If the government has a fixed operating budget - which it does, one way or another - then every dollar that is spent on a government employee is a dollar that cannot be spent on entitlement programs.
If keeping medicare, medicade, social security and other programs is so important, then doesn't it make sense to reduce the size of government as much as possible, to ensure that the funding for those "essential" programs can continue?
Just a thought.
Edit: 2/17 - Coyote gets it. Great minds, and all that, y'know. Either that, or I'm doing a good imitation of a stopped clock...