Representative Vicky Hartzler (r) in Blue Springs, Missouri, listening to a question from a constituent at a town hall on April 28, 2011.
“….Yeah, good point. Uh, the, as far as federal employees, uh, yeah, it has grown exponentially, the number of federal employees. I think if you’re gonna see some real change there, uh, we’re gonna have to take a, see some changes in the Senate next year and the White House in order to get that through. But, uh, it, I agree, there’s some, there’s a lot of areas in federal government that we don’t need. They should be, even according to the Constitution there’s only a few things that government should be doing. And the rest could be done at the state level , or the local level, or by private industry, or private citizens and, uh, we’ve got to get back to the original intent of what our founders wanted….”
Too Many Federal Workers?
By Allan Holmes 09/07/10 07:08 pm ET
….There were fewer federal workers in 2009 than in 1990, 1980 and 1970. Now take a closer look at the OPM table. Much of the growth, understandably, occurred in Homeland Security agencies, increasing from 70,000 to 180,000 – a jump of 110,000. Justice Department jobs went from 98,000 to 113,000 — more than 15,000 new jobs added. (Again, crime and more Homeland Security related.) Jobs at the Veterans Department increased from 220,000 to 297,000 — that’s 77,000 more federal workers. Again, a result of Homeland Security, or rather staffing up to take care of thousands of veterans coming home from two wars. And there’s a lot of information technology jobs in there.
So, taking those three areas, the number of new jobs created in the last 10 years, which can be traced back to 9/11, was 202,000. That by itself accounts for nearly two-thirds of the total federal workforce growth from 2000 to 2009, which was 316,000 jobs. Hold those steady since 2002 (or even allow for some growth), and you would have less than 1.9 million workers in 2009, or slightly more. That’s about the same number of federal workers in 1962, the year Shlaes chooses as her benchmark to compare the number of government jobs to the number in the private sector (with public sector jobs accounting for an eighth of all jobs). Remember, that was before the Great Society programs geared up, popular programs that needed a slew of federal managers and clerks to oversee.
By the way, the number of jobs at the Interior, Transportation and Treasury departments fell from 2000 to 2009. And those at Health and Human Services, Education and the Social Security Administration grew from 1.26 million to 1.39 million — 130,000 jobs over 10 years, or about 13,000 new positions a year as the health industry expanded at a torrid pace….
Federal Government Employment Levels Through the Years (including the U.S. Postal Service)
Administration, number of federal employees, population, Executive Branch employees per 1,000 population
1970 (Nixon) 2.94 million 205 million 14.4
1975 (Ford) 2.84 million 215.9 million 13.2
1978 (Carter) 2.87 million 222.5 million 12.9
1982 (Reagan) 2.77 million 232.1 million 11.9
1990 (Bush) 3.06 million 249.6 million 12.3
1994 (Clinton) 2.9 million 263.1 million 11.1
2002 (Bush) 2.63 million 287.8 million 9.1
2010 (Obama) 2.65 million 310.3 million 8.4
Yeah, check out that “exponential” growth.
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): town hall in Blue Springs, part 1 (April 29, 2011)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (r): town hall in Blue Springs, part 2 (April 30, 2011)
This is the final portion of the transcript of Representative Vicky Hartzler’s (r) town hall in Blue Springs, Missouri on Thursday, April 28, 2011:
Representative Vicky Hartzler (r): …How ’bout the guy right there.
Question: Uh, first of all, I just want you to know how much appreciate, uh, you speaking from your heart. And I can tell that you have to. [scattered applause]
Representative Hartzler: Thank you.
