Got into a political discussion with a Libertarian friend of mine about the size of the Federal Govt. and I told him it had actually shrunk !! He was astounded and thought I had lost it ... because it doesn't fit the GOP / Fox dogma !! Now we did disagree on how to measure the size of Govt- he does it by cost but I argue # of employees. WHY? because while $ is needed, people do the work- not $ itself. In addition, the Federal Govt is a service organization- they provide services... the more service you provide, the more people you need. Sure it costs $, but the $ doesn't provide the service (work) . . only the means to do so.

I can't post the chart he used, but it proves my point... Federal Govt. FTEs have been almost flat for >40 years.. in 1960 there were 2.7 million Govt. workers and the population was 180.67 million. That is 1494.4 FTEs per 100,000 population. In 2006 (last year of the chart) there were 2.98 million Govt. workers but the population was 298.38 million or 998.7 FTEs per 100,000 population. A Decrease of c. 500 FTE per 100K people. (surprisingly the Local Govts. grew the fastest, as a sector).

NOW you might not think FTEs / capita is logical to measure size of Govt., but think about this with respect to now vs. the 1960s... millions of more tax filings to process; million of more pieces of mail; millions of more applications - Passports, permits, VISAs, etc; more businesses to inspect by agencies like FDA and USDA; millions more of patient filings, ... the volume of work has gone UP tremendously while the # of FTEs doing it per capita, has shrunk !!! That's the fallacy of the GOPs "big Govt." reference!!

Some might argue that automation and computers have increased productivity and that'd be correct, but the fact still remains we do more (work-service) with fewer people today, than ever before. The size has NOT grown as Fox -GOP claim. Cost has, but see below.

Thought some of you might like this talking point. grin

Now if there are some that want to use expenditures (cost), then IF you want to cut expenditures- quit fighting so many frivolous wars and sticking our nose in every crap hole around the globe !!! WTF are we still in Japan, Korea and Europe ? Quit giving away tax cuts so your deficits rise . . Cut that BS out and THAT'll save bundles of $$$$ ! wink

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David (OFI)