The Rushmore Report: Trump Starts to Drain the Swamp


Donald Trump is issuing a presidential memorandum that will call for a complete restructuring of the federal government. The result could be a complete downsizing that threatens to lead to massive layoffs and reform. The new order, going into effect today, comes with hiring targets in line with the spending priorities the administration laid out in March, said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The move is part of Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp” and get rid of what the administration views as inefficiencies in the federal government, said Mulvaney. Their proposed budget calls for historically deep spending cuts to everything from medical research to clean-energy programs.

Trump’s proposed budget cuts are already facing strong opposition from Congress. But Mulvaney said, “We think at the end of the day this leads to a government that is dramatically more accountable, dramatically more efficient, and dramatically more effective, following through on the very promises the president made during the campaign and that he put into place on day one.”

The key to Trump’s plan, Mulvaney said, is that he is beginning the budget process “with a blank sheet.” Everything will be on the table. As an example of ineffectiveness, Mulvaney points to 43 different workforce training programs across 13 agencies – without a single point person in charge of them – that could be brought under one roof.

Expect immediate changes in federal hiring, followed by budget cuts in September. Cuts will include programs that date to the Great Society. But Mulvaney acknowledges that “Congress’ priorities may be a little different. But to the extent we have discretion under the law, then the discretion will be exercised in the method best possible to effectuate the president’s policies.”


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