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A New Year’s Resolution for Every Republican Leader: Fewer Government Workers

Posted on Monday, January 1, 2024
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by Sam Adolphsen
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67 Comments

AMAC Exclusive – By Sam Adolphsen

government building and american flags

You may not have had “follow Argentina’s policy lead” on your 2024 bingo card.

But here we are!

Just as we are set to ring in a new year, the new president of Argentina delivered one of the better policy reforms we’ve seen at home or abroad in recent years by eliminating thousands of government jobs in one fell swoop.

Governors and candidates for president should take note. This is a must-do reform at the state and federal levels in 2024.

Any serious conservative candidate or elected chief executive should have a well thought out plan to reduce the headcount in government.

At a minimum those plans should include a hiring freeze, eliminating vacant positions, and some wholesale closing of unnecessary departments and agencies.

There are lots of good reasons to slow and reverse the growth of government. The most basic of course is that we are running a deficit and have accumulated an appalling $34 trillion national debt.

Some day in the next couple decades when my kids ask me, “Dad, why did America go broke?” I’m going to be ashamed to have to say, “Well kids, our Centers for Disease Control just really needed those hundreds of assistant epidemiologists.”

Sadly, that is where we are headed, and fast, if our leaders don’t act.

Just like in Argentina, much of our government spending is a result of paying millions of government employees’ salaries, benefits, and pensions.

At the federal level, an estimated 2.2 million government workers cost taxpayers somewhere near $300 billion a year.

I say “estimated” because the federal government is now so huge that even the researchers who work for Congress can’t figure out exactly how many employees there are.

We can’t blame the D.C. swamp alone. Many state governments are also driving your tax bill and the deficit upwards with their own constant expansion.

There are something like 5.5 million state government employees spread out at varying levels across the country. That’s to say nothing of the 15 million or so local government workers.

Anyone with the least bit of common sense knows there is a lot of waste among these millions of government workers.

As the Chief Operating Officer at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, I saw that waste firsthand.

The department had more than 3,500 full-time employees. We found hundreds who were watching streaming video on their phones all day, employees playing computer games instead of working, and a whole public health department that did very little except fill out grant requests for more money and beg to hire more employees.

That’s when Maine Governor Paul LePage enacted a statewide hiring freeze. He would not allow any position to be filled unless a written request was approved by him.

It worked.

Maine reduced headcount and eliminated a long-running budget deficit in the process.

President Trump enacted something similar at the federal level his first term as President, and Governor Sarah Sanders in Arkansas has also employed this smart tool for reining in government. House Republicans in Congress have proposed a good bill to freeze hiring at the Department of Education.

Another way to tackle this issue is to eliminate state government jobs that have been open for a long period of time.

If that assistant epidemiologist job has been vacant for 12 months and we survived without them putting up more posters or sending out another survey, do we really need to continue to pay for that position?

Of course not. Cut it.

Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed something similar in Florida by outlining plans to eliminate 1,000 taxpayer-funded state jobs. This is helping Florida achieve further savings for taxpayers and debt reduction, among other things. Smart.

Finally, state leaders and whoever is the next president should be laser-focused on eliminating entire departments and agencies that are ineffective, obsolete, or doing tasks that should be done by the private sector.

Many Republican presidential primary candidates have proposed sweeping reforms to reduce the size of government.

Vivek Ramaswamy wants to eliminate more than one million federal employees, and he, Trump, and DeSantis have all wisely floated eliminating entire agencies.

President Trump had some great success in draining the swamp during his administration. He made it easier to remove underperforming or insubordinate employees and moved some agencies out of D.C.

Biden has already worked to roll back that key reform. The next president should build upon Trump’s good work, and governors should follow his or her lead. It will save taxpayers money, help balance budgets, and close the deficit.

Beyond that very important benefit, it also means there will be fewer regulators to create and enforce senseless business-killing regulations.

If Argentina can do it, so can the great United States of America!

Sam Adolphsen is the policy director at the Foundation for Government Accountability, and the former Chief Operating Officer for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services where he oversaw welfare eligibility and fraud investigations.

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Earl
Earl
3 months ago

Government employees should never be represented by a union. Government and unions do not go well together local or federal. Double protection from government and unions. Do your job or be let go.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
3 months ago

First to go should be the 80 000 hired for the IRS. Kyle L.

Donna
Donna
3 months ago

Trump is the man to get the job done. Can’t be that confident in the RINOS though.

