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Saturday, January 13, 2018

That's the idea, sport

As I have repeatedly noted, Trump is proving himself to be a much better president - a much better CONSERVATIVE president - than the great Ronald Reagan himself:
The Environmental Protection Agency is on track to slash 47% of its total staff by the end of President Trump’s first term, according to a report in the Washington Examiner. After just one year, EPA chief Scott Pruitt has reduced his staff to levels unseen since the Reagan administration. If just those federal employees set to retire by 2021 do indeed leave, Pruitt will have cut more than 7,000 bureaucrats.

“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars, and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” Pruitt boasted. Meanwhile, other federal agencies have followed suit after President Trump’s January 2017 hiring freeze hit large swaths of the executive branch. Trump’s order stated, “No vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled, and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances,” including those pertaining to national security. Although the freeze technically lifted in the spring, most agencies have continued to abide by its guidelines. The last president to enact a major federal hiring freeze was Ronald Reagan.

With the exception of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and Interior, all Cabinet departments by September had fewer permanent staff than the day Trump took office. In addition, Trump’s proposed spending cuts triggered a spending slowdown across agencies despite the absence of a 2017 budget from Congress.

Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union representing 150,000 federal workers at over 30 agencies laments, “Morale has never been lower. Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer.”
Reagan laid off the air traffic controllers. Trump has already halved the size of the EPA and is slashing the payrolls at dozens of other agencies. There is no comparison.

Labels:

94 Comments:

Blogger Jeff aka Orville January 13, 2018 7:50 AM  

I read recently that he is interested in SecState once Tillerson is gone. There's a whole lot of downsizing that needs to be done at the State Dept.

Blogger Cubby8126 January 13, 2018 7:57 AM  

You can offer positions in the government. "Professional brick layer needed"

Blogger S1AL January 13, 2018 8:05 AM  

Yup. At this point he's edging close to Coolidge in terms of effect, even though he's the opposite in personality.

Blogger Jack Vibe January 13, 2018 8:11 AM  

Having a businessman President who can delegate his people to focus on streamlining and efficiency of work is a blessing. Unnecessary positions keep falling to the wayside, information needs to pass through fewer hands and the agencies may actually get better response times to boot.

Blogger Koanic January 13, 2018 8:23 AM  

I can think of a comparison:

Reagan was an actor masquerading as a doer.

Trump is a doer masquerading as an actor.

Blogger SemiSpook37 January 13, 2018 8:25 AM  

I have almost six years of Federal service as a civilian employee. I’ve been out of it for almost ten years. The only thing I truly miss about it is the actual cost of the health care benefit, and maybe some of the perks available via MWR.

The reason I left was simple: most GS jobs, at least here in the DC metro region, are gigantic sucks of waste, fraud, and abuse. I didn’t want to be a part of that anymore. Plus, most of these jobs don’t exactly produce anything.

I also make more as a contractor in this space than I could ever hope for as a GS. Sure, there’s more risk that I may be out of work at any time, but that pressure only helps to motivate me to do my job well.

Which begs the question: if I’m paying one contractor as much as 3 GS folks, and said contractor is producing 6 times as much as the GSers, why am I wasting all this money?

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 13, 2018 8:27 AM  

The perpetual problem with State is NOT the number of people there, it is the Mandarin culture of Foggy Bottom.

Know your enemy. Make a realistic assessment of them. The diplomats at State are the genuine liberal elite. These are the guys that the rest of them can only pretend that they are. They really are that smart and that polished.

The major problem for any GOP president is that his SecState will invariably be captured by the department. They always go native because that department is filled with the American version of Sir Humphrey Appleby. They are experts at getting other people to accept a point of view that is contrary to their own interests.

Blogger Cataline Sergius January 13, 2018 8:34 AM  

@7 Sorry, posted the wrong Sir Humphrey link.

Blogger F.D. Stephens January 13, 2018 8:43 AM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:Know your enemy. Make a realistic assessment of them. The diplomats at State are the genuine liberal elite. These are the guys that the rest of them can only pretend that they are. They really are that smart and that polished.

Having had dealings with these people at almost every level for two decades, I concur.

If you don't believe it, go and look for yourself. You would be hard pressed to find a more fraudulent waste of taxpayer money. Program Highlights provides all the evidence to show Cataline Sergius knows of what he speaks.

Anonymous Random #57 January 13, 2018 8:44 AM  

This is an unfair comparison because Trump is enjoying a benefit of the demographics of the Baby Boomers, who are hitting retirement age at about a rate of 10,000 a day. Trump gets credit for making retirement look a lot more attractive.

Blogger Dave January 13, 2018 8:48 AM  

I remember over 20 years ago even Clinton said the era of big government was over.

I had resigned myself to thinking the only way the leviathan would ever stop growing is an economic collapse and/or the loss of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

What I want to see now is how to make these cuts permanent?

Anonymous qualitycontrol January 13, 2018 8:48 AM  

Cutting the EPA in half is a good start. Now I wonder how much the tax cuts will hurt the IRS.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 13, 2018 9:01 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 9:03 AM  

Funny thing about the air traffic controller's strike: a lot of those ATC's were reservists; Reagan mobilized them to the airports and regional ATC centers. So they returned to work (under threat of UCMJ if they didn't), at substantially lower pay, until they settled their strike.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 13, 2018 9:05 AM  

Wouldn't it be cool if, in the future,Trump were known as the POTUS who built the wall, drained the swamp, cut the size of government, deported millions of illegals, and successfully pushed for the repeal of the 16th Amendment and instituted Fair Tax?

I know that could be asking a lot but how many of us expected him to slash government as sharply as he is?

