Donald Trump promised during the primaries that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington and cut what he called a “bloated” federal government every way he could. A little over six months into his presidency the Trump administration has managed to shed almost 11,000 federal employees, reversing a two-year trend of gains throughout the executive branch.
President Donald Trump’s budget proposal could lead to between 100,000 and 200,000 cuts to federal civilian jobs, said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told Fortune. That amounts to no less than a 9 percent cut in civil servant jobs. The postal service is an independent agency and therefore exempted from the general budget process.
Trump’s budget proposal calls for a 20 percent reduction in spending by the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the departments of Agriculture, State, and Labor. As promised during the election, President Trump is asking Congress to eliminate funding for nineteen agencies including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts.
“Trump stuck to his script,” Zandi. “He said this is what he was going to do, and he’s doing it. Increase military, increase spending on veterans and cut everything else. It’s not at all surprising.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ July jobs report released showed non-postal federal agencies employed 2,188,900 workers at the end of the month. That’s down 2,200 from June and 10,700 from January. President Trump has prioritized shrinking the civilian workforce and issued an executive order calling on agencies to develop short and long-term strategies to cut employees. Agencies turned in preliminary drafts for those plans on June 30 in which leaders were required to spell out what steps they have already taken to trim their rolls.
Progressives argue that Trump’s focus on eliminating government jobs herring since civil servant jobs are near historic lows. They accounted for 2% of U.S. jobs in the early 1990s and between 3% and 4% of U.S. jobs in the 1960s.
As always statistics and numbers are only as meaningful as those who use them to prove their point. Yes, civilian jobs have fallen dramatically from their all-time high in 1942. Then again, that was at height of a World War when the vast majority of those eligible for the work force were scattered around the world saving our Republic.
The majority of federal jobs in the 1960s were clerical positions that computers have made obsolete. Also, in 1966, there was no Federal Emergency Management Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, nor Department of Homeland Security. Conservatives have long argued all three should be eliminated for a number of reasons.
There was a marked increase in civil servant jobs during the first six months of both the Bush and Obama administrations. During the first six months of George W. Bush’s presidency, over 30,000 federal jobs were added and double that for Barack Obama.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will evaluate and ultimately approve agency plans to slash their workforces in the coming months. Final proposals are due by September 30 and to be included in the administration’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal.
The Environmental Protection Agency told Newsweek: “EPA is returning to its core statutory mission, and focusing on greater value and results. EPA will partner with the states and tribes to ensure a thoughtful approach is used to maximize resources to protect our air, land, and water. And, we will work with EPA staff to effectively use every taxpayer dollar that we are entrusted,”
There is no area where President Trump is more likely to succeed in keeping his campaign promises than in cutting federal spending. Congress votes on the budget, and some establishment Republicans have already taken issue with how far Trump’s proposed cuts would go. However, GOP lawmakers are likely to sign on to cuts that are plenty deep.
Republican majorities in the House and Senate agreed last year on a nonbinding budget blueprint that would cut the nondefense workforce by 10 percent – something Barack Obama promised to veto.
Trump’s campaign promise to reduce the size of the federal government, especially in areas such as education and environment, was accompanied by his promise to increase jobs in the private sector. Preliminary figures released by the Department of Labor showed a total of 317,000 additional jobs in the two full months that Trump was in office.
If the Republican leadership bands together in other areas we are bound to see more promises kept.
~ American Liberty Report