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Bruce Bialosky

Yes, There Are Cuts Available

The leaders in both parties in Congress continue thinking somehow magically that our government’s budget will balance itself. They seem to make little effort to make budget cuts. When a group of Congressmen assert they want to make cuts, they are branded heartless, brainless haters. Here is one cut that can easily be made, hurting no one except the government employees performing a useless and duplicative job.

Let us first define the magnitude of the challenge. The Congressional Budget office released info for the coming years. The budget deficit for the fiscal year 2024 is $1.6 billion. It will go up to $1.8 billion in 2025 before returning to $1.6 billion by 2027. Then the budget deficit is projected to explode to $2.6 billion in 2034.

These budgets are a growing percentage of our GDP as it goes from 5.6% to 6.1% to 2034. Looking at it differently, our national debt will equal our national GDP by 2024 and become 116% pf GDP by 2034.
That is if our elected leaders do nothing. At the current time, they are doing nothing.

One agency that can be cut right now is obvious to me with no one being harmed. The $31.8 million a year it spends can be saved. That is not a lot of money when you think of the federal government’s massive budget. But, like your household budget, every expenditure counts.

The name of the entity is the National Labor Relations Authority (NLRA). No, it is not the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). That would remain in existence and handle all the responsibilities of the NLRA. That is not the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that would likewise remain in existence and absorb the responsibilities of the NLRA. See, there are plenty of large employee-related agencies to handle what the NLRA does.

And more stunning is they don’t handle labor relations for the postal employees – likely with the rationale it is a quasi-governmental organization.

Haven’t heard of the NLRA? Neither had I until I recently read a government employee-based newsletter that referred to this obscure waste of money. It was formed in 1978 (thank you Mr. Carter). You would not know about this agency unless you were a federal government employee. The Agency’s charge is solely to deal with labor relations for our federal employees. Their website states, “The Federal Labor Relations Authority oversees the Federal service labor management relations program. It administers the law the protects the rights of the Federal Government to organize, bargain collectively and participate through labor organizations of their own choosing in decisions affecting them.”

One might think that unionized federal employees had union leaders to do that for them. It is beyond me what the people in Congress were thinking when they created this agency. It seems like just another boondoggle displaying once again our government employees are better than we are.
If you want to do a deep dive here is the agency’s 2023 report:

The report shows in 2023 they had a grand total of 53 arbitration cases.

That is not the only distinct advantage that our federal employees receive. Though almost all are unionized they don’t have to pay for their union staff. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) performed an analysis in 2019 of how much official time was used by federal employees to conduct union business. The report produced in 2019 concluded that federal employees with taxpayer-funded salaries spent 2.6 million hours working on union chores, costing American taxpayers about $135 million.

You will not find an update on this report as the Biden Administration — headed by a person who brands himself as the most “union friendly” President in history — would do nothing to abate this outrageous abuse of our tax dollars.

There you have it. Our federal employees have their own obscure agency to handle their labor issues. The fact that there are any labor issues at all after all the unionized, embedded, taxpayer-funded employees onsite to handle any possible matters makes one wonder if those NLRA folks do anything other than have coffee breaks and play Candy Land.

Addressing these two unnecessary practices would save taxpayers more than $167 million. Our federal employees would still be represented by the federal government in any labor issues by two agencies that the rest of us normal folks must go to for relief.

In addition, the money to pay for these practices is all borrowed after current receipts pay Social Security, Medicare, our military, and the interest on the national debt. Thus, the cost compounds each and every year with the added interest.

It certainly would be nice if our elected leaders took seriously our budget imbalance and ballooning national debt. We can only dream.