FEDERAL AGENCIES UNDER THE KNIFE, EVEN THE COVERT ONES

Not even the nation’s ranks of spies will be safe from federal budget cuts, according to a recent article at Wired.com. Major cuts to the intelligence community’s $80 billion annual budget could result in widespread job cuts across the various spy agencies. With a mandate to cut federal spending by $2.1 trillion over the next decade, every government agency is at risk of job cutting, including the military. Over the past two months, multiple military branches have announced personnel reductions totaling more than 67,000. Meanwhile, the United States Postal Service, which is facing financial insolvency resulting from significant declines in mail volume and retiree health benefit prefunding costs imposed by Congress, has proposed a plan that would cut its workforce by 220,000 between now and 2015 (100,000 of which would come from attrition). So far this year, federal agencies have announced plans to cut more than 81,000 workers from their payrolls, according to tracking by Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That represents just over half of the 159,588 government sector job cuts announced through September. Federal spending cutbacks have the potential to extend well beyond government payrolls. Private-sector aerospace and defense firms have seen planned job cuts increase by 122 percent this year. Cutbacks could extend to the countless private-sector companies that have government contracts to provide all of the various agencies with communications technology, transportation services, computer hardware and software, food services, etc., according to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

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