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The Incredible Shrinking Trump Administration

More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan. Only 1.9 million to go!

Ingram Publishing/NewscomIngram Publishing/NewscomAcross nearly every federal department and agency, staffing levels fell during the first year of the Trump administration as empty positions went unfilled, budgets were cut, and de facto hiring freezes were implemented.

All told, the government shed about 16,000 jobs between January and September, according to an analysis by The Washington Post, citing data from the Office of Personnel Management. That stands in stark contrast to the first nine months of the Obama administration, when the federal workforce grew by 68,000. It's the first time the federal workforce has declined in the first year of a new administration since it fell by about 70,000 under Bill Clinton in 1993.

But it's still a leviathan. The Post story overstates the extent of the cuts by claiming—in the very first paragraph—that the reductions "could eventually bring the workforce down to levels not seen in decades."

That's technically true, but it will take a long time for that "eventually" to kick in. The federal workforce included 1.94 million employees at the end of September, according to the Post. That's well above the approximately 1.8 million employed by the federal government before the Obama administration started staffing up. Getting back to pre-Obama levels of federal workers would require cutting another 16,000 jobs every year for the next nine years.

Still, it's a step in the right direction—even if something of an accidental one.

There's no doubt that Trump came into office with a promise to reshape the federal government—he famously proposed to "drain the swamp" during his presidential campaign—but he was never all that explicit about whether he intended to reduce the federal workforce. In fact, as Jeffrey Tucker of the American Institute for Economic Research points out, Trump made promises that would require the government to grow to new heights: "stopping immigration, keeping out foreign products, cracking down on drugs, building a wall, expanding the military, and so on."

Does Trump deserve credit for cutting the federal workforce during his first year in office? Yes and no.

The budget proposed by the Trump White House is clearly having an effect on how federal agencies plan for the future. Trump proposed cutting as much as 30 percent from some departmental budgets (although he proposed increases elsewhere) and the White House has warned that more cuts will be proposed in the fiscal year 2019 budget set to be unveiled in a few months. So far, few of those proposals have actually become policy, but they could become policy, and agencies have responded by cutting staff or at least avoiding new hires. A temporary hiring freeze that expired in March has become a de facto freeze at many departments, according to the Post.

Trump also gets credit for putting the right people in charge at various departments. Scott Pruit's Environmental Protection Agency, for example, cut 500 jobs during 2017 and rolled back regulations that require lots of officials to maintain.

But it's likely that the overall decline in the federal workforce would be slighter if Trump really had his way. There are still hundreds of unfilled positions across various government agencies, including some 250 high-level posts the administration has been unable to fill. A spokesman for the Justice Department told the Post that the reduction of more than 2,300 jobs within the federal Bureau of Prisons is largely the result of hiring delays rather than an intentional effort to shrink the government.

And if Trump hasn't drained the swamp, he's at least inspired a lot of it to drain itself. As the Post notes, more than 71,000 career government employees have left their jobs since Trump was inaugurated—a higher number than in the first year of previous administrations, suggesting that frustration with the slow transition process or an unwillingness to serve under such a polarizing president is part of the explanation.

"Morale has never been lower," Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers at more than 30 agencies, told the Post. "Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer."

Good! If government is a less attractive destination for America's best and brightest, that means those people will put their considerable skills to work in other areas of the economy—areas where they will produce value, rather than consuming tax dollars earned by others.

In the end, it doesn't matter too much whether a reduction in the size of the federal workforce is happening because of Trump's deliberate efforts or as a consequence of his ineptitude. It's probably a little of both. Regardless, it's a bit of good news at the start of the year and a trend that will hopefully continue into 2018.

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  • ||

    The WaPo article was informative. And they tried so desperately hard to spin it to show what a bad thing this all was. But they never even came close to negating the most important salient fact presented in the article:

    first nine months of the Obama administration, when the federal workforce grew by 68,000

    And they felt the need to kvetch about 16,000 jobs? MSM is just a disgrace.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    MSM is about #resistence, or whatever the hell it is. Not anything to do with reporting news.

  • chemjeff||

    The MSM is a disgrace - this would be the same MSM that bothered to tell you that Obama grew the workforce by 68k in the same time period in his presidency, which - let's be honest - you probably didn't already know without them telling you in this article.