Garyk
Garyk
3 months ago

Great article presenting a great first step for regining in the marxist democrat party bankruptcy of America!
At ALL levels, local,state and federal government, immediately cut the excess waste and fraud. Includes a bloated level of employees who are redundant and un- productive, some of which waited years to return to their office and perform their jobs!!
These are the same anti-american people seeking to destroy everything great about Our Country and working behind the curtain to push marxist democrat party policies without accountability!!
THEY MUST GO

Jan Satterfield
Jan Satterfield
3 months ago

Eliminate first of all those that go home when govt shuts down and still get paid [all of congress.] Then eliminate all govt workers that go home when govt shuts down and get retroactive pay. Then get into essential and emergency essential and go 1/2 staffing to start with then cut further as needed. We didn’t make it happen the govt did it to themselves with stealing and mismanaging our hard earned tax dollars. Then they decide to not use medical protocols to save lives and reduce illness during Covid. Then they said open our borders. Then they left afghan in a disgraceful way to make all who have worn our nations uniform disgusted and ashamed of our so called leaders.I could go on and on but it’s one thing after another accomplished to destroy our country over last 4 years.
The govt can be reduced easily by 1/2 to 3/4 of the civilian workforce. They did it to themselves by perpetuating fraud waste and abuse. They have been beyond irresponsible 35 trillion+ debt and 200 trillion + in unfunded liabilities. They all were in on it because no one did nothing about the fraud waste and abuse just condoned it so all could benefit from the pillaging of the AMERICAN people.They outdid themselves with Covid letting people die that could have been saved violating medical doctors hippocratic oath. The protocols used by govt and medical community killed people and increased severity of Covid illnesses.

Ron
Ron
3 months ago

Please. Less government/more freedom.

Alaintha
Alaintha
3 months ago

All we will we hear is the screaming of Unions and the workers who leech off of the system. I have bever supported unions. The time for unions has passed. We no longer hire children. We no longer place people in positions to where they are not qualified. Owning 2 companies, I hired from their experience, references and potenial.
As with the Lobbyists, the Unions need to be condemned, dissolved and prevent any of the parasites that worm their way into pockets of those that have little honor or morals. I need also add that the unions choose those that can be easily swayed. Those that refuse to look at the union pyramid of “management” and the inability to do the very things they claim they can for the workers. Unions are simply another parasite preying on the weak.

A Voter
A Voter
3 months ago

Sounds good, but with a few exceptions, most Republican politicians are as much a part of the deep state as Democrats are. I think George Carlin summed it up best when he said, “They Don’t Give A F*** About You.”

Granny26
Granny26
3 months ago

Cut all politicians salaries by at least 1/3 and we’ll save way more money. Most are on ‘recess’ more than they work.

CYNTHIA
CYNTHIA
3 months ago

All these major agencies for the government should be shut down and build back carefully with less money and less people and make sure it follows the Constitution every single agency and get the old dirty liberals out

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
3 months ago

The unions will never let this happen

Thinking
Thinking
3 months ago

Only the dems will never eliminate any unnecessary jobs. These are voters they are buying. Reps will be called out as dictators for suggesting it. Just do it after you are elected. Don’t make it a plank in your platform. The dems will annihilate the rep candidate for bringing it up. The lies the dems will bring out about this is huge, with the help of MSM of course. The brainwashing by the dems is so deep this is a negative for the reps to put forth as a campaign strategy.

anna hubert
anna hubert
3 months ago

For some reason gov employees think they are untouchable Not only should they not have their union they should nor be allowed to strike That all should be in the contract Those who don’t like it need not apply Efficiency and competence should be demanded and all the dead wood should be cut off to the tiniest twig

Sean Rickman
Sean Rickman
3 months ago

We have needed”The great purge”for a long time,county,STATE and FEDERAL.I live in Illinois and there are so many”GOODBUDDIE”jobs in our state,that is why there is a pention problem.We need to start at the bottom and work to the top.But then the bloated unions would whine and cry.

Melinda
Melinda
3 months ago

I’m optimistic that more Republicans will be elected this year, enough to control the Senate as well as the House, and that they actually DO something, not just talk.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
3 months ago

Great article. There are hundreds of empty office buildings which could be closed to save money. All cabinet departments should be HQ’d in red states. A lot of the crooks would quit rather than move out of VA and the others would have their influence diluted by REAL people.