Trump is credited with saying "As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big." Trump's work in the private sector seems to indicate that actively pursues his BIG thoughts with great success.

Blogger FALPhil January 13, 2018 9:08 AM  

Jeff aka Orville wrote:
There's a whole lot of downsizing that needs to be done at the State Dept.

Indeed. And once that is done, the DoD should be next. To the same extent.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan January 13, 2018 9:10 AM  

DoD could use a trimming, with a chainsaw.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 9:17 AM  

Indeed, Foggy Bottom needs to be fumigated, burned out, and a new state department built from scratch -- preferably in the Anacostia neighborhood, or some other similarly repugnant, unspectacular place. Then, and only then, might we have a State Department filled with people who are committed to going the best for the country, rather than worrying about cocktail party appearances, and "how can we make deals with foreign cosmopolitans that screw over our fellow citizens"

True story: One night, in the mess hall at Camp Rustamiyah (aka Camp Cuervo) on the east side of Baghdad, north of the river, I happened to be sharing a table with some State Department flunky. He informed me that it's their job to represent other nations.

I asked him, "If you're representing foreign national B, and foreign country B's diplomatic corps is also representing foreign country B, who in the fuck is representing me and the rest of the American citizens?"

He looked at me like I was some kind of nut.

I told him to eat quickly,and get out, before word gets out that he's yet another traitor in our State Department.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 9:19 AM  

The diplomats at State are the genuine Traitor Elite.

Blogger Rough Carrigan January 13, 2018 9:20 AM  

The best staff cuts of all have been Tillerson's declawing of the infamous 7th floor group at the State Department.

Blogger Lazarus January 13, 2018 9:21 AM  

From another story on the same subject:

Many have chafed as supervisors lay down new rules they say are aimed at holding poor performers and problem workers to account.

The gall.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 9:22 AM  

The healing won't begin until the majority of Baby Boomers are retired, so that those of us in Gen-X can FINALLY start cleaning up the mess that The ME Generation has been so fervently creating for the last 40 years.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 9:25 AM  

Constitutional amendment that none of the agencies outside of the Defence Department can be expanded or enlarged without the consent of 2/3 of the state legislatures approval. And that the approvals must all be obtained within 12 months of each other -- to prevent using an approval from 20 years ago under different circumstances to be used for an enlargement today.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 9:27 AM  

Most of all the Air Force.

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2018 9:30 AM  

What's going on at the Department of Education? Reagan promised to abolish it, but of course did nothing..Meanwhile, after 7 decades of spending to end the "Gap", Seattle schools discover Black students are now 3.7 grades behind white students.http://www.unz.com/isteve/seattle-times-why-have-seven-decades-of-gap-closing-failed-in-seattle-schools/
Trump shows no signs of willingness to confront the nuclear waste dump that is Public Education in America, and not many signs of race realism. But this is where the America of the 1950s was lost.

Blogger John rockwell January 13, 2018 9:36 AM  

The Pentagon has alot of waste in terms of trillions of dollars:
https://www.rt.com/usa/413411-trillions-dollars-missing-research/

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 13, 2018 9:37 AM  

@22 EXACTLY!!!!! The absence of meaningful restraints on the expansion of the executive branch has allowed for the the office of POTUS to gradually evolve into an absolute monarchy.

The Anti-Federalists warned of this in general terms. They didn't know how it would play out in exact terms but it seems this critique was prophetic.

Blogger Thucydides January 13, 2018 9:41 AM  

If this methodology was applied to every federal department and agency, the potential savings over the next five years cold be @ $300 billion: https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2016/12/pentagon-could-easily-save-125-billion.html

Anonymous Homesteader January 13, 2018 9:53 AM  

Heinlein's comment about "makers, takers, and fakers- no exceptions" seems apt.

Trimming the takers section of our society is ALWAYS a worthwhile action.

Blogger Michael Maier January 13, 2018 9:53 AM  

I wish they would tie bonuses to management for reducing overhead without increasing interest paid on payables or other downsides.

My own agency is majorly bloated and they keep hiring more useless drones.

Blogger Michael Maier January 13, 2018 9:55 AM  

ONLY 3.7 grades behind? I am shocked they're doing that well. Or do whites' performance keep dropping?

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 13, 2018 10:04 AM  

@25 "But this is where the America of the 1950s was lost."

In my opinion, it began with the Progressive movement's foray into education. Thomas Dewey is often mentioned at being in the forefront of forming theories that resulted in a long trend of change that would completely alter American K-12 education. The course of that journey included "New Math", "Whole Language", converting History into Social Studies, "Critical Thinking" as a replacement for traditional logic, Latin grammar and rhetoric forming into English Language Arts, technology in the classroom.... I could go on and on.

There is a reason why SJWs have deeply flawed reasoning skills and doing everything possible to purge the values of Western civilization from memory.

I've mentioned this once before and I'll mention it again: the teacher ed. programs in the colleges and universities became converged and, as a result, so too did American K-12 education in both the private and public realms.

Blogger APL January 13, 2018 10:12 AM  

"Trump has already halved the size of the EPA and is slashing the payrolls at dozens of other agencies."

And he's doing it while CNN, MSBNC et al are twattering about the rights and wrongs of calling a shithole country, a shithole country. Masterful!

Blogger maniacprovost January 13, 2018 10:15 AM  

repeal of the 16th Amendment and instituted Fair Tax

No. Bad poster. No Fair Tax for you.

If the goal is to steal a significant percentage of GDP from Americans, then income tax is a fine way to do it. The details are at issue.

You can use income tax to punish production, or consumption. You can make it flat or progressive. You can give kickbacks to politically connected sham companies, or be fair and incorruptable.

