Candidates Take Aim At Federal Workers | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Candidates Take Aim At Federal Workers

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Some candidates across the country are running on an anti-Washington campaign, and some are even running against federal employees. Extreme conservative candidates want to do away with the Department of Education. But they're a small minority.

There are more mainstream proposals that are likely to get a vote in a Republican-controlled Congress. Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis wants to freeze non-defense hiring and force agencies to live without the positions vacated by two of every four retirees.

"We cannot go on growing government when the private sector that pays for federal employees through taxes is incurring this tremendous loss of jobs," Lummis says.

Steve Ressler, a federal worker, started GovLoop.com, a social network for federal employees. He says a government hiring freeze would just increase the number of private contractors.

"So if we shrink our government workforce, we still need to get all this work done. The water still needs to be clean. Our borders still need to be secure," Ressler says.

When The Daily Show's John Stewart and Stephen Colbert take to the National Mall this weekend, they're going to have to deal with Ressler's counter-rally. Ressler is standing up for the federal work force with his rally, colorfully entitled the Government Doesn't Suck March.

"I think people have a poor perception of what it actually means to be a government employee, they just kind of take a quick, easy cheap-shot," Ressler says.

Some Republicans claim the government workforce has unnecessarily grown by 188,000 people since the start of the Obama Administration. They say shrinking its size will give the private sector freedom to grow.

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