Wisconsin State Treasurer's First Objective: Eliminating Himself

Newly elected government employee is the spending-cutting hero libertarians dream of.


||| Wisconsin capitol/flickr

Virtually every government department works every day to justify its existence and to preserve or increase its budget. Not newly elected Wisconsin state treasurer Matt Adamczyk, though. The No. 1 item on his agenda? Eliminating his own job.

Adamczyk, who took office on January 5, ran on the promise to eliminate the very position for which he was running. In his short tenure, he's already had the positions of two treasury office employees terminated, determining they were unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer funds.

Adamczyk is correct in his budget trimming. Even The New York Times acknowledges his position is "virtually powerless," with most duties already having been transferred to other agencies, and this depiction from the Times profile reads like a spending-cutter's dream:

Eliminating his employees' jobs has saved hundreds of thousands of dollars, [Adamczyk] said. Then there is the smaller stuff: an unused printer sits ready to be returned. Laptop cases that belong to no one were stacked on a wooden table. He spent one day recently on the phone with Verizon trying to determine why his office had more active cellphone contracts than it did employees.

During a tour of his office, Mr. Adamczyk pointed out examples of how his predecessors, in his opinion, frittered away taxpayers' dollars.

Opening a large cardboard box, he pulled out tiny blue plastic piggy banks with the department's name printed on the side. "Do we need these?" he asked. "No, we don't."

Mr. Adamczyk held up a new iPhone, still sealed in plastic. "This was a 'floater' phone," he said. "No one ever used it. It cost $58 a month. You almost can't make this stuff up."

This seemingly real-life Ron Swanson's next target is Tia Nelson, leader of the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, who earns $89,231 per year, according to public records.

Adamczyk won't be able to officially eliminate his position until 2017, when a constitutional amendment could first be passed. In the meantime, he has promised to eliminate 25 percent of his cost by vowing to voluntarily return a quarter of his $69,936 salary to the state.

There is a somewhat vicious cycle in which those who support an activist government are more likely to be drawn to government positions. As a result, state government employees, especially those in unions, skew heavily Democratic.

Government agencies could use more liberty-minded employees like Adamczyk working from the inside to protect taxpayers. The irony is that if Adamczyk continues his budget-trimming ways, he could very well justify keeping himself on staff.

NEXT: A Different Sort of Tax Rebellion

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  1. Back an election before this last one the two winning candidates for Treasurer and Comptroller agreed their offices should merge and reduce total headcount… think the Donkey dominated legislature took that up? Nope.

    Bleah, WI will succeed where IL once again failed.

  2. And this is in Wisconsin. Imagine the incredible amount of waste that must occur in California or D.C. But there’s nothing left to cut!

    1. Wisconsin is not exactly the epitome of efficient governance.

      1. I didn’t say it was. It’s small, though (relatively speaking).

  3. Government agencies could use more liberty-minded employees

    People who are not inclined to coerce others are not drawn to positions of power.

  4. As a result, state government employees, especially those in unions, skew heavily Democratic.

    Not really sure why the obvious needs to be stated.

    “Vote for me, and I’ll give you a raise” will always skew Democratic.

  5. Opening a large cardboard box, he pulled out tiny blue plastic piggy banks with the department’s name printed on the side. “Do we need these?” he asked. “No, we don’t.”

    How will the state of Wisconsin ever instill the virtue of thrift in its people without tiny plastic piggy banks?

    1. A tiny plastic biggy bank in every pot!

    2. Aw, piggly…

  6. Wisconsin State Treasurer’s First Objective: Eliminating Himself

    Oh, and did anyone else think this was going involve seppuku before reading it?!

  7. It’s funny that Ron Swanson was supposed to be a caricature of a libertarian, but he actually comes off as the only adult on that show.

    1. Have you seen this season so far? They make him out to be as petulant and 10X as evil as Leslie, though we find out why, and things get back to semi-normal.

      Been a strange season so far.

      1. He sure loves Michigan limestone.

  8. Do you know who else had eliminating themselves as their first goal?

    1. Hitler, as of 4/30/45?

      1. About 2:30 in the morning.

        But Sue Grafton’s mother was dedicated to the notion: “She’d “[Vivian Grafton] already attempted suicide twice and was upset she’d survived the [recent throat] operation. Once she got home, she killed herself.” http://www.theguardian.com/boo…..-when-five

        Obscure, I know.

        If you want to read an odd and morbid short story by a different author I can recommend “The first time Kelly killed herself”: http://www.burningbuilding.com/KELLY.htm

    2. Jesus?

      1. For some reason your response reminded me of the Judean People’s Front.

  9. Hey you guys I have found the perfect job as a full time student, it has changed my life around! If you are self motivated and social media savvy then this is ideal for you. The sky is the limit, you get exactly how much work you put into to it.
    Click on this link to get started and see for yourself????.
    ?????????????????????? http://www.netpay20.com

  10. We need to clone this man.

  11. The debate with Secretary of State is much the same, except the Republicans ran an anti-elimination candidate after supporting it for a long time. I ran as the Libertarian candidate on the platform of abolishing the office, the only such candidate in that race. The Republican lost, so hopefully now Secretary of State will be included in State Treasurer if Republicans move forward on this. Already the new budget reduces the SoS’s office from four to two positions, and will have him share office space with the State Treasurer in the literal basement of the Capitol.

    -Andy Craig

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