By Michael Barnes – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines
ENVIRO-CRAT: ‘I did not want to any longer be any part of this administration’s nonsense…’
President Donald Trump has not only vowed to “Make America Great Again,” but he’s also promised to “Drain the Swamp.”
In regard to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he’s done just that.
And it’s not pretty for those who supported the EPA’s vast expansion of federal power during the Obama-era, when it carried out environmentalist policies and agenda items that could have never passed Congress.
During the first 18 months of the Trump administration, records show that nearly 1,600 workers have left the EPA, and the agency has hired fewer than 400 employees to replace them.
At a time when the federal government has never been larger, more intrusive, or more expensive to taxpayers, the EPA has shrunk to its size during the Reagan administration.
It’s a remarkable accomplishment, although Trump’s detractors are likely to view it as a disastrous development.
It’s nearly impossible to fire federal workers, but there are no rules stopping federal employees from quitting. And that’s what they’re doing in droves under Trump.
The agency is known for employing ideological environmentalists, whose political views would be naturally averse to the Trump administration’s goals regarding affordable energy, economic growth and jobs.
All of that entails scaling back restrictive EPA policies — or abuses, some would say.
Reducing EPA power has surely ruffled feathers within its workforce, especially after eight friendly years with the Obama administration, to the extent that staying is untenable.
“I did not want to any longer be any part of this administration’s nonsense,” Ann Williamson, a veteran EPA supervisor told the Washington Post last week.
“I felt it was time to leave given the irresponsible, ongoing diminishment of agency resources, which has recklessly endangered our ability to execute our responsibilities as public servants,” Williamson said, although the Post stated several times that EPA’s budget has remained stable.
Rep. David E. Price, a North Carolina Democrat, is also feeling the EPA blues. Price’s district happens to be the home of a major EPA research center.
“It is profoundly demoralizing, and I think, profoundly damaging in terms of the agency’s mission,” he said.
But Price and others who share is view may be in for a rough surprise, as all signs indicate that Trump is only getting started in reforming the flagship agency for the politicized bureaucracy.
Last week, Acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he remains focused on continuing to right-sizing the agency, but with a twist.
As career environmentalists age and leave the EPA in protest under Trump, doors are opening for new personnel.
“With nearly half of our employees eligible to retire in the next five years, my priority is recruiting and maintaining the right staff, the right people for our mission, rather than total full-time employees,” Wheeler said.
Other federal agencies are showing similar signs of voluntary workforce reductions.
The U.S. State Department, another liberal enclave, has seen a 6.4 percent drop in full-time employees since Trump’s inauguration.
According to The Atlantic magazine, that figure, while significant, masks the high departure rates of many in the Obama foreign policy establishment.
“The Trump administration seems to have a unique contempt for the career workforce,” a senior State Department official said.
The U.S. Department of Education’s workforce has declined 9.4 percent during the same period.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has made it a priority to decrease the federal government’s role in public education, and by extension its supporting labyrinth of administrative bloat has been on the chopping block.
There seems to be no relief in sight for the Washington, D.C. “swamp,” as Trump continues his mission to drain it.
Next up is the federal payroll. Trump has said it should be smaller, and he recently requested that Congress withhold pay raises for federal workers in 2019.
If they don’t like, they can leave, apparently.