Anytime anyone talks about even modest budget reductions, the liberals usually trot out the scare tactics and the fear mongering.
Like most people, when we think of government employees, the clerk at the DMV or the deputy assistant under secretary for such-and-such comes to mind--the kind of "unessential workers" that never have to show up during a snowstorm. If there were far less of these bureaucratic paper shufflers and placeholders, there likely would be more room in the budget to hire additional police, firefighters, and qualified teachers.
Added: As NRO's Jim Geraghty writes:
...if localities want to hire more police, fire, or teaching personnel, there are several tools to do that beyond begging Washington to borrow more money to distribute to localities. The first is to cut other areas of local government — the less beloved categories of administrative staff, make-work patronage jobs, etc. The second is to reform their pension systems.