Trump’s biggest obstacle.
Listen To You Tell Me Texas Friday 11/18/16
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 2,815,000 civilian employees on the federal payroll. That makes Uncle Sam the largest civilian employer in the world.
Moreover, those employees are the world’s best paid. The average federal salary is over $123,000 per year – a whopping 80 percent more than the average in the private sector. Federal employees with only three years of service get a month’s worth of paid vacation.
Simply put: a government job is now the easiest, fastest and lowest-risk way to enjoy a middle class lifestyle that culminates in a comfortable retirement.
Federal employees know this and they are fiercely protective of their cushy deal. It’s that nearly three-million strong army of federal employees that constitutes the single biggest obstacle standing in Donald Trump‘s way.
When Trump talks about ‘draining the swamp,’ he ignores the swamp ecology at his peril. Elected politicians are the minority species. The dominant species is bureaucratus perpetuus, the permanent, unaccountable, unfire-able and thus largely ungovernable federal bureaucracy.
Thank government employee unions. The unions collect dues from federal employees and pass those dues to complicit – mostly Democrat – lawmakers in the form of campaign contributions. Duly bought-and-paid-for congressmen and senators in turn pass laws creating complex rules regarding personnel policies for federal employees. Those rules are so Byzantine, so complex and so time consuming as to make it nearly impossible to fire a federal employee.
The VA scandal that erupted in 2014 is a prime example. Despite VA hospitals being exposed as having neglected military veterans to the point of bringing about thousands of premature deaths, despite being exposed as having engaged in a cover-up of that fact, despite having been caught creating fake records in order to make it appear that performance goals tied to bonuses were being met, and despite President Obama having said, “I won’t stand for it, there must be consequences,” only three civil service employees were fired in the wake of the VA scandal. One received a 15-day suspension. Another was suspended but the suspension was overturned on appeal.
And for whom did the majority of federal employees vote last week? Here’s a hint. It wasn’t Donald Trump. Federal employees are all about growing government and “that never changes no matter who sits in the White House,” says American Federation of Government Employees union president J. David Cox.
Donald Trump became famous because of a TV show in which he starred and in which he frequently said, “You’re fired!”
President Trump is going to quickly learn that the federal government isn’t a TV reality show and that federal employees aren’t subject to what the rest of us take for granted in the private sector.
Yes, Donald Trump should get Obamacare repealed. Yes, he should deport criminal aliens. Yes, he should get a tax cut passed.
But for a truly transformational presidency, he needs to bring the federal bureaucracy to heel. That’s something no president before him has been able to do – if any of them even tried.