Trump sparks a decline in the number of bureaucrats

  • 4 January 2018
  • NormanL
Trump sparks a decline in the number of bureaucrats

Washington, DC's hometown paper, the Post, is sounding the alarm over a decline in the number of federal employees since Donald Trump became president. But as this article notes, the deline isn't really all that big...and it still leaves the government with a mammoth workforce to keep the paperwork flying:

All told, the government shed about 16,000 jobs between January and September, according to an analysis by The Washington Post, citing data from the Office of Personnel Management. That stands in stark contrast to the first nine months of the Obama administration, when the federal workforce grew by 68,000. It's the first time the federal workforce has declined in the first year of a new administration since it fell by about 70,000 under Bill Clinton in 1993.

But it's still a leviathan. The Post story overstates the extent of the cuts by claiming—in the very first paragraph—that the reductions "could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades."

That's technically true, but it will take a long time for that "eventually" to kick in. The federal workforce included 1.94 million employees at the end of September, according to the Post. That's well above the approximately 1.8 million employed by the federal government before the Obama administration started staffing up. Getting back to pre-Obama levels of federal workers would require cutting another 16,000 jobs every year for the next nine years.

Which means there's no crisis, or whatever. But the mood inside the bureaucracy is grim for those who stay at their desks:

"Morale has never been lower," Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers at more than 30 agencies, told the Post. "Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer."

Good. That means folks who might have sought a federal post 9or cling to one they obviously dislike) will instead find work in the private sector, which produces the wealth and growth that drives the economy. Here's hoping the ranks of federal employees gets lower this year, and every year for the rest of Mr. Trump's White House tenure.