Good news from The Washington Post! President Trump is keeping another promise.

The exodus probably hasn’t been enough to return Virginia to the ranks of red states, but it’s a good start!

How the Trump era is changing the federal bureaucracy

By Lisa Rein and Andrew Ba Tran | December 30, 2017 | 1:00 PM EST

Nearly a year into his takeover of Washington, President Trump has made a significant down payment on his campaign pledge to shrink the federal bureaucracy, a shift long sought by conservatives that could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades.

By the end of September, all Cabinet departments except Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs and Interior had fewer permanent staff than when Trump took office in January — with most shedding many hundreds of employees, according to an analysis of federal personnel data by The Washington Post.

The diminishing federal footprint comes after Trump promised in last year’s campaign to “cut so much your head will spin,” and it reverses a boost in hiring under President Barack Obama. The falloff has been driven by an exodus of civil servants, a diminished corps of political appointees and an effective hiring freeze.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

I really wish that I could reproduce the entire article, but that would be plagiarism! But there’s one more short paragraph that is of paramount importance:

Federal workers fret that their jobs could be zeroed out amid buyouts and early retirement offers that already have prompted hundreds of their colleagues to leave, according to interviews with three dozen employees across the government. Many chafed as supervisors laid down new rules they said are aimed at holding poor performers and problem workers to account.

What? Heaven forfend! Holding poor performers and problem workers to account? That’s what should have been happening all along! If an employee cannot or will not do his job, he should become a former employee.

There are some unfair comparisons in the article. It notes, for example, that 71,285 career employees either resigned or retired during the President’s first six months in office, compared to 50,000 during his predecessor’s first six months, but private sector employment conditions were horrible during President Obama’s first six months in office, while the economy is doing very well right now. Employees who weren’t retiring, who needed to keep working, simply have more options now than in 2009.

But here’s a statistic that is not misleading: at the end of FY2017, the federal government was down about 16,000 permanent employees, while the government had grown by 188,000 permanent employees under Mr Obama. Under President Obama, the federal government’s career workforce grew by the equivalent of the entire city of Newport News, Virginia.

Not all of the news in the article is good news: the Senate has not taken confirmation action on 79 political position nominees, and far more than that have not even been appointed by the President yet. For some departments, this is a good thing: overgrown bureaucracies in the Departments of Education, Commerce, Labor and Housing and Urban Development being throttled into doing nothing leaves too many career people still employed, but at least the bureaucracy is doing less harm than otherwise. I don’t like the idea of paying for idle paper-pushers, but it’s better to pay them to do nothing than it is to give them the chance to harm the country.

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