  • ||

    The article is a typical example of how they dress up commentary as reporting. Yes, you do need to have some salient facts to create the veneer of reporting. But when you fail to once mention why Obama's leviathan saw an increase of 68,000, and then subsequently fail to justify the rhetorical flourish of "significant down payment", being able to only show a reduction of less than 1% to a level still far above 2008, well, you're being a disingenuous MSM reporter who is pretending to report but is ultimately constructing a narrative.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    How do you like this without being called a Nazi?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    More than 16,000 jobs have been cut from the federal leviathan. Only 1.9 million to go!

    I got excited, then did the math and realized that 16k is less than one percent - not even a rounding error - and then i got sad.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Whatever, Hitler.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Math is fake news perpetrated by a biased MSM still bitter over the defeat of Crooked Hillary.

  • Hank Phillips||

    The Dems chose the Republican plank, to continue to have the cops shoot and jail kids over plant leaves. They rejected the libertarian planks to legalize and deregulate plant leaves and power plants and tried to pass laws against energy generation. Schadenfreude, not sympathy from me.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Unfortunately, one is unlikely to drain the ocean with a bucket. Even more unfortunately, many will just be reinstated in the future at some point.

  • XM||

    16,000 out of nearly 2 million isn't that much, but their salary and pension might add up.

    If there's a freeze in new hiring everywhere (I doubt this will happen), then every little cut on the existing workforce represents a saving.

  • ElDuderino||

    I just for once want to see a number that isnt a fucking rounding error. Until then, Im rounding my check to the IRS down to zero.

  • Longtobefree||

    Rounding is a mathematical process, not an error.

  • Adam330||

    Nearly half, 7,811, of the 16k are in DoD, which Trump has been promising to increase. Why does Trump want us all to be killed by terrorists?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He always wanted to destroy this country if I understood correctly. So if he can just let the terrorists do it then it saves effort from him.

  • Ecoli||

    There is going to be a roaring torrent of federal retirees for the next decade. Most will have to be replaced, but this will be an opportunity to reduce the top line.

  • Elias Fakaname||

    "Morale has never been lower," Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers at more than 30 agencies, told the Post. "Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer.""

    Sounds like a good start. Maybe if Trump keeps it up they will all leave on their own.

  • Adam330||

    I don't really get this attitude. Do you actually want crappy federal employees? If so, I don't want to hear any complaining when they mess up processing your tax return, make stupid regulatory decisions, overpay for contracts, etc.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Heh.

  • Bearded Spock||

    Either Adam is a very clever troll, or he has badly misjudged the attitudes of the Reason commentariat.

  • Loss of Reason||

    Since I had (and still am) dealing with FEMA for the flood last year...how could you tell if they are crappy or not? They can't even price how much drywall costs correctly. They are slow and inefficient.

    I also work at NASA with civil servants. While a lot are smart and work hard, that are those that just have their gold badge and sit around.

    So again, how can you tell if they are crappy?

  • Adam330||

    Well those sound like crappy ones to me. Good ones are going to leave in the face of constant disparagement by the president, pay cuts, etc. The bad ones with no other options are going to stick around. So I don't want to hear your complaining about FEMA. You're getting what you voted for.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Good ones are going to leave in the face of constant disparagement by the president, pay cuts

    When was the last time federal employees got a pay cut? Even during the "pay freezes", they were still eligible for mid-grade increases.

    As for "constant disparagement," most of the people who were looking to leave are basically Dems who are ass-blasted that Her Inevitability didn't win--hence, the shadow Facebook and Twitter accounts that popped up of progtard NPS employees, EPA, etc. I guess they didn't realize that a President only serves 4-8 years, and they'd still have a job by the time Trump left because most of the "job cuts" are little more than not bringing in a new hire when the first one leaves.

  • Marty Comanche||

    Get creative. Here's 10 ways to get your employees to quit

    For example, #3 Micromanage. As much as I like the idea of Trump hanging around underperforming federal employees' desks and saying, "yeeeaah. I'm going to need you to come in on Saturday," that's not practical.