But if we repeal the 16th, the states can come up with whatever system they like to meet federal levies.

Blogger Purge187 January 13, 2018 10:16 AM  

"Cutting the EPA in half is a good start. Now I wonder how much the tax cuts will hurt the IRS."

Hopefully a lot.

Blogger James January 13, 2018 10:22 AM  

I like Trump better than Reagan because Ronnie was a Nice Guy, whereas Trump is an Ass Hole. The battle we find our selves in calls for an Ass Hole, not a Nice Guy. Trump's numbers happen to be better, too, as VD points out.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 13, 2018 10:29 AM  

@34 I just came up with two additional ideas by which further erode the power of the "federal" government: 1) abolish the 17th Amendment. This would result in only the state legislatures choosing senators and, thus, only permit popular representation in the House (it would also subject the senators to immediate recall); 2) Amend the "Commerce Clause" in the following way - "..to regulate taxes and duties on goods and services exchanged among the several states, and commerce with foreign nations.”

How's that?

Anonymous Random #57 January 13, 2018 10:38 AM  

@37 Al From Bay Shore

Abolishing the 17th Amendment is an obvious necessity, but "clarifying" the Commerce Clause won't do any good for a judiciary that's simply not following the Rule of Law.

Blogger Al From Bay Shore January 13, 2018 10:48 AM  

@38 That's a fair point. The more I explore the Constitution the more I hate Alexander Hamilton. Something that puzzles me is James Madison. There is a minuscule part of me entertaining the idea that he could have been suckered and, on some level, may have had a sense of buyer's remorse as he watched his creation "play out".

Anonymous Causal Lurker January 13, 2018 11:00 AM  

Semi Spook and Dave - in agreement. I have a little list of groups and concealed duplicate staffs in my own agency; none will ever be missed. BUT ... recall that Al Gore "saved money" by cutting civil service and farming it out to contractors, on Davis-Bacon pay scales. We still needed contract monitors, CORs, etc., and at some times the work needed to get redone by CS because 8(a) set-aside, minority and women owned, and SADBU, etc. meant you got the least qualified doing the work (social engineering and social justice)

Cutting the budgets and freezing or cutting civil service staff (and limiting the contract services) will force agencies to get essential work done on less budget and less people. The intent of one new regulation, remove two old ones, is percolating down through agencies. It takes time to make it happen, but the workers are grumbling or asking openly about excess internal reports or admin burdens. One other note here - in addition to the public cuts and freezes, some departments are quietly or not quietly instituting real audit practices. This takes time to work, slows some things down, but should (heh) give some appalling and embarrassing tidbits on who wasted how much money. These will be on public record, and even better, the "best of" series could make the GE's twitter feed.

Akulkis, take a breath, son. We're working on it. Air Farce and others have played too many "science fair" and other games with real money. Now it's readiness, people, and logistics that are calling the shots. R&D is getting linked more tightly to what the real war-fighters need. This takes opportunities and time, along with headquarters cuts. As for the boomers, KITFOX. A lot of the problems and burgeoning bureaucracy were set up by the Silents, and left on autopilot. CSRS was replaced with FERS in 1984. Do the math. Boomers are nearly all out as CSRS pensions max; maybe another five years for the tail to leave. Come on in, but bring your A game and some new defensive measures to make SJW rejection more efficient.

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass January 13, 2018 11:04 AM  

As one of the comments on the linked article said, DHS and other places that are more right-wing within government actually have high morale. Whodathunkit? Actually being able to do your job means higher morale!

Jeff aka Orville wrote:I read recently that he is interested in SecState once Tillerson is gone. There's a whole lot of downsizing that needs to be done at the State Dept.

@1 The key to hanging on is to be a generalist like Sherwood or to be a DSS SA.

S1AL wrote:Yup. At this point he's edging close to Coolidge in terms of effect, even though he's the opposite in personality.

@3 That would be stunning, to see that minimal level of government that none of us here have seen in lifetimes. The man, among other things, opposed subsidies to farmers. I wonder if he was a proto-free trader. At least he was reluctant to get us involved in entangling alliances, looking at you Wilson!

Jack Vibe wrote:Having a businessman President who can delegate his people to focus on streamlining and efficiency of work is a blessing. Unnecessary positions keep falling to the wayside, information needs to pass through fewer hands and the agencies may actually get better response times to boot.

@4 This is what people still do not get about the Presidency: you are simply the CEO of a very large corporation (fed.gov) at that point; that's how large the federal government is.

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass January 13, 2018 11:05 AM  

"SemiSpook37 wrote:I have almost six years of Federal service as a civilian employee. I’ve been out of it for almost ten years. The only thing I truly miss about it is the actual cost of the health care benefit, and maybe some of the perks available via MWR.

The reason I left was simple: most GS jobs, at least here in the DC metro region, are gigantic sucks of waste, fraud, and abuse. I didn’t want to be a part of that anymore. Plus, most of these jobs don’t exactly produce anything.

I also make more as a contractor in this space than I could ever hope for as a GS. Sure, there’s more risk that I may be out of work at any time, but that pressure only helps to motivate me to do my job well.

Which begs the question: if I’m paying one contractor as much as 3 GS folks, and said contractor is producing 6 times as much as the GSers, why am I wasting all this money?
"

@6 Having been a federal contractor twice, and possibly for a third time here soon, my problem is the companies seem to be putting profit, rather than national security first; that's why I am always wary of contractors doing essential government functions. Having said that, maybe they need to revamp some of these said functions. It would make for cost savings or so one would hope.