TPS
TPS
3 months ago

dems have a plan, have the largest work force give them a 4.5 to 5.5 pay raise right before the elections and you stay in control by buying all those votes with taxpayer money. Whoa! As for repubs, they seem pretty happy with the crumbs left over. As for the taxpaying citizens, you get what you vote for. IMO

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
3 months ago

Added New Years Resolutions for MAGA Republicans:
Purge RNC Estd
Purge DC Swamp
CUT regulatiions X100K per day or hour
Downsize DC
Reform Cong Caucus system
Automate More
Go Hi Tech
Hire New MAGA Blood: NO DC Experience save DC tourism
Outsource, sublet, subcontract
Downize: Dept Education, Energy, Commerce, Labor, EPA NIH HHS CDC NEA PBS

Jabe
Jabe
3 months ago

Any business,when times are tough, cut heads. Not the government,they always find excuses to create new bureaucracies or expand current ones.

Wayne
Wayne
3 months ago

A simple and painless way to cut Gov’t jobs, is to pass a law that they can hire 1 new employee, only after 3 employee’s have retired or died. This would put a stop to the blitz of hiring.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
3 months ago

A good place to start: take all those “nonessential workers” they furlough durihg government shutdowns and fire them!

Mytake
Mytake
3 months ago

Absolutely! Without delay. Get it done!

Louis
Louis
3 months ago

Every time the national debt increases the government payroll should decrease by the same percentage.
Term limits for Congress and prohibit members of Congress and their families from stock trading.
Reduce numbers of government employees by 5% per year for next 4 years and no replacement of governor employees that retire, quit or expire for the next 2 years.
Those remaining will have to earn their wages.

Mike Kapic
Mike Kapic
3 months ago

There is light at the end of the tunnel. Fixing this problem, at least in DC, will begin once the states ratify the new amendments that will be proposed in the states convention sometime later this year. An Article V convention to propose a fiscal responsibility amendment to limit the money flowing around DC is near. Shrinking the block grants, easy access to taxpayer dollars, special interest dollars, waste and fraud, will shrink the employment in DC in all areas. Next on the agenda will be to call another states convention to settle term limits for Congress and federal employees. That’s just the beginning of the states using their authority to return this country to federalism in order to save it. Ultimately, this effort will repeat and return our Nation to God and to the consent of us, the governed.

Pelatiah
Pelatiah
3 months ago

I was shocked to hear that they hired 6000 employees for the infrastructure bill and plan to hire another 1000 this FY. What are these employees going to do when the bill money is spent? What have they actually done so far?

Mike
Mike
3 months ago

Sounds like a GREAT plan. But sadly the politicians (both R/D) will never allow this to happen!

Steve
Steve
3 months ago

My wish is they get a spine !

Jeri
Jeri
3 months ago

We can dream, but I prefer to live in reality.

Marie Langley
Marie Langley
3 months ago

This is what Vivek says he will do on his first day. He says Trump was duped and was told he couldn’t legally do that so he didn’t. Vivek says it is not illegal if you do it as a mass layoff. Brilliant idea!!! Too much dead wood. Big corporations do it all the time.

cecilia
cecilia
3 months ago

How about reducing the salaries of members of Congress and Senate, it irks me to see what the traitors squad and rhinos get paid. And they give themselves raises darn it

SusanP
SusanP
3 months ago

There is a plan, already written, to do this on a national scale. We the People simply must get educated in the civics lessons our schools have not taught in the last 150 years and then stand up to do the work. I won’t tell you the plan. I will point you in the direction to get the education you need. This is for citizens who are the employers of government workers. If your paycheck is backed by taxes, do not bother to apply. You are an employee and this plan is not for you. It is a conflict of interest for employees to act as employers. Those who apply must be patriotic citizens who are willing to do the work to bring the USA back under the control of the U. S. Constitution. Most of those employees in D.C. are working for unconstitutional agencies. The plan and the education you need can both be found at Tactical Civics (one word) dot com. If you are a patriotic, concerned citizen who wants to bring the USA back to the Constitution, please join us.

Myrna
Myrna
3 months ago

Obama planned a four million man army. I wondered where he found that number, but government workers have been growing. Everywhere elected people can generate more jobs they visualize grateful votes. The open border seems to further the same ends. Votes for democrats in such numbers that it won’t matter how many people who prize self reliance and minimizing government expense. There will be such an overwhelming number of tax payer funded jobs and services.

PapaGrouch
PapaGrouch
3 months ago

Note to GOP: If you are serious about defeating the DNC’s Neo-Marxist party, start treating the Neo-Marxists (MSM, academia, DNC, sanctuary cities, the UN, DEA, etc etc) the same way they treat the GOP. And take away the (taxpayer subsidized) funding from whoever is receiving it.
…like that will ever happen.

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