The ongoing sequestration has reduced federal spending by only about 3%, but since "mandatory" spending is exempt those cuts all come from "discretionary" spending. The cut to "discretionary" spending is somewhat less than 6%. Anyone who has managed a family budget knows that cutting expenses by 6% is a walk in the park that should barely be noticed, and yet we're being flooded by doom and gloom from federal bureaucrats. I don't believe the complaints.
Jenny Brown is in her 27th year as an examiner for the Internal Revenue Service, where she answers peoples' tax questions. The IRS is a major employer in Ogden, Utah, where Brown works, but her co-workers are getting fed up and leaving -- and they aren't being replaced.
"We keep being told things like, 'Work smarter, not harder.' Or, 'Well, you're just going to have to do more with less,' " Brown says. "And there's only so much you can do."
As a result of understaffing, Brown says, wait times on the IRS hotline have quadrupled. And after more than an hour waiting on the phone, taxpayers get downright ornery.
These effects sound like they're caused by a cut of more than 6%, so what's going on? Presumably Jenny Brown's office has been cut by more than 6% so that other spending could be protected. I can see why that would frustrate her (and the taxpayers who require her services). Perhaps her office's funding shouldn't have been cut so heavily, but from the outside it's hard to know.
However, as a taxpayer it's reassuring to me that the bureaucrats are being forced to make trade-offs. If every bureaucrat was heavily funded and content then we'd know that waste was running rampant.