On that note, I'm sick of hearing about money saved. It's a good bit of word play to dupe the dumber among us to think we're not adding on to the debt. Unless money is paid towards the national debt (yes, I know it's not possible to pay it off unless we get the asteroid with enough gold to crash the world economy), it's either doing nothing or going towards increasing our national debt.

Anonymous Nathan January 13, 2018 11:07 AM  

And the other swamp starts draining...

http://thehill.com/policy/technology/368858-sheryl-sandberg-jack-dorsey-leaving-disneys-board

"Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter's chief executive officer Jack Dorsey are slated to step down from their posts on the Walt Disney's board."

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass January 13, 2018 11:07 AM  

F.D. Stephens wrote:Cataline Sergius wrote:Know your enemy. Make a realistic assessment of them. The diplomats at State are the genuine liberal elite. These are the guys that the rest of them can only pretend that they are. They really are that smart and that polished.

Having had dealings with these people at almost every level for two decades, I concur.

If you don't believe it, go and look for yourself. You would be hard pressed to find a more fraudulent waste of taxpayer money. Program Highlights provides all the evidence to show Cataline Sergius knows of what he speaks.


@9 I wonder what State's real mission was pre-WWII (and no, I'm not talking about what they put in their official history).

Akulkis wrote:Constitutional amendment that none of the agencies outside of the Defence Department can be expanded or enlarged without the consent of 2/3 of the state legislatures approval. And that the approvals must all be obtained within 12 months of each other -- to prevent using an approval from 20 years ago under different circumstances to be used for an enlargement today.

@23 Defence? HE'S A BRIT!!!!

Anonymous Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass January 13, 2018 11:08 AM  

APL wrote:"Trump has already halved the size of the EPA and is slashing the payrolls at dozens of other agencies."

And he's doing it while CNN, MSBNC et al are twattering about the rights and wrongs of calling a shithole country, a shithole country. Masterful!


@33 MIsdirection.

James wrote:I like Trump better than Reagan because Ronnie was a Nice Guy, whereas Trump is an Ass Hole. The battle we find our selves in calls for an Ass Hole, not a Nice Guy. Trump's numbers happen to be better, too, as VD points out.

@36 I have no memories of Reagan but was alive for the end couple years of his second term. I LOOOOOOVE (no homo) Trump! I truly believe he will be a better POTUS than Reagan.

Causal Lurker wrote:Semi Spook and Dave - in agreement. I have a little list of groups and concealed duplicate staffs in my own agency; none will ever be missed. BUT ... recall that Al Gore "saved money" by cutting civil service and farming it out to contractors, on Davis-Bacon pay scales. We still needed contract monitors, CORs, etc., and at some times the work needed to get redone by CS because 8(a) set-aside, minority and women owned, and SADBU, etc. meant you got the least qualified doing the work (social engineering and social justice)

Cutting the budgets and freezing or cutting civil service staff (and limiting the contract services) will force agencies to get essential work done on less budget and less people. The intent of one new regulation, remove two old ones, is percolating down through agencies. It takes time to make it happen, but the workers are grumbling or asking openly about excess internal reports or admin burdens. One other note here - in addition to the public cuts and freezes, some departments are quietly or not quietly instituting real audit practices. This takes time to work, slows some things down, but should (heh) give some appalling and embarrassing tidbits on who wasted how much money. These will be on public record, and even better, the "best of" series could make the GE's twitter feed.

Akulkis, take a breath, son. We're working on it. Air Farce and others have played too many "science fair" and other games with real money. Now it's readiness, people, and logistics that are calling the shots. R&D is getting linked more tightly to what the real war-fighters need. This takes opportunities and time, along with headquarters cuts. As for the boomers, KITFOX. A lot of the problems and burgeoning bureaucracy were set up by the Silents, and left on autopilot. CSRS was replaced with FERS in 1984. Do the math. Boomers are nearly all out as CSRS pensions max; maybe another five years for the tail to leave. Come on in, but bring your A game and some new defensive measures to make SJW rejection more efficient.


@40 Right on about the contractors. Lest anyone forget, an OPM contract is the reason anyone who submitted an SF-86 after 2000 had their info jacked by the ChiComs.

Anonymous Man of the Atom January 13, 2018 11:08 AM  

No government employee should have a lifetime appointment. They are corrupted by their own sense of importance more so than the potential of threat or job loss.

In fact, one federal judgeship appointment for X (single digit) years, then never again able to hold a similar federal position. You've done your time; thank you for your service and goodbye.

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2018 11:10 AM  

@37 Yes, the 17th Amendment was one of the three major legal changes that enshrined the Globalists in 1913. The other two were the Income Tax and the Federal Reserve Act. Wilson later lamented that he had destroyed the USA by signing the Federal Reserve Act. These were followed by Prohibition and the 19th Amendment, which was the inception of the modern police state and the Welfare State, both supported by female voters.

They all have to go back....

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 January 13, 2018 11:16 AM  

Akulkis wrote:The diplomats at State are the genuine Traitor Elite.

There's a reason that Stalin was able to successfully infiltrate their ranks back in the 1930s.

Blogger maniacprovost January 13, 2018 11:25 AM  

@37 Make it So,

I propose that when we repeal all these amendments, starting with the 17th and 16th, we create a new one to clarify citizenship requirements

AMENDMENT XYZ:
A Natural Born Citizen shall be born in the territory of the United States, of two Citizen parents;

A child born of one Citizen parent, or born of two Citizen parents, but outside the territory of the United States, shall be a Citizen; At age 18, having spent at least 10 years in the United States, he shall become a Natural Born Citizen.

The United States shall admit no more than 100,000 foreigners per annum to be Citizens; and they shall be selected on the basis of benefits to the nation and its current citizens.

