- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let’s hope that Congress can succeed in “Keeping bloated government on a forced diet” (Commentary, Aug. 13). However, I fear that sequestration and spending caps may not be the best way to achieve a balanced budget.

Cutting government employees’ pay by cutting their hours worked does little more than antagonize the employees, cause the most promising employees to leave for greener pastures and put the president and Congress in an untenable position.

In the private sector, when a company’s revenue and profits fall, frequently the first reaction is to simply implement a hiring freeze. As employees retire or leave for any other reason, only the truly necessary positions are replaced with a new hire. A hiring freeze will typically reduce labor costs by about 3 percent per year. In just one or two years, our federal government could be well on the way to achieving a balanced budget.

BOB VAUGHAN


Lutherville, Md.