While people are talking about gossipy books and finding new ways to attack President Trump, he continues to fulfill his agenda against all odds. One of the ways he is doing that is by quietly cutting the size of big government.
“Morale has never been lower,” said Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers at more than 30 agencies. “Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer.”
That’s doubtful with the salaries they receive and the protections afforded them.
Administration officials also disagree and say Trump has actually improved employee morale, citing an annual survey of federal workers taken in the spring that showed a slight uptick across most agencies. They said they are streamlining the government to make it leaner and more effective.
By the end of September, all Cabinet agencies 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.
Some federal workers see this as an opportunity to re-focus and cut waste.
“Oftentimes we run on autopilot and continue to fund programs that don’t produce the results that were intended,” said Stephanie Valentine, a program analyst at the Education Department. “You can’t keep blindly spending because that’s what we’ve always done.”
The White House warned agencies will face deeper cuts.
“This is going very well,” said anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who famously once quipped that he wanted to shrink government small enough so he could “drown it in the bathtub.”
“Slow and steady – for all the bluster, this is how you downsize government without engendering blowback,” Norquist added.
One of the biggest reductions has been at the Bureau of Prisons, which lost 2,320 permanent workers at a time when the Justice Department plans to return to using private prisons to house some federal inmates. The IRS has dropped 9% and the Defense Department is down 1%.
Some appear to be leaving their jobs because they don’t like Trump and his policies. Sounds good!