Trump, like other GOP politicians, wants to slash federal workers, services

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may be running as an outsider, but – like the Republicans on Capitol Hill – he wants to fire federal workers and cut federal services, the leader of the largest federal employees union says.

In a column headlined, “Under a Trump presidency, who would be left to run the government?” in the Huffington Post, Government Employees (AFGE) President J. David Cox says the millionaire mogul is taking an anti-government page right out of the Republicans’ standard playbook.

“Here’s Donald Trump’s tremendous plan for managing the federal government’s workforce if he’s elected president:

1) Fire employees at will;

2) Do not hire anyone else.

“What could go wrong, right?” Cox says.

Trump, Cox says, is in line with other Republican plans to cut federal workers and services. He cited schemes promoted by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., then chairman of the Budget Committee, to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent. Though Cox did not say so, Ryan, in the same budget blueprint, also wanted to voucherize Medicare.

“Attacking the size of government is part and parcel for most conservative lawmakers, even though the federal government employs fewer people today than it did in the mid-1960s,” Cox said. “You don’t need a crystal ball to determine what impact a hiring freeze would have on federal agencies and their ability to serve taxpayers. All you have to do is visit any Social Security office.

“The Social Security Administration has been under a hiring freeze for most of this decade, thanks to across-the-board budget cuts that slashed the agency’s operating budget by 10 percent – even as demand for Social Security services has reached record highs.

“Unable to hire new workers or replace those who leave, Social Security is struggling with long wait times to answer customer calls and even longer waits to schedule in-person appointments. Beneficiaries now wait four months on average to start getting their benefit payments, creating an undue hardship for retirees and their families.

“Clearly more hiring freezes are not the solution — unless the goal is to make the federal government so ineffective the only alternative is to contract everything out,” also a GOP aim.

Cutting federal workers and services also means stiffing firms that do government work, Cox pointed out. That’s something Trump has done to businesses – and particularly construction contractors and their workers – at his hotels and other development projects, other unionists note.

“The Veterans Affairs Department nurses,” airport screeners, “Army mechanics, and EPA scientists who ensure our health, safety, and security deserve a leader who will support their jobs and value their service — not a boss who will slash their jobs and take away their rights,” concluded Cox, a retired VA psychiatric nurse.

Source: PAI