys? You get more private sector guys?

CHAFFETZ: We have got a – we’ve got a good federal work force, but we have too many people and we’re paying them too much money.

So the idea is, for every three people who retire -- and we have something like 400,000 people that will retire over the next couple of years -- they’re going to have to...

CAVUTO: In government?

CHAFFETZ: In government. They’re going to have -- for every three that are shed, they can only hire back one.

The fundamental problem is that President Obama has grown government. He has grown the private sector jobs. Since President Obama took office until now, the net increase in the number of federal workers, 162,000 people.

CAVUTO: Don’t government workers go up in every administration, though?

CHAFFETZ: But it’s not sustainable.

CAVUTO: Why is that? Why is that?

CHAFFETZ: The person that comes forward as a presidential candidate and says, look, we’re going to do more with less, that’s how we’re going to run this economy, that’s how we’re going to the federal government -- but we have not done that.

We just -- the president made a fundamental choice to grow government. And he doesn’t -- I don’t even think he knows how to grow private sector jobs, because they’re not grown by government. They’re grown by the private sector.

CAVUTO: But let’s say you do get rid of a lot of government jobs, right? There are a lot of them, you’re right.


CAVUTO: But we are talking maybe tens of thousands over the years, potentially hundreds of thousands. But we need tens of millions of private sector jobs.

CHAFFETZ: We have a federal payroll, including some of the pensions and other payouts, of $447 billion out of our $3.5-trillion-plus budget. It is significant. And what we are saying is...

(CROSSTALK) CAVUTO: When you say a federal payroll of that amount...


CAVUTO: ... what are you throwing in that?

CHAFFETZ: It counts the federal employees, some of their pensions, some of their payouts. But it $447 billion.

CAVUTO: Over how many years?

CHAFFETZ: Per year. That’s the annual expense that we have in our federal government. That’s how much we spend on payroll and benefits and other things for our millions of our federal employees.

CAVUTO: But does that include defense and...


CHAFFETZ: Yes, it does. Yes, it does.


So, you would did what? Cut the growth of that, and exponentially, you think by Washington sucking up less of that, there’s more for the private sector?

CHAFFETZ: Yes. We have to get -- part of the way we’re going to grow jobs and the economy is, we’re going to have rein in spending -- 25 cents out of each dollar spent in this country is spent by the federal government.

That’s not sustainable. It’s causing part of our problems that we have. So, what we say -- and I’m also on the Budget Committee. What we say in the Paul Ryan -- so-called Paul Ryan budget is we’re going to bring as a percentage of GDP spending that will come down below 20 percent, because right now it’s roughly 25 percent.

CAVUTO: All right, we will watch closely, Congressman. Thank you very, very much.

CHAFFETZ: Thank you.

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