An econometric analysis conducted by the Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies found that the average employee in a federal regulatory agency destroys about 98 private sector jobs per year. So furloughs or layoffs of federal workers as spending is cut are almost certainly saving a much larger number of private sector jobs from regulatory mischief.
It's not just spending on the regulatory bureaucracy that hurts people. For decades prior to the landmark 1996 welfare reform the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children entitlement served to prevent economic mobility and foster a culture of dependency. That landmark reform did cut spending, but its greatest benefit went not to the taxpayers who saved money but to the citizens given opportunities to move off of welfare, into the workforce, and onto the ladder of upward economic and social mobility.
But AFDC was just one of 80 federal means-tested welfare programs, which now cost federal taxpayers about a trillion dollars per year while deepening the dependency trap. For too many Americans, living on the public dole indefinitely is tragically a way of life. They are victims, not beneficiaries, of government spending.
Properly conceived, spending cuts are not just about saving taxpayers and future generations from the burden of financing big government. They are also about protecting the American people from the predations of a federal government whose expansion into every aspect of our lives is causing direct economic and personal damage.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment, a columnist on Fox News Opinion, chairman of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and author of the 2011 book Democracy Denied.
American Commitment is dedicated to restoring and protecting America’s core commitment to free markets, economic growth, Constitutionally-limited government, property rights, and individual freedom.
Washingtonian magazine named Mr. Kerpen to their "Guest List" in 2008 and The Hill newspaper named Mr. Kerpen a "Top Grassroots Lobbyist" in 2011.
Mr. Kerpen's op-eds have run in newspapers across the country and he is a frequent radio and television commentator on economic growth issues.
Prior to joining American Commitment, Mr. Kerpen served as vice president for policy at Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Kerpen has also previously worked as an analyst and researcher for the Free Enterprise Fund, the Club for Growth, and the Cato Institute.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mr. Kerpen currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife Joanna and their daughter Lilly.
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