Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., recently announced that he is cosponsoring a bill that would drastically cut public sector jobs. S. 1611, or the “Reducing the Size of the Federal Government Through Attrition Act,” would reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent by 2015.
According to a press release from Rubio’s office, the bill “would save approximately $139 billion over ten years.”
The bill is one example in a long line of legislation introduced by conservative policymakers in Congress this year aimed at making a political statement about the role of the federal government. Rubio himself has introduced S.726, the “Decrease Spending Now Act,” which has similar aims. The bill would impose deeper cuts to public sector jobs around the country. Public sector jobs, in particular, are already in sharp decline.
Mother Jones reports that this decrease in the public sector has kept any significant job growth from taking place:
For the first four months of this year, it looked as if the economy might slowly, wheezingly be picking up steam. Job creation in the private sector was finally creeping up toward 180,000 a month, the level needed (because of population growth) to keep the unemployment rate flat. But those anemic improvements were dragged under as governments (mostly state and local) slashed jobs at the rate of about 23,000 a month, and with austerity budgets working their way through statehouses from Madison to Columbus to Tallahassee, the cuts were about to get worse. Add the insanity of holding the debt ceiling hostage, and the outcome was foretold: A tepid recovery tipped toward a double-dip recession.
Florida has recently slashed thousands of government jobs, and policymakers are preparing to slash even more from the state budget.