February 28, 2017

Rogue administrative state needs to go once and for all

This from Americans for Limited government:

By Rick Manning

By now it should be abundantly clear to the Trump administration that there are Obama administration holdovers in the 1.3 million non-defense, civilian federal workforce who have no other intention than to politically damage the White House.

These rogue bureaucrats are not serving the American people, they are serving a political agenda, and frankly, they need not be tolerated.

The whole reason the District of Columbia was created without voting rights or representation was so that those who work for the federal government would not wield political power. They are supposed to be neutral. Working for the government is a privilege, not a right, and it's time that President Donald Trump remind them by removing Obama administration hires, particularly if there is no other way to root out subversive employees.

Part of the problem is former President Barack Obama changed civil service rules to make it easier to hire federal employees. Trump has solved that by initiating his hiring freeze. But federal rules also make it extremely difficult to fire civil servants.It is a process that can take up to two years, even when there is cause. That said, problem employees who, say, don't show up for work should be dealt with through this process immediately.

But to do more requires Congress to step in, which can assist this process three-fold: 1) By incentivizing early retirement via the appropriations process with limited-time-only buy-outs; 2) cutting the personnel budgets of non-defense civilian departments and agencies, reducing the enacted full-time equivalent number for each department, agency and office by 10 to 20 percent in the workforce on alast-one-in, first-one-outbasis; and 3) defunding existing preferences under federal rules being given to those laid off being later rehired on a first-in-line basis. That would eliminate politicized Obama administration holdovers, and prevent them from being rehired should it become necessary to fill in some gaps.

Other ideas include eliminating automatic dues deduction for federal employees unions and getting rid of any full-time official time union personnel.

Taken together, a comprehensive civil service reform can only possibly be accomplished in the context of the upcoming continuing resolution and budget process, by simply not appropriating monies for the same number of full-time equivalent employees as last year, and defunding preferences for rehiring previously laid off personnel.

Not only can't Trump do it alone, Congress should step up to the plate exercising their Article I powers and rein in this rogue administrative state.

Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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