(BigGovernment.news) In the modern political era, few serious observers believed there would ever again come a time to dramatically cut the size, scope and power of the sprawling federal bureaucracy. But now with President-elect Donald J. Trump set to take over the Executive Branch, the Republican majority in Congress is eyeing a real opportunity to slash the federal workforce, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions a year in payroll while making ordinary life much less complicated.
As reported by Roll Call, a plan to slash the federal workforce and deregulate our lives is being readied by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, which would include major changes to the federal workforce’s extremely generous pension programs:
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.
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.
During his campaign, Trump repeatedly promised to take on the burdensome federal bureaucracy, and he’ll be in a good position to do it, even without congressional help. The federal bureaucracy answers to the Executive Branch – the president, in other words – and policy is carried out according to the president’s wishes. But also, when you have a businessman-turned-president who has actually experienced the negative (and expensive) effects of too much regulation on the private sector, it will be much easier to accomplish the goal of reducing regulatory burdens on small businesses, corporations, industrial operations and the private sector.
As for Chaffetz’s plan, he envisions using some form of attrition – not replacing a number of retiring federal workers (with national security positions exempted) – to curtail the size of the federal workforce, Roll Call reported.
With fewer personnel in the workforce and a president who will likely favor deregulation over imposing hundreds of billions of dollars more in rules regulations on an already strangled U.S. economy, Republicans will get another chance to make good on earlier promises of reducing the size of the federal government. Let’s hold them to their word.
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