As government cuts loom, one segment of the population could be especially hard hit — the black community — not just because any particular social program is in jeopardy, but because that community makes up a sizable chunk of federal employees.
On Tuesday’s Laura Ingraham radio show, MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan elaborated on an argument he made in his most recent column, “Obama’s Race-Based Spoils System.” Buchanan also questioned why the White House is applying affirmative action policies to senior civil service positions.
“The Obama administration apparently is upset that 81 percent of senior civil servants are white,” Buchanan said. “Now why should that be a terrible problem, since 65 percent of the country is white and if you’re talking senior service, you’re talking 50 to 65 years old. Probably 75 percent are white, and nobody has suggested these folks have gotten their jobs through some kind of illicit activity. But at the same time, they’re going to impose affirmative action on the civil service in its senior levels.”
Buchanan noted that while 12 to 13 percent of the U.S. population is African American, that demographic holds 18 percent of all federal jobs and represent up to 50 percent of the workforce in some federal agencies.
“These appear to be inordinately overrepresented of one group,” Buchanan said. “And I’ve gone through for my new book and you find out that the federal civil service has affirmative action basically for women, for Hispanics and for African Americans, but none for white males that are diminishing dramatically. So where we’re going — we’re going back to pre-Chester Arthur, as I wrote in my column, going back to the federal service as a huge patronage thing that party rewards its friends, rewards its voters that put it into office and the problem is the Republicans do zero about it.”
But this has broader political implications for Obama, he said. If the federal government takes on austerity measures, blacks will be hardest hit due to their representation in the federal workforce.
“He’s been getting hammered by the African American leadership — really hammered badly,” Buchanan said. “There is, understandably, on the part of the African American community something approaching panic at the downsizing of the federal government, and for obvious reasons: that the federal government is an enormous benefactor through social programs to the African American community. Most of the Great Society programs, African Americans are disproportionately represented as beneficiaries, but as I pointed out in the column, in terms of people employed by the federal government.”