Trump's powerful message of a 'lean' White House cutting staff and saving 'bigly'

President Trump is setting an example for the rest of the bloated, expensive federal bureaucracy and sending a powerful message to the voters with serious cuts to his own staff and impressive savings for taxpayers.  He has drained his own swamp first.

Don't expect a big fuss to be made of it right now.  The mainstream media will do their best to ignore anything that places the president in a favorable light.  There is plenty of time for this to sink in, and when voters are asked to choose between parties, a lot of people respond from the gut when they see a politician starting by cleaning up his own mess first.  The political ads write themselves.

For those who want to pay attention right now, the White House's annual report to Congress on White House personnel, released Friday, is an impressive study in leading by example.  Adam Andrezjewski, the founder of OpenTheBooks.com, writes about his analysis of the report's data in Forbes:

Projected four-year savings on the White House payroll could top $22 million. Savings come from President Trump's refusal to take a salary as well as big reductions in other areas including the absence of czars, expensive "fellowships," and spending on FLOTUS staff. ...

There are 110 fewer employees on White House staff under Trump than under Obama at this point in their respective presidencies.

$5.1 million in payroll savings vs. the Obama FY2015 payroll. In 2017, the Trump payroll amounts to $35.8 million for 377 employees, while the Obama payroll amounted to $40.9 million for 476 employees (FY2015).

This is 12.5%, or an eighth, rounded off.  But as the article later points out, part of the salary savings includes the salaries of the president and his family, which they have all donated back, and the reduced salaries received by some wealthy individuals, as well as the reduction in the number of staff.

Nineteen fewer staffers are dedicated to The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS). Currently, there are five staffers dedicated to Melania Trump vs. 24 staffers who served Michelle Obama (FY2009).

Other than readers of conservative websites and the occasional reference on Fox News, most Americans did not hear about the excessive staff used by Michelle Obama.  On the other hand, as Andrezjewski points out, Michelle's staff was only modestly bigger than that of Laura Bush.  So the real story here is not that Michelle was bad, but that Melania is doing without a lot of the support other first ladies have enjoyed.  

To me, this is the most satisfying reform of the Trump White House.

Starting in 2009, President Obama came under fire for hiring special initiative czars. We found no evidence of "czars" on Trump's payroll.  Examples of these White House czars included Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner ($172,000), Director of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois ($98,000), White House Director of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrion Jr ($158,500), and Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle ($158,500).

Starting in 2015, President Obama instituted a new fellowship – a White House Leadership Development program. In the initial class of sixteen candidates, at least one was placed on detail (from IRS) at the White House – Elaine Ho – at a salary of $158,700. Ho's assignment? Working with the Office of the First Lady to implement her "Let Girls Learn" initiative. Two "Directors" were also on payroll: Pamela Coleman ($120,000) and Katherine Pielemeier ($60,876). We found no evidence that Trump continued these programs.

These extra-constitutional "czars" were mostly just waste – i.e., cronyism – and symbolic affirmation for special interest groups.  Good riddance.

Once this track record is established, President Trump and his advocates can use it to argue for actual cuts being imposed elsewhere.

As Clarice Feldman points out, President Trump's budget calls for serious downsizing.  The Washington Post wrote when the budget was released:

The cuts Trump plans to propose this week are also expected to lead to layoffs among federal workers, changes that would be felt sharply in the Washington area. According to an economic analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, the reductions outlined so far by Trump's advisers would reduce employment in the region by 1.8 percent and personal income by 3.5 percent, and lower home prices by 1.9 percent.

When that pity party gets going in the Beltway crowd, just remind them of the cuts the White House is taking.  And remind the rest of America, too, of course.  Lots of people know what it is like to live with staff reductions and layoffs.  I don't sense a lot of concern for the career prospects of federal bureaucrats. 

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

President Trump is setting an example for the rest of the bloated, expensive federal bureaucracy and sending a powerful message to the voters with serious cuts to his own staff and impressive savings for taxpayers.  He has drained his own swamp first.

Don't expect a big fuss to be made of it right now.  The mainstream media will do their best to ignore anything that places the president in a favorable light.  There is plenty of time for this to sink in, and when voters are asked to choose between parties, a lot of people respond from the gut when they see a politician starting by cleaning up his own mess first.  The political ads write themselves.

For those who want to pay attention right now, the White House's annual report to Congress on White House personnel, released Friday, is an impressive study in leading by example.  Adam Andrezjewski, the founder of OpenTheBooks.com, writes about his analysis of the report's data in Forbes:

Projected four-year savings on the White House payroll could top $22 million. Savings come from President Trump's refusal to take a salary as well as big reductions in other areas including the absence of czars, expensive "fellowships," and spending on FLOTUS staff. ...

There are 110 fewer employees on White House staff under Trump than under Obama at this point in their respective presidencies.

$5.1 million in payroll savings vs. the Obama FY2015 payroll. In 2017, the Trump payroll amounts to $35.8 million for 377 employees, while the Obama payroll amounted to $40.9 million for 476 employees (FY2015).

This is 12.5%, or an eighth, rounded off.  But as the article later points out, part of the salary savings includes the salaries of the president and his family, which they have all donated back, and the reduced salaries received by some wealthy individuals, as well as the reduction in the number of staff.

Nineteen fewer staffers are dedicated to The First Lady of the United States (FLOTUS). Currently, there are five staffers dedicated to Melania Trump vs. 24 staffers who served Michelle Obama (FY2009).

Other than readers of conservative websites and the occasional reference on Fox News, most Americans did not hear about the excessive staff used by Michelle Obama.  On the other hand, as Andrezjewski points out, Michelle's staff was only modestly bigger than that of Laura Bush.  So the real story here is not that Michelle was bad, but that Melania is doing without a lot of the support other first ladies have enjoyed.  

To me, this is the most satisfying reform of the Trump White House.

Starting in 2009, President Obama came under fire for hiring special initiative czars. We found no evidence of "czars" on Trump's payroll.  Examples of these White House czars included Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner ($172,000), Director of the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois ($98,000), White House Director of Urban Affairs Adolfo Carrion Jr ($158,500), and Director of the White House Office of Health Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle ($158,500).

Starting in 2015, President Obama instituted a new fellowship – a White House Leadership Development program. In the initial class of sixteen candidates, at least one was placed on detail (from IRS) at the White House – Elaine Ho – at a salary of $158,700. Ho's assignment? Working with the Office of the First Lady to implement her "Let Girls Learn" initiative. Two "Directors" were also on payroll: Pamela Coleman ($120,000) and Katherine Pielemeier ($60,876). We found no evidence that Trump continued these programs.

These extra-constitutional "czars" were mostly just waste – i.e., cronyism – and symbolic affirmation for special interest groups.  Good riddance.

Once this track record is established, President Trump and his advocates can use it to argue for actual cuts being imposed elsewhere.

As Clarice Feldman points out, President Trump's budget calls for serious downsizing.  The Washington Post wrote when the budget was released:

The cuts Trump plans to propose this week are also expected to lead to layoffs among federal workers, changes that would be felt sharply in the Washington area. According to an economic analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics, the reductions outlined so far by Trump's advisers would reduce employment in the region by 1.8 percent and personal income by 3.5 percent, and lower home prices by 1.9 percent.

When that pity party gets going in the Beltway crowd, just remind them of the cuts the White House is taking.  And remind the rest of America, too, of course.  Lots of people know what it is like to live with staff reductions and layoffs.  I don't sense a lot of concern for the career prospects of federal bureaucrats. 

Hat tip: Clarice Feldman

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