    So what you do is implement performance plans department wide. Have managers identify their low performing employees. Start with micromanaging reframed as "active management" or something like that. Frame contradictory instructions (#4), playing favorites (#6) and changing the rules (#7) as similar motivational techniques. Then motivate the hell out of bad federal employees.

    I especially like #9. Monitor Social Media accounts. Just think:
    "Many underperforming employees have trouble outside of work. Social media lets you engage and steer them back onto the path of performance."

    Realistically speaking, this is what has to be done when you can't just fire people.

  • Loss of Reason||

    Since I had (and still am) dealing with FEMA for the flood last year...how could you tell if they are crappy or not? They can't even price how much drywall costs correctly. They are slow and inefficient.

    I also work at NASA with civil servants. While a lot are smart and work hard, that are those that just have their gold badge and sit around.

    So again, how can you tell if they are crappy?

  • JWatts||

    "I don't really get this attitude. Do you actually want crappy federal employees? If so, I don't want to hear any complaining when they mess up processing your tax return, make stupid regulatory decisions, overpay for contracts, etc."

    LOL, do you really think that Federal employee morale has never been lower? For most people, a Federal job is a very cushy gig with both good pay and great benefits. That comment by the the 'National Treasury Employees Union' is pure political grandstanding. The Federal government will have no problem finding replacements for any disgruntled workers that leave.

  • Adam330||

    I'm sure they'll find replacements. That's not the issue. The issue if whether they'll be good replacements.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    You really have no clue how the federal hiring process works, do you? The whole system is designed to weed out people whose qualifications don't meet a certain standard.

  • Longtobefree||

    Unfortunately, that 'certain standard' is unrelated to the actual job qualifications. It has a lot to do with sex/gender/whatever, race, veteran status, years of school attendance regardless of the education actually required, and the like.
    This is the one area where the federal government approaches the levels of the private sector.

  • Sevo||

    "I don't really get this attitude. Do you actually want crappy federal employees? If so, I don't want to hear any complaining when they mess up processing your tax return, make stupid regulatory decisions, overpay for contracts, etc."
    Sarc or stupidity?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    A+

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    They already do all of that.

  • jagjr||

    want?? no. expect?? yes. until we return to Constitutionally specified roles, and only that, we're continuing the trend of asking the federal government to do things that it is bad at, not suited for, and not Constitutionally authorized to do. and I say that as someone who has worked for the federal government for the last 30+ years, my entire adult life. I've just worked for the parts that the Constitution actually talks about.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    "Crappy federal employees" is redundant.

    Also, how often do you deal directly with the Feds in your day to day life. By far, most people deal very little with the federal government daily. Your insinuation that the Apocalypse might come because "someone messes up processing your tax return" is complete hyperbole, though it's the starting point for simplifying the tax code. Please continue down that path to it's logical conclusion

  • Nuwanda||

    What I want are government employees that have so little power over my life that their rating on the crappiness scale becomes a moot point.

    But, yes, the worse these jobs are, the better. Too many educational institutions qualify students for government jobs. It's considered a proper career path. The pay is too good considering the moronic nature of the work. Government should not be regarded as cool, or as a respectable thing to admit to doing in mixed company.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    On average we would be better off if every federal employee sucked at their job.

  • ||

    I want less federal employees. By making the job crappy, you get less people wanting to work there.

    Besides, how the hell would you tell the difference?

  • I can't even||

    "Morale has never been lower"

    Now we have a goal for year 2.

  • The Laissez-Ferret||

    "Peter, you don't know what's it's like out there! I've worked in the private sector...They expect results."

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    As a libertarian, there is one specific kind of federal employee I'd like to see retire: the ones who deport undocumented Americans. Until I hear about mass resignations from those terrible agencies, I can't get too excited about fewer workers at the EPA or Department of Education.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    If you have less border patrol workers then they will just make up the difference by shooting them instead of deporting them.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Well then obviously the only humane solution is to have NO border patrol at all. No ICE. Anybody who shows up in this country and can pass for 18 years old should immediately be granted citizenship.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Heh.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    Why is that funny? It's obviously racist to expect American citizens to show ID when they vote, so of course it's racist to ask undocumented Americans to produce papers from their old country proving how old they are, or even who they are.

