Trim the Fat: How the Government Shutdown is Draining the Swamp

The Daily Caller ran an interesting op-ed piece yesterday. It was submitted and published anonymously, and the author is a “senior Trump official” who wanted to speak candidly but knew doing so would put his (or her, but it’s probably not a her) career in jeopardy. Once you read a bit of it you’ll see why.

“As one of the senior officials working without a paycheck, a few words of advice for the president’s next move at shuttered government agencies: lock the doors, sell the furniture, and cut them down.

Federal employees are starting to feel the strain of the shutdown. I am one of them. But for the sake of our nation, I hope it lasts a very long time, till the government is changed and can never return to its previous form.

The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.”

You may have heard terms like “essential” and “non-essential” government employees being thrown around. That’s what this piece is discussing.

“On an average day, roughly 15 percent of the employees around me are exceptional patriots serving their country. I wish I could give competitive salaries to them and no one else. But 80 percent feel no pressure to produce results. If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.

Why would they? We can’t fire them. They avoid attention, plan their weekend, schedule vacation, their second job, their next position — some do this in the same position for more than a decade.”

This senior Trump official says well over 80% of government employees are unnecessary. He doesn’t mean that the “essential” personnel are managing to scrape by in their absence–he means that not only could the government get along fine without them ever coming back, it would actually function significantly better.

Another underrated benefit of the shutdown: fewer saboteurs working against the president’s policies from within.

“Then there are the 5 percent with moxie (career managers). At any given time they can change, clarify or add to the process — even to distort or block policy counsel for the president.

Saboteurs peddling opinion as research, tasking their staff on pet projects or pitching wasteful grants to their friends. Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.”

See how hard it is to actually drain the swamp?

“Due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks.”

And that’s the way it should be. But it’s not:

“Many federal employees truly believe that doing tasks more efficiently and cutting out waste, by closing troubled programs instead of expanding them, “is morally wrong,” as one cried to me.”

So all the government paper shufflers and paycheck-collectors are, unsurprisingly, fighting to maintain a wasteful, bloated system. No surprise there. They’re not working for the country, they’re working for themselves.

I know you have to make a living, but that’s not what government is for. Government doesn’t exist to give a bunch of libs paychecks for doing nothing.

Go make a living in a real job.

“President Trump can end this abuse. Senior officials can reprioritize during an extended shutdown, focus on valuable results and weed out the saboteurs. We do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them. Sure, we empathize with families making tough financial decisions, like mine, and just like private citizens who have to find other work and bring competitive value every day, while paying more than a third of their salary in federal taxes.

President Trump has created more jobs in the private sector than the furloughed federal workforce. Now that we are shut down, not only are we identifying and eliminating much of the sabotage and waste, but we are finally working on the president’s agenda.”

As if we needed any more reason to support the shutdown continuing indefinitely.

Trim the fat, baby.

And when you’re done, trim some more.

“President Trump does not need Congress to address the border emergency, and yes, it is an emergency. Billions upon billions of hard-earned tax dollars are still being dumped into foreign aid programs every year that do nothing for America’s interest or national security.”

Glad he weighed in on this part. Build the wall by any means necessary.

“The president does not need congressional funding to deconstruct abusive agencies who work against his agenda. This is a chance to effect real change, and his leverage grows stronger every day the shutdown lasts.”

His leverage grows because it is predominantly Democrats who are most hurt by a government shutdown that goes longer and longer.

A word of caution: To be a victory, this shutdown must be different than those of the past and should achieve lasting disruption with two major changes, or it will hurt the president.

The first thing we need out of this is better security, particularly at the southern border. Our founders envisioned a free market night watchman state, not the bungled bloated bureaucracy our government has become. But we have to keep the uniformed officers paid, which is an emergency. Ideally, continue a resolution to pay the essential employees only, if they are truly working on national security. Furloughed employees should find other work, never return and not be paid.

The very fact that there are such things as “non-essential employees” is an indictment of the whole system.

Return to the night watchman state.

“Secondly, we need savings for taxpayers. If this fight is merely rhetorical bickering with Nancy Pelosi, we all lose, especially the president. But if it proves that government is better when smaller, focusing only on essential functions that serve Americans, then President Trump will achieve something great that Reagan was only bold enough to dream.

The president’s instincts are right. Most Americans will not miss non-essential government functions. A referendum to end government plunder must happen. Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.”

The main point is that the longer the shutdown goes, the more it highlights the truth that we could do without a significant portion of the government–permanently.

Has your life changed in any meaningful way since the shutdown began? Mine hasn’t. I’m sure most Americans would say the same.

The longer the shutdown goes, the more Americans will start to think, “Just why, exactly, does the federal government need to spend $4.5 trillion a year?”

If we get a wall and a significantly reduced federal workforce out of this, that would be the ideal outcome.



  1. That’s the opinion of our house as well.

  2. Kenkipp says:

    This is a must. We need to give pay raises to the Americans who gave money each week in there checks to social security. Why does congress get a raise. Police and fire fighters get 80 percent of there pay. But the common person gets no more than 2,600 a month. Yes thank you government for the 401 K. But you had to do something after all you stole all of our money from what was suppose to be our retirement. Thank you Mr. Trump. Hoot doing a great job. Just try to shut up a little bit. And keep on sticking it up there asses. We needed this 8 years ago. America is a great place.

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