Originally published at Canada Free Press on August 23, 2015
If you’re at all like me, you must have said to yourself hundreds of times in your own life “I just don’t have the time to do everything. I can’t get everything done.” And we always say that like it’s a bad thing.
But is it a bad thing? It depends largely on context, at least in my opinion.
Let’s just say that you’re the President of the United States. You need to shrink the size, and massive cost, of government. Obviously, entitlement spending would be a great target but trying to reduce payments to entitlement recipients would be political suicide.
The next major, and significantly easier, target would be the cost of government employment. Realistically, government payroll and the cost of fringe benefits isn’t as big a budget bite as entitlements but it would make a measurable difference if it was reduced.
Yes, reducing payroll would be a huge saving, but you don’t want to face the political firestorm that would result from firing huge numbers of public sector employees. That’s one of those things that fall in the “I can’t get it all done” descriptions.
This is where “context” enters the picture. As president you can shrink the total employment by the government, without firing one employee. All you would have to do is draft an Executive Order forbidding the hiring of any nonmilitary personnel until the total headcount drops by 50% from current levels. That’s right, just don’t hire more replacement drones who just do busy work or watch porn all day.
Now many lobbyists are going to claim “but you won’t be able to get everything done if you don’t have enough people.” Fair enough, but the question should not be “Do we have enough people to get everything done?”, rather the question should be “Do we have enough people to accomplish what actually needs to be done?”
The question has to be one of priorities. If the sitting Cabinet secretaries don’t have enough staff to do everything they (or some lobbyist or “Congress Critter”) would like to get done, and they know they can’t hire more staff, then they’d have to look at everything on their “to-do list” and decide what things they actually must do as opposed to what they would like to do. Really now? Does it seem to be that an ambitious, if not impossible, a task? After all, there is usually a large difference between what you must accomplish and what you’d like to accomplish.
In addition to eliminating personnel that would not be dedicated to what must be done, there would be the elimination of projects and their associated costs for things that you might like to do but you don’t need to do.
In rough round numbers, after four years of a responsible administration simply not replacing those federal workers who either retire, die, quit or get fired should reduce total nonmilitary headcount in the federal government by about 20%. That may sound like a lot of people, but in reality it’s only 5% per year for four years. If we reelect this responsible administration, after eight years you could be very close to the 50% reduction the Executive Order would have mandated. Of course this wouldn’t be 20% or 40% of total civilian employment in the federal government. The Executive Order could obviously not be applied to civil employment in the judicial or legislative branches, even though that means our Congress which is not noted for its fiscal self-restraint would not have civilian hiring reined-in.
Of course, it must be admitted, that the President is actually somewhat limited. Even though it isn’t stated in the Constitution, he really can’t go into Congress and punch someone in the nose just to get their attention.
I guess that we all have to settle for what we can get accomplished.
But limiting unnecessary hiring would be a great first step. And after one or two terms, and administration that shows that very same self-restraint, will encourage our utterly fair and balanced mainstream media to inquire a little more closely into the spending habits of Congress for their own benefit. Even if it doesn’t save us a penny in our taxes, I would personally enjoy watching members of Congress squirm when the questions about “Why do you need so many people?” start coming.