    #NoBanNoWall

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Good job creating a massive slave trade of underage illegal immigrants. It's like you don't even care.

  • chemjeff||

    I don't think even Reason's open-border libertarians take it THAT far.

    Even the most open-bordery ones want to keep the terrorists and the very sick ones out.

  • Zeb||

    That's why he's a crappy parody.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    He's worth it just because he got Tony to agree with him.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yeah, that was a special moment. I read that comment and i caught myself making this high-pitched squealing noise - of pure joy. Fortunately, my office door was closed.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Upon seeing that I half expected Welch tweet out "The Reason experiment is complete and total success" then shut down the website.

  • Social Justice is neither||

    Unfortunately there isn't evidence for this claim.

    No outer bound is ever set by them for acceptable restrictions so I can only assume terrorists and walking plague carriers are perfectly fine "immigrants" by their metric. Why make a case for very limited restrictions (or under only certain circumstances) when you can simply smear anyone that doesn't agree with you and declare yourself victorious and virtuous.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    So I get why you could say it's not Justice, but what do you mean by Not Social?

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Most of them are supportive of various vetting programs; Shika's the only one who thinks any limitation on immigration is racist. She's always been pushing the "let's bring them all in and worry about all that stuff after it actually happens" line; apparently she won't be satisfied until the US is as crowded and polluted as the land of her ancestors.

  • Nuwanda||

    "Shika's the only one who thinks any limitation on immigration is racist."

    Oh, don't be so sure. Most of the open borders libs are probably just a little backward at coming forward. It's a sales strategy. The problem they have is even admitting the state has the right to vet since vetting admits that an actual border exists and that some entity has legitimate authority over who may cross it.

    Better to just deny it all.

  • Hank Phillips||

    That's like what's in the LP platform. Just like everything T-Rump does is in the GO-Pee prohibitionist platform. It's 36000 words go on and on about drones and border agents and airtight borders.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Does Trump deserve credit for cutting the federal workforce during his first year in office? Yes and no.

    Just give it to him, might encourage him to do more.

  • Agammamon||

    He's going to take it anyway.

  • Rebel Scum||

    Cutting the regulations and the sized of the federal work force is textbook fascism. //prog

  • Rebel Scum||

    size*, even.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    The regulations are the only thing standing between us and Richard Spencer coming into our homes and pissing on our toothbrushes.

  • DiegoF||

    All the more reason to cut, cut, cut!

    I'd prefer Augustus Sol Invictus, though. He's cuter.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    You're gonna get Vox Dei and like it.

  • Phos||

    That and my attack donkey.

  • Longtobefree||

    Actually, those things are not textbook fascism.
    Textbook fascism is government control of economic production while 'allowing' private ownership of the means of production.
    Under the fascist philosophy, the government workforce and the number of regulations grow as the control of the economy increases. More and more regulation is required to 'correct' the 'minor' and 'temporary' failures brought on by the government regulations. More and more government employees are required to administer the increasing regulations. For recent examples, see the Obama administration and healthcare/healthcare insurance markets and the related regulations

  • Hank Phillips||

    All of the fascist governments pandered to christianofascism. Franco was God's Own Caudillo. Mussolini helped the Pope force prayer and catechism on schoolkids, and Hitler's party was all about altruism and positive christianity.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Simple Mikey doesn't read. Sad!

  • chemjeff||

    "Trump is draining the swamp and doing exactly what he said he was going to do"

    But he's not. That is part of the point of this article. If Trump & Co. had their way, the DoD and the security apparatus (e.g., Bureau of Prisons) would be increasing in staffing, not decreasing. And yet those agencies have decreased employment because of people reacting to Trump, not because of Trump's intentional decisions.

    If everything really had moved according to Trump's desires, there would not be a 16k reduction in employment.

    So why again does Trump deserve credit for how others choose to react to him (mostly IMO irrationally)?

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    "So why again does Trump deserve credit for how others choose to react to him "

    Reality>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> campaign promises

  • Jumbie||

    The best and brightest have never been attracted to government. It was always the arrogant and self-righteous of all stripes.