Question: As, as , you’ve discussed thus far, uh, we have a national debt problem. Uh, in addition to that we also have an unemployment problem. Uh, as a small business owner, uh, one of my, uh, main factors that I have to deal with is illegal immigration. Uh, illegal immigration has cost this country a tremendous amount of money, not even speak, uh, in regards to our sovereignty issues spoke to earlier. Uh, there’s, uh, a tremendous opportunity, and I would love to see yourself and, and your other, uh, individuals address this. There’s a tremendous opportunity to bring down unemployment in this country and, uh, save, uh, not only, uh, uh, a lot of federal dollars but state, city, so on and so forth. Uh, we don’t need immigration reform, in my opinion, we just need to enforce the laws that are on the books. What we’re doing is we’re rewarding people that have come into our country illegally. I know it’s not gonna be a popular thing to do, but irregardless, we are faced with making some, some hard, tough, uh, very unpopular, uh, decisions. And this need to be addressed and it needs to be addressed right away. The American people are very, very hard working people. And this fallacy that, uh, they’re doing jobs that Americans won’t do is, is ludicrous. American people a, as you well know and everybody in this room, we are good, very hard working people. And, uh, these people in no way, shape, or form should be rewarded, uh, as they have been thus far, uh, by being able to stay in our country. They, they need to leave our country. I want to see ’em leave right away. If they want to come in the front door and do things according to the parameters and protocol, God bless ’em. But, I want, I want ’em out of my country and I expect my elected officials to, to do something about that. It, and I believe that would make a tremendous, uh, uh, amount of, uh, it would, would help this country immensely…
…Representative Hartzler: Absolutely. Let’s give him a hand. [applause] Well, I couldn’t have said it, uh, couldn’t have said it any better. I have joined several caucuses and one of ’em is one that’s looking at ways to address and, and try to, illegal immigration, ’cause it is, is problem [inaudible]. The first thing we need to do, I think, is secure our borders. It, it’s very simple. We’ve got to secure our borders. I cosponsored a bill that would send ten thousand Guard troops down there immediately. Uh, we can’t just let people keep going to, uh, across. Not only, uh, people that, are come here to work, there’s also a national security concern with that as well. Um, so that’s just one thing [crosstalk]…
Question: And not just, and,
and I appreciate that, securing the borders. But, by the same token and, and, and please don’t take this wrong, but we have heard this secure the borders, secure the borders for years and years and years. That’s all well and fine. I totally concur. I think we absolutely need to secure the borders. But, by the same token, the people that are here now, the people that I have to, I, I’m licensed, I’m insured, I do everything according to Hoyle, but yet I can’t compete with people that are here working for a, a fraction of my minimal [applause][inaudible].
Representative Hartzler: [inaudible] [crosstalk] Yeah, I was gonna say another aspect of it is more enforcement, I said, of current laws of, of these employers, making sure that employers, uh, don’t hire people who are here illegally. And that enforcement has not been, uh, like it should be, especially under the current administration. And so, there’s several things we’d do, but I appreciate what you’re saying. We need to, we need to do that. How about this gentleman, right here.
Question: Uh, first of all, I want to thank you for, uh, having this meeting. I’ve lived here for twenty years and Ike Skelton never had a meeting like this. So, I appreciate it. Uh, second of all, uh, it says here, cuts, cut spending by hundred billion dollars. Then it went down to sixty billion, then it went down to thirty-eight billion. And from what I, from what I hear on the radio it comes out it only really saved three hundred and fifty million dollars out of that thirty-eight billion. Now, will the Republicans have the courage when this upcoming increase to the debt limit to go and have some meaningful spending cuts? Because, what I see, we’re on the verge of super inflation. I mean, they, they say on the radio the Republicans were, didn’t want to press, shut the government down because they didn’t want to take the blame for shutting the government down. Well, when a loaf of bread costs fifty dollars who’s gonna take the blame then? I mean, that’s what you’re heading for right now. I mean, uh, what is it, the, uh, LDS Church, uh, they have these, uh, community food banks and they tell ’em they’re having to raise the, their prices forty to fifty percent right now.