Only Natural Born Citizens may hold public office, or vote in elections for public office.

Blogger YIH January 13, 2018 11:32 AM  

@34. maniacprovost
No. Bad poster. No Fair Tax for you.
Oh hell yeah. Time to tear ''the Fair Tax'' a new one again.
From Neil Boortz, who often referred to himself as ''a certified BS artist'' on radio (hint, hint). Time to bust some myths:
1. ''It won't be 'gamed' like the Federal Income tax''. You don't think a sales tax can be 'gamed'? Florida, where ''the Fair Tax'' is pretty much implemented, has two ways to 'game' it: What is (and isn't) eligible for it, and ''sales tax holidays'' such as ''disaster prep'' in May and ''back to school'' in August which vary in what is covered and in length of time.
2. H/T Karl Denniger: I'll call it ''the patchwork'' if you live in FL and sell something to someone else in FL, if they don't live in the same county as you, you have to find out what that counties tax rate is (the State gets 4%, the county can add from .5% to 4% on top of that by county option) then the correct sales tax has to be remitted to the county of the purchaser. And yes, the sales tax is ''all over the map'' - literally.
3. Saving the worst for last, what Boortz dubbed ''the prebate'': A monthly estimated tax refund for everyone below a certain income threshold. The potential for abuse is obvious, picture Black Lives Matter pushing for a larger ''prebate'' because Whites are gunning them down left and right (if only that were true).
The ''Fair Tax'' became such a joke that Boortz himself advised Herman Cain to steer clear of it in 2012 - hence the ''9/9/9 plan'' that he cribbed from ''The Sims''.

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2018 11:41 AM  

"The diplomats at State are the genuine Traitor Elite."

Something not much discussed is that before 1900 many diplomats were outstanding private citizens with other accomplishments, like Henry Adams. After 1900, the Ivies gradually took over the entire diplomatic service, so by the 1930s you have many left leaning Ivies in key positions. A good example was Alger Hiss, a distinguished graduate of Harvard Law School, who clerked for Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. His supercharged career in the FDR administration quickly led to him relaying crucial information to the Soviets, and even being at Yalta..The Ivies continue to have undue influence with the striped pants crowd, but perhaps Tillerson is doing something about it...

Blogger tuberman January 13, 2018 11:43 AM  

Fingers crossed, the Pentagon disrupted real soon. How many of these people are less than worthless?

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2018 11:45 AM  

> The healing won't begin until the majority of Baby Boomers are retired,

The requirements for retirement from the civil service are at https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/csrs-information/eligibility/

Suffice it to say that if you're career civil service you can normally retire at 55. The youngest boomers (born in 64, per their definition, not mine) will turn 54 this year.

Blogger pyrrhus January 13, 2018 11:47 AM  

@50 Yes, everything can and will be gamed, especially tax laws. This is one reason why the right corporate tax rate is zero. As it is, GE, Apple, Google, and many other connected companies with enormous tax departments and effective lobbyists pay nearly no tax, while the small companies get hammered. Just figuring out how all the tax treaties can be used to avoid taxation is a full time business currently...

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2018 11:56 AM  

> Boomers are nearly all out as CSRS pensions max; maybe another five years for the tail to leave

Exactly. The exodus is well underway.

As for the general topic: Still not tired of winning!

Anonymous Looking Glass January 13, 2018 12:00 PM  

FedGov is going through an utter mass of retirements. Another big wave is 2019, I believe. Noticeably, they aren't in any hurry to rehire positions.

Blogger Stephen St. Onge January 13, 2018 12:02 PM  

I must defend Reagan. He had the Soviet Union on the ropes, and spent much of his presidency ending it. The late Dr. Pournelle was a Reagan advisor, and he used to tell us in LA enough about the administration and its goals to make it clear that we knew the Soviet weaknesses were seen and exploited by the Reagan Administration, quite consciously.

He also had stagflation to worry about on the domestic front, and he ended that.

But Trump is a very great President. He will go down with Truman and Reagan as one of the greatest. Harry and Ron changed the course of history to meet and defeat threats to the U.S., the God-Emperor Donald is doing the same.

Blogger James Dixon January 13, 2018 12:03 PM  

Note on my comment above that as Casual Lurker notes, CSRS was replaced with FERS in 1984 and my comment is for CSRS. But most of the people retiring now will probably still fall under it.

Blogger James January 13, 2018 12:14 PM  

"Something that puzzles me is James Madison. There is a minuscule part of me entertaining the idea that he could have been suckered and, on some level, may have had a sense of buyer's remorse as he watched his creation "play out". "

Madison basically wrote most of the Constitution that was adopted, and then almost immediately opposed how Hamilton was implementing it. This tells me, among other things, that the job of limiting the scope and power of government cannot be entrusted to a piece of parchment, but instead requires knowledge and understanding and wisdom and an ability to remain vigilant on the part of the People at large. So, perhaps the authoritarians are correct, that the People are way toofa king stupid to govern themselves?

Blogger S1AL January 13, 2018 12:20 PM  

Madison's views shifted more than those of any of the other famous Founders. The War of 1812, in particular, convinced him of the need for a national army (rather than a collection of militias). By the end of his life, I believe he had reached a fairly optimal understanding of what a Federalist system requires.

Blogger Ingot9455 January 13, 2018 12:27 PM  

@18 Reagan's Secretary of State George Shultz would begin an ambassador interview this way:

He'd set an appointment for the interview with the newly-assigned ambassador to (say) Lichtenstein. He'd tell them to wear their best as they'd have in professional photographers to take a handsome picture to hang in the Embassy.