  • ||

    "Morale has never been lower," Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, which represents 150,000 federal workers at more than 30 agencies, told the Post. "Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer."

    Good.

    Exactly.

    If Trump bothered you, then you weren't meant to be a public servant to begin with. Off you go.

  • Deflator Mouse||

    "Government is making itself a lot less attractive as an employer."

    Fitting. To those of us without a TSP, government has been making itself a lot less attractive as a government for a long time.

  • JeremyR||

    Eh, even if you simply stop the growth, eventually it will get down to a manageable size.

    Okay, in this case, another 200 years

  • ||

    Obama grew it by 68k because he understood you have to swell its ranks to strengthen the state. It's prog 101 duh.

    I hope Trump and subsequent Presidents keep the axe swinging.

  • chemjeff||

    Umm, no. A good chunk of that 68k in the first 9 months of Obama's presidency was about the stimulus bill that was passed at the very start.

  • ||

    So.

    Completely redundant and expendable.

    Remember kids. If Wayne Gretzky good get traded....

  • ||

    could.

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    "Umm, no. A good chunk of that 68k"

    That doesn't refute the point.

    There may ALSO have been a chunk of IRS employees.

    Both are possible. Nothing you said proves otherwise.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Sure, but DDs statement is also without any evidence. He just said it. So it's at least as valid as any other statement.

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    There's a reason I quoted he "um no" parr at used the word refutation.

    Both claims are suspect.

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    Also, DD is an idiot.

    Chemjeff plays at respectability.

  • chemjeff||

    Why thank you. I take my play-acting quite seriously. :)

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    You just tried to have a serious discussion with DD.

  • chemjeff||

    My bad. I'll add it to my New Year's resolutions to refrain from serious discussions with DD for this year.

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    And then he clapped back on you.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I'm fine with that assessment. My only point is that we're all bullshitting here except for Palin's Buttplug who is deathly serious.

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    Well, my problem wasn't with the bullshitting.

    It was that, even if true, and I actually think it is, chemjeff's claim doesn't refute anything.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I understand, and I just wanted to use this moment to shit on PB unprovoked. I think he might be the only person I dislike on this site.

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    Please accept this beer, with my compliments.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    Careful - Hihn is the jealous type. He may come in and shit on everyone

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Block Yomomma and his Obama momma minions

    The second-worst jazz band in the greater DC metro area.

  • Tony||

    What a cynical piece of shallow garbage.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Is it your contention that every single one of those 16,000 jobs was absolutely vital to the continued functioning of the republic? Because otherwise, you're just whining.

  • Tony||

    I don't know, I just know that "smaller number = good!" is shallow, and praising low morale among government workers is cynical. I hate you people, and you should probably hate yourselves.

  • ||

    We do. It's a requirement of the club.

  • DiegoF||

    Who taught you to hate yourself?

    Who taught you to hate the text of your Ninth Amendment?
    Who taught you to hate the color of your gold?
    To such an extent that you cuck, to get like the prog.

    Who taught you to hate the shape of your NAP and the shape of your freedom of association?
    Who taught you to hate yourself, from the top of your top hat to the soles of your orphan-crafted, endangered-species leather boots?
    Who taught you to hate your own kind? Who taught you to hate the ideology that you belong to so much that you don't want to be around each other?

    No. Before you come asking Mr. Rockwell, does he teach hate, you should ask yourself who taught you to hate being what God made you.

    We don't steal, we don't sell gambling licenses, we don't lie and we don't cheat.
    You can't get into a whiskey bottle without getting past a government seal.
    You can't buy a deck of cards without getting past a government seal.
    Here the crony-paternalist coalition makes the whiskey then puts you in jail for getting drunk. It sells you the cards and the dice and puts you in jail when it catches you using them.

  • DiegoF||

    The most disrespected woman in America, is the libertarian woman.
    The most unprotected person in America, is the libertarian woman.
    The most nonexistant person in America, is the libertarian woman.
    And as consensualists, the honorable Herbert Spencer teaches us to respect our women, and to protect our women. And the only time a libertarian gets real violent, is when someone goes to molest his woman. Or his vacant lot. Or his monocle. We will kill you, for our women I'm making it plain yes, we will kill you for our women. Or our property. We believe that until the libertarian man will do whatever is necessary to see that his woman--and property--get respect and protection, then you and I will never be recognized as men. Until we stand up like men and place the same penalty over the head of anyone who puts his filthy hands out, to put them in the direction of our woman. Or our property. Or to ask us for money on the subway.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Great Public Enemy reference.

