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May 12, 2011

12% Reduction In Social Security Appropriations?

The House Appropriations Committee has announced a schedule for markup of spending bills for fiscal year (FY) 2012, which begins on October 1, 2011. The Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which includes the Social Security Administration, is set for subcommittee markup on July 26 and for full committee markup on August 2.

More importantly, the House Appropriations Committee has announced subcommittee allocations, that is the total amount of each subcommittee appropriation. The Labor-HHS Subcommittee has been told to cut appropriations by 12% from FY 2011 and by 26% from the President's budget. This would render the agency just about non-functional. You can fantasize all you want from whatever cost savings scheme you can imagine but you cannot come up with any way to reduce Social Security's operating budget by 12% and leave the agency able to do its mission. The only way to accomplish this would be with massive personnel reductions, either by a huge reduction in force or by regular, frequent furloughs of all of Social Security's personnel or by a combination of the two.

You almost want to see what would happen if this were enacted. Would we then have a truly "grown-up" discussion about government spending?

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  • 7 Comments:

    Anonymous rbhayes said...

    Optimist! Chaotic legislation will lead to more chaos but certainly nothing resembling rationality. Is it possible to change the House Reps minds?

    11:25 AM, May 12, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    According to the appropriations chart, it would be a 12% reduction for Labor, HHS, and Education combined. Therefore, the impact on the Social Security Administration would be considerably less and might not be particularly significant. The Department of Education is the area where the Republicans would be most eager to cut funding (and where there are numerous duplicative programs that could be combined or eliminated).

    12:02 PM, May 12, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    12% could easily be handled by eliminating redundant RO and CO positions (offer early outs for those employees), closing small, unproductive resident stations, and reducing travel budgets. There's no need to reduce funding for direct service and workload processing. Unnecessary workloads and PR budgets could be cut as well.

    Oddly enough, this might be the kick in the pants that SSA should have gotten a long time ago. We're top heavy with upper management. Go back to the old "right check to the right person at the right time" philosophy and rebuild from there. Too bad Lee Iacocca isn't around.

    12:03 PM, May 12, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "Oddly enough, this might be the kick in the pants that SSA should have gotten a long time ago. We're top heavy with upper management."

    This is the best comment I have read in quite a while on this blog. There is so much redundant middle and upper management in this organization. Private enterprise would laugh at the SSA organization chart.

    If you are not either writing checks or making disability decisions is your job furthering the mission of SSA?

    12:31 PM, May 12, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    government spending?

    That's only half the republcan fiscal arguement. What about keeping the rich richer through no tax increases or removing tax breaks?

    1:24 PM, May 12, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Well... get rid of Headquarters staff and there will be more errors without policy improvement and training. Laws and other program changes will not be implemented timely and correctly. Systems improvements will halt..... etc....

    Congress should know not to mess with old people's money. And a lot of old people who vote depend on Social Security. Old people want their applications processed timely and paid the right amount on time.

    2:07 PM, May 12, 2011  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The public would not stand for SSA employees being furloughed, our backlogs growing, and claimants not getting the service they deserve. This issue should be publicized by the Commissioner to make the public aware.

    5:56 AM, May 14, 2011  

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