The following was written by Convention of States Action President Mark Meckler and originally published on his Patheos blog.
I absolutely love the advice that writer Kimberley A Strassel gave President Donald Trump in the Wall Street Journal: “Let 2018 be the year of civil-service reform—a root-and-branch overhaul of the government itself. Call it Operation Drain the Swamp.”
I have to admit, it does sound very Trumpian. And it’s something I’ve been saying for years. In fact, it’s a lament that many share. There are two million members of the federal bureaucracy, and these are the people (usually highly partisan) who really have the power. And their power is largely unchecked. We saw this most dramatically when the Internal Revenue Service harassed and targeted Tea Party groups, merely because the bureaucrats who populate that agency didn’t like the patriotic groups’ politics.
But it’s more than just Lois Lerner. Strassel writes:
It’s the “anonymous” officials who leak national-security secrets daily. It’s the General Services Administration officials who turned over Trump transition emails to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in the absence of a warrant. It’s the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Leandra English, who tried to stage an agency coup. It’s the EPA’s “Scientific Integrity Official” who has taken it upon herself to investigate whether Scott Pruitt is fit to serve in the office to which he was duly appointed. It’s the thousands of staffers across the federal government who continue to pump out reports on global warming and banking regulations that undermine administration policy.
More broadly, it is a federal workforce whose pay and benefits are completely out of whack with the private sector. A 2011 American Enterprise Institute study found federal employees receive wages 14% higher than what similar workers in the private sector earn. Factor in benefits and the compensation premium leaps to 61%. Nice, huh?
Even the name of these self-serving bureaucrats — the civil-servant corps — is self-congratulatory and inaccurate. And, after forty years of inattention, they are long overdue for an overhaul.
“That civil-servant corps was turbocharged by the Obama administration’s rule-making binge, and it now has more power—and more media enablers—than ever,” Strassel writes. “We live in an administrative state, run by a left-leaning, self-interested governing class that is actively hostile to any president with a deregulatory or reform agenda.”
Exactly. Our nation was designed for citizens who govern themselves. Now, however, we’ve gotten used to the government handing us options from “on high,” and regulations touch every aspect of life.
When Donald Trump was promising to “drain the swamp,” he was talking about career politicians. However, these partisan bureaucrats are the ones that really need to go.
Let’s pull the plug in 2018.
Want to join a movement that can do just that? An Article V Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that would significantly shrink the federal bureaucracy. Click the blue button below to get involved.