Donald Trump Is Emptying Out the Government
Andrew Dobbs
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Donald Trump Is Emptying Out the Government

I know. Is that great, or what? :-)

On Jan. 11, 2017, in our piece “First, Destroy the Federal Workforce — Then Rule Like an Autocrat,”

I don’t bother with most of your ravings, but if your theorem was that a large federal workforce acts as a deterrent to autocracy, that’s madness. A large federal workforce *enables* autocracy.

What happens when the feds cut their workforce? Well, nonessential functions go undone. That leaves it up to the states to pick up the slack or not. (Oddly, this is precisely how the United States is supposed to work, by design. Read your Constitution.)

If Trump can make the bureaucracy do what he wants it to do, he has individual control of the state — the formal definition of an autocrat.

The President can always make the bureaucracy do what he wants it to do. They work for him, after all. You’re making it sound like they are part of the system of checks and balances. Not. Again, go read your Constitution. A smaller workforce actually *decreases* the threat of autocracy, simply because there are fewer agents of the government that can be charged with carrying out the President’s priorities.

His cabinet-level appointments garnered widespread contempt for hating the very agencies and missions they were now in charge of.

Well, they also garnered widespread praise for the promise that they may return said agencies to the missions they were intended to perform, but let’s not digress.

This is a big deal. Cabinet secretaries are high-profile political positions, spending a great deal of time in public engagements and setting high level policies. Deputy directors and secretaries are most often the ones actually running the day-to-day operations of these agencies, implementing the policies developed by their bosses.

It is a big deal. My theorem, which is different than yours thankfully, is that since Chuck Shumer is determined to be a dick and oppose everyone, that Trump is not going to let the Democrats get in the way of the legislative agenda by pretending they have to do six weeks of due diligence for each deputy.

So, what’s really pissing you off is that Trump outsmarted Schumer. Again.

They do have an agenda, however, an ideological and practical program of dismantling the liberal state and transferring its resources to the hands of the imperial financial elite.

There is no evidence for your paranoia. A function that is deferred by the Feds simply gets picked up by the states. However, it’s worth saying here that personally, I trust the “imperial financial elite” more than I trust the “progressives”, who are basically Marxists.

Their strategy for pulling this off is genius. They know that leaving the top managerial posts in an institution vacant puts the agency into a sort of holding pattern, not doing much at all but awaiting instructions.

I’m confused. Is Trump an idiot or a genius? You have him playing different roles, even in the same article.

Into that void they have skipped over the top levels of the agencies to hire instead second-tier figures that the nonprofit journalism project Pro Publica calls a “beachhead” into the federal government.

ProPublica, it should be said, is a leftist agitprop “project”. Basically, the Daily Caller with better prose.

Now Bannon and company are delivering the coup de grace with Monday’s executive order.

You know, if you want to write an interesting article, you might consider a balanced, non political defense of having a large government bureaucracy, rather than a small, barebones one. Discuss how people benefit from large government structures, because it’s not apparent than they do, especially when you consider that the federal programs that people benefit from the most (SS and Medicare) always brag about how skinny and efficient their operations are.

Anyone who has ever been to a DMV or post office knows that there is nothing the government does like delay.

Exactly. If a fully funded government does delay, then probably best to automate them out of existence wherever you can.

All of this is intentional and absolutely necessary for the normal operation of our capitalist economy. Economist Michael Roberts provides context in his 2016 book The Long Depression.
“The post-slump austerity policies of most governments are not insane, as Keynesians think,” Roberts wrote. “These policies follow from the need to drive down costs, particularly wage costs, but also taxation and interest costs, and the need to weaken the labor movement so that profits can be raised.

Nobody engaged in austerity during the meltdown, so the point is moot. Our national debt is up a shocking amount in the 09–17 period.

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