Campaign Promises

Other/Miscellaneous -> Independent Organizations -> OPM

ItemIndependent Organizations
The Promise: "...will thin the ranks of Washington middle managers, freeing up resources both for deficit reduction and for increasing the number of frontline workers."
When/Where: Obama/Biden Plan: "The Change We Need in Washington," dated 09/22/08.
Status:While the national budget deficit is causing individual government organizations and agencies to cut spending by up to 10% over the next few years, and such spending cuts would normally mean job cuts, there is no direction from the White House that orders the thinning of ranks as promised by President Obama in CY2008.

One could argue that cuts in one area will simply shift the middle managers from their current organizations to the new organizations mandated by the health care reform, financial reform, and other spending projects that President Obama has championed since he took office.

For example, when President Obama made this promise in CY2008, there were a total of 4.206M federal government employees across all departments/agencies (Source: During his first year in office, this number grew to 4.430M. In part attributed to the CY2010 Census, the number of federal government employees grew further to 4.443M in CY2010 but started a decline in CY2011 (4.356M) to reach the level of 4.306M by mid-CY2012. Projections for FY2013 are that the total federal workforce (executive, legislative, judicial, including military) will go down by 0.8% to 4.269M. Further reductions will likely occur due to retirements coupled with hiring freezes as well as program reductions/eliminations resulting from inevitable budget cuts across the entire government.

There are really two ways to thin the ranks of Washington middle managers: attrition (i.e. retirements, deaths etc. without replacement) and reclassification of managerial jobs to non-managerial status.

We have seen no specific proof that the ratio of middle managers to frontline workers has gone down since President Obama assumed the presidency. There certainly has been no deficit reduction since he became president.

This promise has not been fulfilled.