In his office he had one of those fabulous 4 foot tall carved mahogany rotating world globes that you mostly see in the movies, set in front of an impressive-looking bookshelf for a backdrop. And George Shultz would say to the newly-minted ambassador, "Use the globe, pose in front of your country."

If you turned the globe to Lichtenstein because you were the ambassador to Lichtenstein, you were fired. You were supposed to turn the globe to face America forwards, because that was your country.

That was said to be only the first test in the interview.

Anonymous Napoleon 12pdr January 13, 2018 12:48 PM  

As others have pointed out, you have to be wary of the support contractor shell game. Eliminating a Civil Service position and then hiring a contractor saves nothing...the contractor adds his overhead to the cost.

The real savings comes from eliminating regulations, and from streamlining processes. You want to cut DOD? Put a bullet into the DOD-5000 acquisition system and let program managers use some common sense. Smash the Congressionally mandated rice-bowls. While we're at it, please let me take a chain-saw to the "Acquisition professional" concept...we don't need career aquirers-in-uniform. We need fighting men to lead the career Civil Service acquisition experts.

It may be worth pointing out that DOD was under a hiring freeze from about 1989 to 2002. Which created a massive experience gap. Where I work, there are graybeards like me in our 50s (and James Dixon is right, many of us are in a position to retire)...and a lot of kids with 10 years or less of experience. Good people, but lacking seasoning. It's going to be a major issue in the near future.

Anonymous BBGKB January 13, 2018 12:50 PM  

Hopefully TRUMP fired all the EPA employees that shat in hallways

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/06/epa-employees-wont-stop-pooping-in-hallways/373482/

Blogger ace January 13, 2018 12:58 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:The perpetual problem with State is NOT the number of people there, it is the Mandarin culture of Foggy Bottom.

Know your enemy. Make a realistic assessment of them. The diplomats at State are the genuine liberal elite. These are the guys that the rest of them can only pretend that they are. They really are that smart and that polished.

The major problem for any GOP president is that his SecState will invariably be captured by the department. They always go native because that department is filled with the American version of Sir Humphrey Appleby. They are experts at getting other people to accept a point of view that is contrary to their own interests.


So we're talking about social zombies. Anyone we send down there gets bitten and turned. What next, hazmat suits and flamethrowers? Shots to the head? Metaphorically speaking.

Blogger Longtime Lurker January 13, 2018 1:18 PM  

First one to make an over-the-counter cure for status anxiety is going to make a killing in DC.

Blogger Lazarus January 13, 2018 1:38 PM  

@59

So, perhaps the authoritarians are correct, that the People are way toofa king stupid to govern themselves?

Your elected representatives certainly think so.

Anonymous Elder Son January 13, 2018 1:46 PM  

So, perhaps the authoritarians are correct, that the People are way toofa king stupid to govern themselves?

What you had: "A republic, if you can keep it."

How to keep it: "The tree of liberty must be..."

The War of 1812, in particular, convinced him of the need for a national army...

Because many of the militias didn't want to play, and refused to show up when called.

Anyhow, if you want to read how your government has been infiltrated and taken over:

Tax Exempt Foundations-Reece Committee Hearings

Tax Exempt Foundations-Cox Committee Hearings

More here.

Blogger Cecil Henry January 13, 2018 1:52 PM  

Come on Mr. Trump:

You want a vision for the future?

Why not instead of making the world safe for democracy, making the world safe for White people again?


https://i.imgur.com/Ai1lmzu.jpg


In 2018: it's time to let diversity™ be someone else's strength.

Anonymous maniacprovost January 13, 2018 1:57 PM  

Use the globe, pose in front of your country."

If you turned the globe to Lichtenstein because you were the ambassador to Lichtenstein, you were fired. You were supposed to turn the globe to face America forwards, because that was your country.


These are the kind of BS word games that pre-Gen X generations are known for. Completely arbitrary misuse of the language to make a “point” while doing nothing to address the actual problem of ambassadors going native.

Blogger James January 13, 2018 2:05 PM  

Lazarus wrote: " 'So, perhaps the authoritarians are correct, that the People are way toofa king stupid to govern themselves?'
Your elected representatives certainly think so "

I've always been one of those who blamed the voters, and not anyone else. As the old saying goes, cannibals elect cannibal kings. Two things always rise to the top: If you have fresh wholesome milk, the crème rises to the top; if you have toxic slimy pond water, then, the scum is what rises to the top.

Blogger Rough Carrigan January 13, 2018 2:21 PM  

If you talk to any SJW who laments the loss of staff at the EPA, tell him about this.

Several years ago, as part of EPA "administering" the Clean Water Act of 1972(?) the EPA created the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System(NPDES). In addition to regulating industrial facilities, the NPDES started to regulated construction sites. First it was anything altering 5 acres of land. Then, in 2012, it became anything altering 1 acre of land. And it's not just actual construction sites. It's anything!

If you and your family own 3 acres of land and you decide that you want to alter 1 acre of it to make a garden or for any other purpose, you are required to submit an E-NOI, an electronic notice of Intent to the EPA. And you are required to prepare what's called a "SWIP" a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

If the EPA believes that stormwater from your one acre activity has conveyed pollutants, including just silt, to a stream, it has the ability to fine you thousands of dollars per day.

Everything in the U.S. gov't tends toward massive mission creep.

Anonymous Elder Son January 13, 2018 2:39 PM  

I believe this sums up what America has become:

Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

And:

Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.

And:

For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.

Blogger steveaz January 13, 2018 2:56 PM  

Yup. And in many ways Trump is our home-grown Henry VIII!

