Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Ramaswamy Wants to Gut the Government

Vivek Ramaswamy has decided that his campaign wants to get to the right of all the other campaigns, even that of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), who has also decided he wants to get to the right of all the others. Let the bidding war start! Ramaswamy is now proposing to eliminate a million civilian federal government jobs—more than a third of the total. And that is only a start. His goal is to reduce the federal workforce by 75% after 4 years. That would cripple most government agencies.

He is especially proud of the fact that his plan would gut the Department of Education, FBI, ATF Bureau, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Commerce Dept. Are those blue-collar workers (see above) going to cheer that President Ramaswamy will destroy the Nuclear Regulatory Commission? Do they know what it does? Have they even ever heard of it? But the message is: Government is bad, even though it supports many programs useful to working class families (e.g. Pell Grants for poor college students).

So who is Ramaswamy targeting? Probably he is going for the support of right-wing media outlets. There, reporters have probably swallowed the "government is bad" Kool-Aid and see him as an ally. Experts say that cutting even a third of the federal workforce would lead to chaos. Firing a third or half or three-quarters of all the airport flight controllers? That would force the airlines to slash the number of flights and prioritize which ones are retained. JFK to LAX will stay. Chicago to Peoria, sorry about that. What would such a change do to airfares? How about the time for processing a passport application? It could jump from 8 weeks to 8 years. Meat inspection? You can barely taste salmonella or E. coli, so what does it matter if your meat is full of it?

Fortunately, what Ramaswamy says is all garbage. Norman Ornstein, a scholar emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute, said: "The idea that a president would have the unilateral capacity to fire a million people is farcical." Those agencies exist because Congress passed laws saying they are to exist and what they are required to do. A president can't change all that with an XO. What he can do, though, is replace many of the top civil service appointees with his own people on account of his signing off on Schedule F, which reclassifies 50,000 top civil servants as political appointees who don't have civil service job protection but who serve at the pleasure of the president. (V)

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