Daniel J. Mitchell

When I first read this story in the Washington Post about supposedly under-appreciated federal bureaucrats, I was tempted to focus on the sentence referring to “the sledgehammer of budget cuts scheduled to hit today.”

Is the Washington Post so biased and/or clueless that reporters really think that a 1.2 percent reduction in overall spending for the current fiscal year (which means the federal budget would still be larger than it was last year) represents a “sledgehammer of budget cuts”?

But I just mocked the New York Times last week for its reporting about supposed “deep spending cuts” and I also nailed the Washington Post back in 2011 for using the term “slash” for a budget plan that would have shaved a miniscule $6 billion from a budget of $3,800 billion.

So instead I want to focus on the part of the story featuring self-pitying remarks of federal bureaucrats. Here’s a good sampling.

…federal workers in Mantua say…having “United States Treasury” atop their paycheck [now] means having to defend yourself against arguments, from strangers and even from your own relatives, that you’re an overpaid and underworked leech. …many federal workers are…bothered by the growing sense that the careers they chose may now seem unattractive, even unworthy. …on a recent visit to Missouri, he got fed up with ritual denunciations of federal workers… Won, a federal worker for 31 years, resents the notion, now commonplace on talk radio and Web sites devoted to bashing the government, that federal workers carry a lighter load than their for-profit counterparts. …older government workers…are concerned about their pensions but even more anxious about why politicians are so willing to make federal employees the target of popular rage.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.