As he systematically slays the various Catholicisms and arrayed against freeborn Americans from abroad. Speech codes, "Environmentalism," and the Right of Migration being just three of his vanquished papacies.

BTW: Catherine had it coming!

Blogger SemiSpook37 January 13, 2018 3:23 PM  

That’s the only issue for me, that being the fact that it is a shell game. And the SJWs with the reins in the 8(a) area, you’re getting a lot of minority controlled firms that can’t deliver when it comes down to it.

Can second on the 50+ set ready to retire. Worked with a guy who has his Fed time near its limit who’s ready to jump ship here in the next year. Fortunately, for him, he’s got connections and a bit of an innovative streak, so he’s not in any danger of losing opportunities for income.

I came in on the tail end of that hiring gap in what they call a ladder position. Basically, if you’ve got a tech degree of any sort, they put you in on a fast track from a lower grade to a mid-career one. From a financial standpoint, it’s comparable to private industry, but being considered mid-career level after 3 years isn’t exactly helpful. It’s more of a numbers game and keeping billets filled is more important than making sure the people filling said billets are experienced enough to justify their positions.

I’ve honestly learned more in the private space than I have on site, with most of the jobs I’ve been in post Federal career. It’s also the fact that in the Federal space that you have to focus on processes and paperwork, and that cuts in a lot to what your actual day to day duties entail.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville January 13, 2018 4:01 PM  

It’s also the fact that in the Federal space that you have to focus on processes and paperwork, and that cuts in a lot to what your actual day to day duties entail. And endless meetings and webinars. Some weeks I spend more than half my time in meetings.

And the retired Feddie's make bank going right back to work as a contractor for the same agency he/she just retired from, but with even better pay. In the agency I contract for, the contractors far out number the gov employees both in the Central and Regional Offices.

Anonymous Avalanche January 13, 2018 4:08 PM  

@43 "Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter's chief executive officer Jack Dorsey are slated to step down from their posts on the Walt Disney's board."

Someone check and see if either is wearing an ankle boot?

Anonymous Causal Lurker January 13, 2018 4:36 PM  

Napoleon 12pdr, I've educated as fast as possible, and handed hard knocks and lessons. Training up 2-3 good successors with military's needs as first priority, all BS second. Hard to do, going against system, and I'm way tired. Keeping at it until the day I leave, when copies of TWBW will magically appear.

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 13, 2018 5:24 PM  

James wrote:I've always been one of those who blamed the voters, and not anyone else.
When the system is rigged to give voters a choice between Tweedledum and Tweedledumber, you have to blame the system, not the voters.  The COPe has much more to answer for than the voters who failed to elect Mittens.

Blogger James January 13, 2018 5:43 PM  

Mr Rational: I think what is wrong with people is they don't hate the ruling class elitists enough. You've got to really really hate them, a lot, or else you end up buying their BS to some extent. But people accept a crust of bread and a look at a circus for a moment's diversion, and they are content to go on chewing their cud.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 5:51 PM  

@30

"My own agency is majorly bloated and they keep hiring more useless drones."

Send a tweet to Trump.

Blogger Owen January 13, 2018 5:53 PM  

Reagan a conservative? - increased deficits, amnesty for illegals and no fault divorce in CA. Even the major thing he's given credit for, breaking inflation, was initiated by Carter, who appointed inflation hawk Volcker to Fed chairman. The soviets were going downhill anyway (I saw this first hand). Reagan talked a good game though. Trump is MUCH better than Reagan already.

Anonymous ScarletNumber January 13, 2018 6:02 PM  

Tony Reardon makes an excellent point. It's just not the one he intended to make.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 6:20 PM  

@37

"I just came up with two additional ideas by which further erode the power of the "federal" government: 1) abolish the 17th Amendment. This would result in only the state legislatures choosing senators and, thus, only permit popular representation in the House (it would also subject the senators to immediate recall);"

I've been saying this for years. Even here.



"2) Amend the "Commerce Clause" in the following way - "..to regulate taxes and duties on goods and services exchanged among the several states, and commerce with foreign nations.”

How's that?"


Excellant Idea. The obvious overreach about that case in the 1930's, prohibiting a farmer from growing his own feed for his livestock, because "if you're NOT buying feed on the market that you would have been buying otherwise, you're messing up the interstate market for feed." needs to be put down like a rabid dog.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 6:26 PM  

@38

"Abolishing the 17th Amendment is an obvious necessity, but "clarifying" the Commerce Clause won't do any good for a judiciary that's simply not following the Rule of Law."

Next Amendment -- judicial misbehavior on the bench is eligible for capital punishment.

Needs fleshing out, but this alone will eliminate many (((Judges))) who are more interested in Wound the World than in respecting the rights of the American populace.

To head off cries that judges shouldn't be put to death on a whim, they all get 3 strikes. That means the first 2 egregious screw-ups are for free.

When they get their death penalty, they can't claim that they weren't warned 2 times already.

Anonymous JAG January 13, 2018 7:04 PM  

Dave wrote:I remember over 20 years ago even Clinton said the era of big government was over.

I had resigned myself to thinking the only way the leviathan would ever stop growing is an economic collapse and/or the loss of the dollar as the world's reserve currency.

What I want to see now is how to make these cuts permanent?



The only way to make them permanent is to make sure leftists and moderates never gain enough power to overturn them. I don't see how that is realistically possible. Leftists are at the point where they will overturn anything and everything purely for spite should they recover the reins of power.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 7:15 PM  

@40 Casual Lurker

The Air Force needs to be brought back into the realm of being a MILITARY organization, not a fraternity wearing government-issued clothing and ridiculously expensive toys.

