Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Last month, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly jobs report, astute analysts noticed that the U.S. government was the second largest growth area for employment. In November 2023, the federal government hired an astonishing 49,000 new workers.
In contrast, private employers experienced 45,510 job losses. Through November 2023, the overall number of job losses totaled 686,000, the highest since the pandemic year of 2020. It is no surprise that Bidenomics is poison for the American economy. With high interest rates, nagging inflation, multiple wars raging and record debt, private companies are reluctant to expand. However, one entity that always expands is the federal government.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was a core driver of this expansion of government jobs. Despite boasting a workforce of 90,000 employees, the IRS announced it would seek to hire an additional 20,000 workers by the end of the 2024 fiscal year. Traci DiMartini, the head of human resources for the world’s largest tax collection agency, pledged to “use every tool that is available to us” to accomplish that goal.
The growth of the IRS was guaranteed by the passage of the monstrous “Inflation Reduction Act” in 2022. It budgeted an additional $80 billion for the agency over the following ten years. This expansion ensured that the feared agency would achieve even more power and control over the lives of the American people.
Among the “tools” being considered to entice Americans to work for the IRS include telecommuting options, student loan repayment options, and further financial enticements to bring more accountants under the government umbrella. This is a vicious cycle that forces American taxpayers to finance not only the jobs of over 90,000 IRS workers, but also the litany of incentives it will require to achieve this employment goal. At the same time, the newly equipped army of IRS agents will seek to squeeze every dollar it can from the American people.
To meet their goal of 20,000 new workers, the IRS will empower the USA Staffing Office of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the government’s “integrated acquisition system,” to recruit workers instead of using established private sector companies with decades of expertise and experience in recruiting employees. It is following this course of action despite OPM having a terrible track record with efficiency and data security, which even led to the largest government data breach in history at the time it occurred.
It is no surprise that the IRS and OPM would prefer a federal government operated human resources solution, which contained over 22 million records when it was hacked. Unfortunately, the ignored alternative is to make greater use of impeccably efficient private sector options. Efforts to replace the private sector have become commonplace throughout the federal government, especially within the IRS.
These misguided actions contributed to the increasing U.S. national debt, which recently climbed over $34 trillion, equaling an astonishing $264,000 per taxpayer. As noted by Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, it was “a truly depressing achievement.”
The huge federal debt, which has skyrocketed since the pandemic began, has only caused financial hardship for the American people. In fact, the inflation scourge that devastates working-class Americans will never subside if the federal government continues to spend billions of dollars to hire more government workers.
The bureaucratic workforce expansion has occurred because our federal government insists on competing with the private sector. Is it any wonder that only 9% of Americans believe the economy is “excellent,” while 42% rate it as “poor.”
Obviously, the Biden administration is uninterested in the economic troubles of the American people. It continues to grow the national debt, expand the federal government, and turbocharge the IRS to extract more tax dollars from Americans. After the Biden administration allocated the additional funds to the IRS in the enormous “Inflation Reduction Act,” the agency spent 14 times more for enforcement than customer service.
In this toxic environment, changes must be made on behalf of the American people. There was a minor victory in the recently concluded $1.66 trillion spending agreement between House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). There will be a $20 billion reduction in IRS funding, limiting the impact of the additional resources allocated in the “Inflation Reduction Act.”
This move must be followed by other bold measures. Our leaders cannot continue to repeat the horrific mistakes of the past. With Republicans in the majority in the United States House of Representatives, it is imperative to increase competition and efficiency while lowering the federal debt by shrinking the size and scope of government in as many areas as possible.
This means cutting wasteful government programs, something that politicians almost never accomplish. One solution would be to privatize USA Staffing and other federal government programs. It is time to drastically reduce the number of federal government employees. Our nation’s future depends on it.