Representative Hartzler: Yeah, it, it is a mess. Um, they are, I, I really believe that. I’ve been here two weeks, uh, but everything that I’ve heard so far, we’ll see next week, but I firmly believe that the, the Republicans in the House are gonna hold ste, strong on, on the debt ceiling. And, unless we can get real substantial cuts, not just promises, but some real. Part of the issue with the, uh, the last CR [continuing resolution], uh, was the frustration that I had with the, uh, Senate and the White House refused to allow the defense part, the military part, the defense budget, to be separated from the rest. We sent over just a clean defense bill and said, let’s take them off the table. Let’s just pass the, our military to be funded and then we can talk about the rest of the, the pie, you know chart. Um, but [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid and the President would not take it. And so the choice came down to do you, uh, you know, shutting down the government, the parks and stuff I didn’t care about. But I did care about the military families, Fort Leonard Wood and Whiteman Air Force Base, that had, uh, spouses, that had husbands over fighting for our country’s freedom and they weren’t gonna get a pay check if we shut the government down. Um, I couldn’t go there. So, I voted for it. Would I have wanted more cuts? Absolutely. But now that’s off the table. They’re funded ’til the end of the year and so we can talk about the CR and I think you’re gonna see a line drawn in the sand and say, we’ve got a couple strong and get some real cuts, because we can’t keep going the same we, we’ve been going. So, that’s what I predict’s gonna happen. So, we’ll see. But, stay tuned. How ’bout right here. [….].
Question: Thank you so much. Uh, One [inaudible] that’s not been discussed, it is like a third rail of dealing with, uh, the debt situation we’re in. As you know, several nations in the western world are in a similar debt problem as are we. Yet, just in the, uh, Obama administration’s time we are in the process, or we already have hired some two hundred thousand new federal employees. However, in just the last several months little Ireland of just eight million people has, is in, laying off twenty-five thousand federal employees. England is going to lay off nearly five hundred thousand federal employees and we hear, over and over the bromide of we need to reduce the size of government. But, I don’t hear any of the, of our elected officials talking about eliminating federal jobs. Because it’s coming. And many things are coming. For example, I do not see how the Pell Grant is going to continue to exist. You just [inaudible], so. [scattered applause]
Representative Hartzler: Yeah, good point. Uh, the, as far as federal employees, uh, yeah, it has grown exponentially, the number of federal employees. I think if you’re gonna see some real change there, uh, we’re gonna have to take a, see some changes in the Senate next year and the White House in order to get that through. But, uh, it, I agree, there’s some, there’s a lot of areas in federal government that we don’t need. They should be, even according to the Constitution there’s only a few things that government should be doing. And the rest could be done at the state level , or the local level, or by private industry, or private citizens and, uh, we’ve got to get back to the original intent of what our founders wanted. And I think that’ll help take care of some of our debt crisis.
Voice: For, for, could you give some examples?
Representative Hartzler: So, let’s go, yeah [crosstalk]…
Staffer: We have time for two more questions.
Representative Hartzler: …two more questions, right here on the front row. Since he’s got a Mizzou, uh, shirt on. I’m an MU grad as well as a UCM grad. Go for it.
Question: Well, I’m a small business man in Cass County like you and, you know, at this time of year you have to write out all the checks for their, the end of the quarter and, uh, lot of times there isn’t a whole lot left over so I know about [crosstalk]…
Representative Hartzler: Yep.
Question: …stand back here talking about, you know, all the, the money that it has to put out to, uh, to just run this business. But, the main thing I want to talk about is, uh, what this gentleman up over here was talking about, is, was the cuts. Um, the Republican Party, everybody’s talking about a rift in the Republican Party between the, the new freshmen and the, uh, establishment. And, uh, the approval ratings aren’t that great. What I want to know is, uh, you said that, you know, you come to do a job whether you get reelected or not, but my goal is to see us not only have the House of Representatives but also the Senate and the Presidency. If not, there won’t be no United States for four more years. Okay, and I am worried, I’m worried that if we can’t get the Republicans together to do things because you have some people voting against your own bill, some Republicans voted against the owner, their own Republican bill. You have some voting for it and then you other, you have some that wants to tax more, or not tax, but wants to cut more and some that wants to cut less. I want to know what you’re gonna do. I mean, what is, what is the plans, uh, how are you gonna get, get everybody together? Personally, I don’t think there’s been enough cut.
Representative Hartzler: Right. Yeah. [crosstalk]
Question: Uh, the amount that you fought, [inaudible] the amount that you fought over was spent during the time that you was fighting. [crosstalk] You know what I’m saying?
Representative Hartzler: Yes, I, I do.
Question: It was, it was mor
e spent than the debt then what there was in the fighting.
