Search This Blog

Sunday, November 27, 2016

GOP v. Public Employees

At The Washington Post, Lisa Rein reports that Trump and the GOP Congress are aiming at federal bureaucracy by cutting back on job protections and benefits.
Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.
These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the modern civil service was created.

Gingrich predicted that Stephen K. Bannon, a former Breitbart News chief who helped steer Trump’s campaign and is now one of his most influential advisers, would lead the effort. “It’s a big, big project,” he said.
The project aligns with Bannon’s long-stated warnings about the corrupting influence of government and a capital city rampant with “crony capitalism.”
Breitbart headlines also provide a possible insight into his views, with federal employees described as overpaid, too numerous and a “privileged class.”
“Number of Government Employees Now Surpasses Manufacturing Jobs by 9,977,000,” the website proclaimed in November. There are 2.1 million federal civilian employees.

Actually, there are fewer such employees than there were 20 years ago.  Data from the Office of Personnel Management:

Exec Civilian Uniform Mil Leg/Judic Total
1964 2,470 2,719 31 5,220
1974 2,847 2,198 46 5,091
1984 2,854 2,178 56 5,088
1994 2,908 1,648 63 4,620
2004 2,650 1,473 64 4,187
2014 2,663 1,459 63 4,185