Last month the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform issued a preliminary report that proposed cutting defense budgets (including some specific recommendations for cuts), freezing federal civilian pay and military noncombat pay for three years, and reducing total federal civilian employment by 200,000. That report captured the interest of many deficit hawks and drew much criticism from federal employment groups and military analysts. This week the Commission presented its final report and some of those preliminary recommendations were gone. The final report does not recommend any military pay freeze and makes no recommendations for specific program cuts to the DoD budget. It does, however, recommend that both security-related and non security-related budgets be held at the 2011 levels in 2012 and that budgets be reduced to the 2008 level, in real terms, by 2013. The three-year federal civilian pay freeze (including DoD civilians) is retained from the early report. The final report recommends that civilian employment levels be cut by 200,000 through attrition, by replacing only two workers for every three that leave federal service. The report recommends cutting federal budget costs for travel to 80 percent of the FY2010 level and reducing the federal vehicle budget, except for DoD and the Postal Service, by 20 percent. The report is not biding on the Administration or the Congress, but the president is expected to adopt many of its proposals in his FY2012 budget request.
Deficit panel’s final report drops noncombat military pay freeze, but would freeze federal civilian pay and cut federal workforce
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