Representative Hartzler: I know. It, it was , it was, uh, it disappointing and it got messy and it, different members were doing different things and we were getting different, uh, different numbers, uh, too, different information. And, uh, I think the caucus, the leadership knows, you know, we gotta do better [laugh] next time. I mean, that, that’s not the way, we all need to stick together as a team and have the same information and, and things. So, uh, I’m hopeful, I mean, that’s behind us.
Um, it did get, just so you know, it was the largest cut even though it, you know, looks miniscule, but it was the largest cut in Amer, in U.S. history. [inaudible crosstalk] Yeah, oh, I know, I hear yah. But, there was some other things secured in that CR besides just money. A lot of people don’t know about. It had some language in it, for instance, that prevents any, uh, prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Guatomo [sic ] Bay, from being able to come here. It was in there. It took D.C., uh, abortions, so there can’t be any taxpayer dollars going to that. Uh, it cut severely the amount of money going to foreign abortions. It, uh, it required the Senate, and the Senate agreed, to have to have an up or down vote on repealing Obamacare and, uh, defunding Planned Parenthood. Those were two things that, uh, you know, might be helpful next year, uh, or not. And it also is requiring four studies of [inaudible] the true expenses of last year’s health care bill, uh, what it’s really gonna cost businesses, what are these regulations, what’s the impact going to be. And we, this information has been kind of withheld by [Secretary of Health and Human Services] Kathleen Sebelius and the department. And so this is gonna be very helpful as we look to, to, uh, find out and, and to discuss the merits of the program or whether it should be repealed. So, there was other things in it besides cuts that, you know, but, definitely we all know we need to get on board and we want to, want to, uh, cut as much as possible. So, stay tuned. [crosstalk] How about right there?
Voice: [inaudible] In, in the fairness of gender equity I would like for you to allow another woman to speak.
Second Voice: That’s ridiculous.
Voice: No, it isn’t.
Representative Hartzler: All right. The lady in the pink right here.
Question: There’ve been many, uh, issues that have come before the Congress and I think they’ve made some good strides for making some new decisions, uh, stopping the cap and trade, uh, taxes, and, and some other issues. But then, when that happens, then through the, uh, the agencies like EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] or through executive order those decisions are overridden. And what is the Congress doing to maintain their integrity to hold on to their responsibilities and accountabilities and not them be so [scattered applause][inaudible]?
Representative Hartzler: Good question. EPA is out of control. And, uh, so what in the House of Representatives we can do, in a couple of things, to push back on that. One, every committee is supposed to have oversight function as well as legislative function and it hasn’t been doing that, uh, for the last several years. So, every committee is, is bringing forth these, uh, different, uh, bureaucracies and agencies and asking them in a public hearing, uh, why are you doing what you’re doing? What legislative authority do you have? What’s the implication gonna be for doing that? Forcing them to go on the record to have to, you know, kind of bring it out to, um, in the light of day once really the implications of what they’re doing. And got, we got EPA to actually back off on a couple things once they got some heat put on ’em. So, I think that’s the first thing we’re doing. The second thing is, we’ve been defunding ’em in the House. We defunded a bunch of the EPA. And in this final CR, uh, we did slash one point six billion dollars from EPA’s budget. And we’re gonna continue to try to cut their money and, uh, we cut money from IRS so they couldn’t hire the additional workers needed to implement last year’s health care bill. That was in the CR. So, we got a few good things here. And, uh, so we’re gonna keep doing that and fighting in the House to do everything possible to rein in. You hit the nail on the head. They’re out of control. And, uh, they’re doing what they shouldn’t be doing. So, anyway.
I want to thank you, uh, very much for coming out and choosing to spend a little time and visit about the things that are so important to all of us in our country. It’s helpful to me to hear your ideas and, uh, I just want to thank you again for the honor of representing you. Remember, the Mo for you team, we’re here, so give us a call in the future. Sign up for our e-mail. Thank you and God bless. [applause]
At the end of the town hall.
Somewhat more freewheeling discussions continued among constituents after the end of the town hall.
The base came out, and with one exception, they got all of the questions – immigration, no consideration of revenue as part of a solution to the deficit, hyperinflation(!), they appear to be amenable to wedge issue politics, and they really don’t seem to like the concept of environmental protection. Go figure.