Trump Puts Schumer and Pelosi in a Brilliant Vise Grip
The federal government shutdown has presented a unique opportunity for President Donald Trump to clear out the deadwood in the federal bureaucracy, saving U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars in salaries, perks, and rented office space for people who aren't doing anything productive.
At the same time, Trump can get rid of dozens, possibly even hundreds of Deep State operatives in the government, handpicked by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton for their loyalty to the Democratic Party, not their country or the law.
These people leak like a screen door in a submarine, mainly to CNN and MSNBC, the twin headquarters of Trump-hatred on cable TV. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were choreographing their leaks to the media via text messages. Even though Strzok was fired and Page resigned, it's clear there are many others. They actively resist Trump and the Republicans at every opportunity. This is the core of the Resistance.
A high-ranking Trump administration official wrote four days ago in the Daily Caller that the shutdown enables Trump to get rid of people like this. As members of the Senior Executive Service, many of them can't be fired unless they're convicted of a felony, or of committing some flagrant misconduct.
This is indeed Trump's chance to "smoke out the Resistance," but he must do it carefully. Thomas Lifson has published two columns in the American Thinker, here and here, explaining that SES employees cannot be furloughed (laid off) under normal circumstances, but they can be removed during a Reduction in Force (RIF) when their positions are found to be unnecessary.
In the D.C. article, our unnamed administration official explains that roughly 80% of the federal work force in many departments, including his own, simply don't do anything. They plan shopping trips and vacations. They send out résumés for better-paying positions, perhaps without realizing that any new employer might expect them to actually get some work done.
My experience in employment law teaches me that all federal employees are working under some kind of written contract, whether it's a collectively bargained contract with a union or an individual employment contract. As of today (January 18), the shutdown is in its 28th day. At 30 days, even SES executives loyal to the Democratic Party become vulnerable to the RIF monster.
Lifson believes, and I also suspect, that Trump suckered the Democrats into a battle royale over the southern border wall Trump has proposed. By refraining from declaring a national emergency and then building the wall (with Department of Defense funds saved from the withdrawal from Syria), Trump can simply bypass Congress. He can order the Army Corps of Engineers to build it.
I believe that by making that threat and repeating it, but not following through on it, Trump has created a lingering atmosphere in which Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer feel compelled to stop him at any cost. In political terms, they're willing to die on this hill.
Immigrants, when they gain the right to vote for the first time, almost always vote for Democrats. A recent Yale-MIT study reveals that the actual number of illegal aliens in the U.S. is 22 million, which is roughly the populations of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland combined. The largest landslide in U.S. presidential history (Reagan vs.
Dukakis Mondale, 1980) was 17 million. And the Democrats want all 22 million to have amnesty, citizenship, and voting rights as quickly as possible.
So Chuckie and Nancy want no wall. They want no ICE. They may not have openly expressed the latter sentiment, but several prominent younger voices in their party have done so clearly.
The longer-term goal of a vastly larger, mostly Latino U.S. voting population would be an enormous gain for the Democratic Party, but Trump may bait them into losing their Deep State network of loyal Democratic Party operatives in the bureaucracy.
As Lifson explains, and Michael Roberts explains at The Balance Careers here, on Day 30 of the shutdown, a clause is triggered in these federal employment contracts that enables RIF. The Office of Personnel Management oversees the RIF process.
A downsizing plan must be presented to OMB on Day 31. Trump's team needs to act fast. The plan must include all of the people who just sit around texting each other about their next leak to MSNBC, or planning their next protest march in a pink hat. It will take another 30 days to implement the plan. Roughly 800,000 federal employees could be permanently removed under this plan, with an annual savings of roughly $80 billion in salaries alone. Including the pensions; the government vehicles; and the rented office space, furniture, and equipment, it could be $150 billion.
In particular, removing the SES employees and their hefty salaries represents a huge savings. After the massive RIF, Trump could go ahead with Plan B, declare an emergency, and send that order to the Corps of Engineers. The Democratic Party will be faced with a Hobson's choice: lose the Latino vote, or lose the Deep State. I suspect that when presented with this possibility, Chuckie and Nancy will immediately cave in (they aren't that stupid).
At that point, Trump should raise the stakes. "Approve all of my judicial nominees immediately, or the shutdown continues, and the RIF takes effect. Then I declare an emergency, and I get my border wall anyway."
Since the Latino vote isn't a sure thing, they'll choose to keep the Deep State, and they'll cave in. The Latino population will gradually go from mostly pro-Democrat to independent, or even Republican, as so many Latinos in the Rio Grande Valley have done. Most people outside Texas don't know this, but Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) won with a plurality of the Latino vote – and a slender majority (50%-49%) of Latino males. If we can duplicate that in the rest of the country, the Democratic Party is finished.
We didn't hire Trump to go to church with us. We hired him to clean house. This is the best chance to get it done.