Sleeping in anything less than 3-star hotel accomodations should not be, nor EVER have been, reason for extra pay. Seriously. "Oh, you get $300 extra this month because you were sleeping on a cot, in a tent with a wooden floor, and electrical service while on a state-side field training exercise" is complete B.S. So, also, is "Here, you get $150 extra because you slept in an open bay barracks without maid service."

FRAUD, WASTE, and ABUSE.

I've yet to be ANYWHERE*, where 3 USAF personnel are stationed, that they didn't have a swimming pool, even if that required them fly out, set up, and fill a swimming pool along with a generator to run the electric pump and filter.

This pervasive attitude that USAF personnel should be living in the lap of luxury, even in a war zone, has GOT TO STOP.

And I don't buy for one minute the argument, "But, if we don't make it extra nice for our personnel, the USAF won't get the qualified personnel it needs."

To which I say, "Bullshit. All this sort of coddling does is attract slackers." I know a lot of Army and Marine enlisted who well smart enough to be in the Air Force, and stick with the Army despite hardship. And never once receiving an extra dime of pay, even if they spent their nights sleeping on the ground, with no more cover than a poncho, in whatever conditions nature dished out.

Also, USAF training is divorced from the reality of combat. Witness that the USAF had the highest per capita KIA and WIA rate in Iraq, despite the fact that:

A) USAF aircrew did not suffer these high WIA/KIA rates -- USAF aircraft shot down were minimal, and
(Which is the group which normally takes the most casualties in any airforce), and

B) VERY few USAF personnel went off base for any reason.

Why were USAF personnel taking disproportionate casualties? Because the VERY FEW convoys out on the Iraq road network with USAF personnel were obvious sitting ducks. When a convoy passes by a spotter, and he sees that ALL of the turret gunners are letting their weapons hang off the pintle with the barrels at maximum elevation -- he KNOWS that this convoy is *NOT* ready for a fight.

Blogger Akulkis January 13, 2018 7:16 PM  

Continued:


Giving USAF enlisted more weapons training than "Here's a magazine of ammunition -- point the barrel down range and pull the trigger repeatedly until the weapon doesn't fire any more" is not proper small arms training.

My cousin, who had been shooting since he was 5 years old, told me about the sorry excuse for weapons training at Lackland AFB. No instruction in marksmanship, how to use, let alone adjust the sights on a rifle. All they had was a "familiarization fire" event. ("Here's how to load the weapon, charge it, take it off safe, and fire it"). During the fam-fire, my cousin's weapon had a malfunction. He performed the standard AR-15/M-16/M-4 immediate action drill (known as SPORTS) to clear the malfunction and resume firing.

His T.I. bawled him out for performing SPORTS rather than acting like a helpless git and calling for the T.I. to come clear the weapon for him -- a maneuver which is actually MORE dangerous than the firer maintaining control of the weapon.'

I won't even go into the details about how, in 1991, I PERSONALLY, with my company commander, reported to the USAF command cell at Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia, the security flaw in the fenceline, which was the PRECISE POINT where the truck bombing took place a few years later, which destroyed 3 apartment
buildings and killed 14 USAF personnel.

That bombing was in 1996. Standard rotation time for officers is in the 18-36 month range. That means there were AT LEAST 2 changes of command at Khobar Towers, and that security flaw was STILL uncorrected.

This tells me, that, unlike USMC and USA officers, USAF officers either don't walk the perimeter of an installation when they take command, or they are so tactically inept at ground security that, even as 2-star generals, they can't recognize a ground security threat that's obvious to a damned Army E-3 who was only 15 months out of initial entry training (and 13 of those 15 months were National Guard duty, not Regular Army).

The ONLY organization in the US Military that I have seen that is more screwed up than the USAF is the Ohio National Guard, which, from my observation, is absolutely incompetent at EVERYTHING other than running the ranges at Camp Perry.

*(including in the middle of the Saudi Desert, 90 miles from any city or source of water).

Anonymous Mr. Rational January 13, 2018 8:34 PM  

Thanks for the rundown on the USAF, Akulkis.

Anonymous Steve in Greensboro January 13, 2018 10:41 PM  

He is doing it by simply not replacing retirees. Of course, I'd prefer he crucify the bastards on a line of crosses along Pennsylvania Avenue, you know like that scene from Spartacus, but you can't always get what you want.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0cXyGVsUjs

America is truly not worthy of a President as great as our God-Emperor Donald J. Trump.

Blogger Snidely Whiplash January 13, 2018 10:52 PM  

Überdeplorable Psychedelic Cat Grass wrote:Having been a federal contractor twice, and possibly for a third time here soon, my problem is the companies seem to be putting profit, rather than national security first;
Problem is, you have no assurance the CS employees are putting the nation first either. In my experience, they are usually pursuing self-interest at all costs, nation be damned.

Blogger John rockwell January 14, 2018 1:38 AM  

@Elder Son
''For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.''

The KJV had a better version of this:
''For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,''

Anonymous Laz January 14, 2018 3:16 AM  

"The only way to make them permanent is to make sure leftists and moderates never gain enough power to overturn them. I don't see how that is realistically possible."

I do, it's called .223 Remington

Anonymous Ominous Cowherd January 14, 2018 11:31 PM  

Laz wrote:"The only way to make them permanent is to make sure leftists and moderates never gain enough power to overturn them. I don't see how that is realistically possible."

I do, it's called .223 Remington


That won't help; dead liberals vote. The voting dead is what inspired the zombie stories.

Also, standing by for the .308 vs .223 flame wars.

Blogger Robert Sullivan January 17, 2018 2:10 PM  

Doesn't all these lay offs kinda go against trumps platform of bringing jobs back to Americans?

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