Federal Workforce: Will Trump Drain It?

Reportedly, the Republicans are getting ready to overhaul the federal workforce… by reducing their number.

Private employees get laid off all the time and there is no reason why the federal workforce should be protected. After all, the federal workforce is supported by the taxes that come from the private sector.

The good news is that the Republicans in Congress want to drain the swamp. According to Roll Call,

For years, Republicans in Congress have been eyeing an overhaul of the federal workforce — by reducing the number of workers and curtailing benefits and pay while making it easier to fire bad employees.

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Now, with a president-elect who has promised to do much the same, 2017 could be the best time in recent memory to make sweeping changes affecting those who work for the bureaucracy.

One major plan is being readied by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Utah Republican calls it “high on our agenda.” While details remain sketchy, it would likely mean big changes to the generous retirement benefits given federal workers, mainly by looking to shift new employees from a defined benefit into a market-based 401(k).

He is also interested in making it easier to fire workers who perform badly and wants to reduce the federal civilian workforce, which currently numbers 2.1 million employees, not including U.S. Postal Service employees.

“We’ve got to deal with budget realities, and while we have good federal workers, we have too many of them,” he told Roll Call.

This is pretty much a 100-percent reversal from the attitude of Barack Obama. After the government “shutdown” in 2013, federal workers were granted a raise along with back pay for their free vacation. Then they were granted an additional raise by executive order.

One of Obama’s fellow Democrats spoke of the federal workforce, according to the Washington Post,

“This long-overdue modest pay raise for federal government employees is a good step in recognizing the value of federal workers,” Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement.

“They have been the targets of unending attacks,” she said of the workforce. “They’ve been furloughed, laid off and locked out through no fault of their own.”

Yet these workers can devote hours of “work time” to viewing porn, and not only keep their job, but get bonuses. The federal employees who were told to stay home during the government “shutdown” were considered nonessential. So, how much “value” could they really have.

The way Democrats praised federal workers was never more than an instinctive preference for taxfeeders over taxpayers. The result has been a spending bubble in Washington, DC, and surrounding counties in Virginia and Maryland.

If Republicans under Trump’s leadership make moves to seriously drain this swamp, they will be truly serving their nation.

The media, Democrats, and federal workers will counterattack in any way they can. I’m praying that Republicans don’t back down. Not only is reducing a federal workforce an important agenda item, it will also allow Trump to fulfill other promises. As long as they have the upper hand, we can expect federal workers to try to obstruct the President.

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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