The government is doing the unthinkable under the Trump administration and it is a very VERY good thing indeed! After growing at a nearly exponential rate under the Bush and Obama administrations, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the leadership of the Trump administration is voluntarily cutting the size of the department.
Less regulation and smaller government is a consistent campaign promise made by President Donald Trump that is coming true…
The EPA is cutting approximately 1,200 jobs as roughly 1,600 employees departed the agency. Less than 400 new employees were hired during President Donald Trump’s first year and a half in office. According to the Washington Post, included among those employees leaving the EPA are “at least 260 scientists, 185 ‘environmental protection specialists’ and 106 engineers.”
WaPo reports, “The exodus has shrunk the agency’s workforce by 8 percent, to levels not seen since the Reagan administration. The trend has continued even after a major round of buyouts last year and despite the fact that the EPA’s budget has remained stable.”
With hundreds of employees accepting buyouts just since last summer, records show that nearly a quarter of the government agency’s remaining 13,758 employees are now at an age where they are considered eligible to retire. At its peak and its most bloated in the late 1990s, the EPA employed more than 18,000 people at the government agency.
Reducing government regulation and especially government agencies are tough. It is consistently and routinely resisted by all those who benefit, including government employees who administer the many programs. Every president since Jimmy Carter has attempted to lower the cost of regulation. At best, any cuts have been tiny and mostly centered on trimming paperwork. But less regulation and a reduction in the size of government itself is one campaign promise made by Donald Trump that is coming true.
“In a statement Friday, Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler said he was focused on right-sizing the EPA, which Republicans have argued overreached under President Barack Obama, burdening industry with regulations such as those focused on climate change.
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,” he said as WaPo reported.
The EPA is not alone in shrinking its size under the Trump administration either and this is despite the fact that Congress recently passed a $1.3 trillion budget bill back in March 2018 that boosted both military and domestic spending.
As WaPo revealed, “the State Department’s total number of permanent employees, for instance, fell 6.4 percent between Trump’s inauguration and March 2018, according to federal records, while the Education Department declined 9.4 percent during that time.
Part of the drop stems from a government-wide hiring freeze Trump imposed after his inauguration, which lasted nearly three months. The president has continued to press for a leaner federal payroll, asking Congress recently to withhold pay raises for federal workers in 2019.
The Daily Caller reported that deep and significant budget cuts have been coming down since the 2019 budget was proposed back in February –
“Trump requested a working budget of $5.4 billion for the EPA, which constitutes a nearly $2.8 billion decrease from the 2017 enacted level, according to the White House’s budget proposal. He asked Congress to cut the agency’s budget $2 billion in 2017.
The higher cuts were not surprising. Trump’s Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney recently suggested the president would enact even steeper reductions than he did for the 2018 budget.
“You still are going to see some reductions in our proposals to the EPA,” Mulvaney said in an interview Sunday with “Fox News Sunday.” “There’s still going to be the president’s priorities as we seek to spend the money consistently with our priorities, not with the priorities that were reflected most by the Democrats in Congress.”
The budget, which was published Monday morning, also puts “duplicative” programs on the chopping blocks – the Climate Change Research and Partnership Programs; the Indoor Air and Radon Programs; the Marine Pollution and National Estuary Programs, among others are targeted in the request.
Trump and Mulvaney believe nixing these programs will save taxpayers approximately $600 million compared to 2017 enacted levels. The budget cuts represent a substantial departure from former President Barack Obama’s final year.
EPA had more than 15,300 employees and a budget of more than $8.1 billion in 2016. About half of EPA staff work at regional offices across the country, even though more than 90 percent of EPA programs are administered by state agencies.”