Lurita Doan

Then, there is the complicated case of federal employee early retirement and buyouts which are occurring in several federal agencies. The U.S. Postal service is reporting that buyouts are expected for 7,400 postal employees. A buyout is where the government has deemed that the service level, capacity or task of a particular series of workers is unnecessary and can be eliminated without creating a negative impact on agency performance.

What often occurs, instead, is that federal employees with anywhere from 25 to 40 years of service who, already, were in the process of retiring, sign up for the buyout and are rewarded with an extra $15,000 to 25,000 for doing what they were planning on doing anyway.

Imagine, an entity such as the Postal Service, which is claiming that it can't afford to deliver mail 5 days a week, can afford to spend almost $150 million dollars this year on buyouts. Of course, taxpayers can also expect to pick up the costs of any of the Postal employees who then continue to receive retirement pay, averaging approximately $1.7 million in pay and benefits per retiree. Or, for those who take the buyout but can't find work, then the American taxpayer also face the possibility of paying for 99 weeks of unemployment in addition to the $15,000-$25,000 buyout. These expenditures are claimed as cost savings by the Obama administration.

Then there is the Obama administration's recent knee-jerk, political posturing in which the administration has canceled almost all federal meetings, conferences, and travel in a throw-out-the-baby-with-the-bathwater cost cutting idiocy. In order for the government to cancel conferences at the last minute, many of which have already been issued contracts, the government is required to pay a "termination for the convenience of the government" penalty. These costs can range in the millions for each termination issued.

In addition to a termination penalty fee, the federal government must also pay for any special costs, such as the efforts of the business' contract lawyers, procurement and management professionals, partial goods ordered and severance costs for any persons involved. In fact, the termination costs can equal or exceed the amount of the original contract.

Recently, in the wake of the GSA conference and clown scandal, GSA canceled all travel and conferences, as did many other federal agencies. In addition to the down-the-stream costs to cities, hotels and travel service industries, the government has also paid and continues to pay millions in termination for convenience costs.

The Obama administration's intentions may be well-meaning. Certainly, in the midst of a heated election year, they are trying to avoid political scandal. And, without a doubt the administration is trying to claim that they are doing a good job saving taxpayer money, but this is just not true.

The Obama administration is not saving taxpayer dollars--in fact, their many different “cost cutting” initiative are actually resulting in greater spending.

Americans need to look carefully at the Obama administration's so-called energy-saving, budget-cutting, and efficiency efforts. Whether well-meaning incompetence or poor management, the reform mandates and cost cutting efforts of the Obama administration have not lived up to their hype and are costing the American taxpayer far more than is saved.

The Obama administration will be known as the biggest spender in our nation’s history and even the few half-hearted efforts launched to cut unneeded programs and reduce wasteful spending result in even greater taxpayers costs and a further expansion of government.


Lurita Doan

Lurita Alexis Doan is an African American conservative commentator who writes about issues affecting the federal government.