  • Delius||

    Great Public Enemy reference.

    They must have gotten the rap plugin for whatever bot generated this word salad.

  • DiegoF||

    I'm a Puerto Rican not a bot you racist

  • Myshkin78||

    Unlike Puerto Ricans, bots require electricity.

  • DiegoF||

    You have restored my faith in the HnR commentariat, sir. (Seriously, nobody recognizes Malcolm anymore? How can I culturally reference among such philistines?)

  • Hank Phillips||

    Hey! Puerto Rico leads the world in broken windmills and smashed and scattered solar panels, menh! You wypipuls is just jealous!

  • Citizen X - #6||

    And you keep coming back to this site why?

  • UCF, 2018 National Champs||

    His religion requires proselytization and self-flagellation.

  • ||

    Actually it isn't. It's well established humans function much better in smaller groups.

    Even class sizes. Progressivism means cramming and jamming people into a room like cattle offering inferior quality of education.

    We'll wait for the light bulb to go off in people like you. Maybe then we can reform education once and for all in North America.

  • Tony||

    Reform it by letting idiot parents teach their offspring whatever manner of Bible-thumping horseshit they fancy. presumably.

  • Agammamon||

    Which, surprisingly, ends up with kids that are every bit as ready for college as the average public school graduate.

  • Tony||

    I think it's too soon to test that. We're only just finding out about how horrible the standards for charter schools are.

  • ||

    We're only just finding out about how horrible the standards for charter schools are.

    It's true - they're almost as bad as public schools.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Are you saying that professional teachers should not have children of their own?

  • ||

    Yes, that's totally what it means.

    And I'm gonna marry a carrot.

    Jesus, Tony. Wake up and smell the espresso already.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    Evolution is such a central point of contention. I always wonder about it, as well as a lot of these arguments about what is taught. I'm not a biologist, and so I really wonder if my professional life would differ in any regard if I didn't have a good knowledge of evolution. I do believe that we are severely hindering our children by not giving them basic knowledge of statistics. Few give much shit about that knowledge though.

    People laugh when you see someone on TV who can't name the current President (Blessed though they may be in this case) but they, in general, are getting a long in the world without much particular issue. What ideas actually matter to be taught? If someone believes Christ made dinosaurs 15 years ago then what does this truly affect? Maybe they believe that this belief will run rampant and overtake all other thought, but that seems unlikely.

  • ||

    I think the core concern is that if you teach certain core religious articles of faith as fact, you are also teaching an acceptance of willingly disregarding evidence in place of faith.

    As a hard atheist myself, I have no reason to believe that rigidly structuring education around reason instead of faith leads us to a better place. Such rigid structuring does nothing to eliminate faith based communism, environmentalism, statism, and the like. So I reject that there are any fundamental downsides to the substitution of religious faith for other faiths.

  • ||

    Such rigid structuring does nothing to eliminate faith based communism, environmentalism, statism, and the like. So I reject that there are any fundamental downsides to the substitution of religious faith for other faiths.

    ^ This.

  • ||

    I always wonder about it, as well as a lot of these arguments about what is taught. I'm not a biologist, and so I really wonder if my professional life would differ in any regard if I didn't have a good knowledge of evolution.

    Tony has no idea what's taught. He just knows that when someone mentions alternatives to government-run schools, his knee jerks up and his voice starts screaming "Bible-thumping cousin-fuckers! Bible-thumping cousin-fuckers!"

    Evolution has actually been officially accepted by the Catholic Church, at this point (as has the Big Bang), and there are precious few Protestant zealots who are still making an issue out of teaching evolution. But it's one of the last go-tos for those who would defend government-run schooling no matter how much observable harm it does.

  • Nuwanda||

    '"Bible-thumping cousin-fuckers"'.

