Getting the government away from DC

About 14 percent of all federal workers are located in the metro Washington, D.C., area. Which, if that number is correct, means that about 86 percent of the civil service is NOT in the Washington area. Still, President Trump has proposed/promised to drain-the-swamp of both power and people.

Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) has introduced the SWAMP Act which stands for Strategic Withdrawal of Agencies for Meaningful Placement. You can’t make this stuff up!

Whatever the numbers, whatever the right or wrong of the concentration of power it is true that DC is—for the most part—where it’s at. But not, as many would point out, necessarily where it should be. Except for the Railroad Retirement Board, the Tennessee Valley Authority and a few boards and commissions most of the power and control is here.

Last week’s column about the SWAMP Act prompted some interesting responses from a few folks. This is what they are saying:

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* Gerald S. writes: “Congressman Messer also wants to make employees at will like [some jobs] in Indiana. In Indiana when administrations change party the new bosses walk in and fire people. Can you imagine that? What a mess that would be. As for this new law. The secretary for an agency would be outside dc. Imagine the travel stories there every time there is a meeting. Can you see Congress saying ‘well today we have Mr. Midwest from the Department of Homeland Security on video screen … Mr. Chairman can the speaker tell us their facial expressions while they are talking and also the telephone mic is closest only to members of the majority. I feel there is a political issue going on here.”

“IT WILL NEVER EVER WORK. For 20 years I worked in a finance center in Indianapolis. Finally moved to DC because tired of traveling. Bosses always want in-person meetings and the bosses at the meeting want support for the questions. Move admin functions out to across the country. Makes sense saves money. This idea is just brain dead.” G.S.

*”I am from southern Illinois and have been a federal worker in downtown DC for 20-plus years. I CANNOT WAIT to get out of this place with its traffic, elbows out work ethic and political smugness. There are good people working for the government here. But not hardly enough of them. I say drain the swamp and take me with you.” D.S.

* Emily from Washington State says: “For some odd reason I thought candidate Donald Trump would just let everyone go to ‘drain the swamp,’ rather than displace the swamp rats. Well, President Trump does like real estate development. This would provide ample opportunities to change Washington D.C. and also some other “winning city.” This might give some DC employees a chance to live closer to their jobs if they decide to move with the position. Also, this seems like a huge waste of money when we have a $20T deficit, it would provide lots of government spending to maybe meet his 6% growth target.”

Westward Ho? Writing in the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, conservative columnist Victor Davis Hanson says the nation should be “rethinking the geography of power” starting with the United Nations which might be moved from New York City to Haiti, Libya or Uganda whose capital cities he wrote are “unduly underappreciated and surprisingly wonderful cities from which to conduct international governance.”

As for the American government, he says “transferring the Department of Agriculture to, say, Topeka or Fresno would allow bureaucrats far more intimacy with the farmers they regulate.” For the same reason he says Salt Lake City might be a better home for the Interior Department; Houston or Bismarck for the Energy Department headquarters and Youngstown or Flint for the Departments of Labor, and Commerce.

And would Flint have had its horrible, and long-running unsafe drinking water problem if two cabinet secretaries and their families were drinking the stuff?

Nearly Useless Factoid

By David Thornton

There are approximately 19 billion chickens in the world. That’s almost three per person.

Source: NewsByDesign