    I happen to live in a jurisdiction where it's perfectly legal to fuck your cousin. On the other hand, bible thumping is frowned upon. It's the best of both worlds, really.

  • Rhywun||

    Progressivism means cramming and jamming people into a room like cattle offering inferior quality of education.

    A quibble - progs actually argue for reduced class sizes. Not out of any concern for students, of course, but because it means more government workers.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    By increasing the number of union dues-paying teachers.

  • chemjeff||

    In general, "smaller number = good!" is shallow.

    If we had a government that was about 1/10th the size, and people wanted to reduce it further, then you might have a point.

    But in this specific instance, with the government as large as it is, smaller number IS good.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Tony has always defended the important work of *squints* the DoD and the Bureau of Prisons.

  • sarcasmic||

    Enough about you, what about the article?

  • DiegoF||

    Where the fuck is that former LP official/ HTML formatting enthusiast? He should be all over this shit.

  • ||

    FFS, don't summon THAT loon Nutball!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    We chatted a bit this weekend. He posted a lot.

  • Subpoena'd Woodchipper||

    WTF dude? He'll put in his $100 worth in due time. I say "$100", because he never has just his two cents to add to anything!!!

    Does everyone else hear trumpets every time Hihn enters a Reason message board?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Tony|1.2.18 @ 3:13PM|#
    What a cynical piece of shallow garbage.


    Funny...that is what we call you Tony.

    Man, in 2017, Trump sure has made a significant impact to counter lefty agendas. I bet 2018 will be even better. Especially after more lefty Democrats lose more Senate and House seats in the midterms.

  • Juice||

    They'll never fill all the newly built condos and renovated rowhouses in DC now.

  • Episteme||

    Al part of the plan. Once they sit empty for a few years, the departing President Trump buys up the land on the cheap and — upon his return to the private sector — builds a bunch of MAGA-themed hotels, casinos, and strip clubs from which to torment his successor!

  • SIV||

    So Trump campaigns explicittly on cutting the federal workforce, follows through on the promise, and you cucks say "this is a total surprise and you can't credit Trump because we told you over and over he was lying"

  • XM||

    Morale is low among government workforce because of them are liberals. I guarantee you that their morale was left intact when the likes of the Boston bombers slip through their fingers despite warnings, and when veterans literally die on waiting lists due to bureaucratic snafu. Every year some loony parent abuses a minor for months because the social worker didn't bother to do her (or his) job.

    Some EPA workers supposedly came to work crying after Trump became president. Did any of them cry when the EPA took land away from Americans or ruin their businesses with regulation? Let them leave, I'll take their jobs. 99% of Americans would love to work at the government, where they have a shot at lifetime employment.

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Yeah, I wonder how many EPA employees started crying after they poisoned the Animas River.

  • Longtobefree||

    According to the latest random number generator, 0.034%

  • lap83||

    This administration is terrible...and such small portions!

  • Sevo||

    He's a horrible person, but the results keep coming!

  • gormadoc||

    Something tells me that Tony Reardon and Hank Rearden would not get along.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Looks like Trump is getting some credit for his well laid plans.

  • Nuwanda||

    Haven't there been far too many articles of late showing the Trump administration in a positive light?

    I miss the days of unrelenting hostility, the intimations of fascism, the barely-disguised better-that-clinton-had-won-ism, the Yes Way, Jose! open borders mantra.

    Maybe it's too cold to get excited.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Tit for tat. Trump sez: "Libertarianism? I like it!" So when every socialist prediction melts at sight of the Dilbert Persuasion Filter, Reason writers point to some factual info. The commies don't think it's a bit flattering.

  • Hank Phillips||

    Thank you Eric for an excellent article.

  • LuckyIrishLady||

    Reducing the number of employees in the Federal Government and other entities is music to my ears. When I was in the workforce at the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, SC I witnessed first hand employees who sat at their desks all day working cross word puzzles.

    Our mission was keeping amphibians in a state of readiness. The sad truth is most of our floating assets were of no use in the Persian Gulf. Seems the two jet engines on the back couldn't handle all the sand, but our Command never changed.

    President Trump is my hero. The reduction of federal employees will save a lot of money, that can be allocated for real work and real progress in making America Great Again.

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