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Dems Suckered Into Trump's Trap


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Dems Suckered Into Trump's Trap

The longest shutdown in the history of the U.S. government is poised to have a major upside: slashing the bloated federal bureaucracy.

In five days, an obscure statute will enable permanent layoffs of bureaucrats furloughed 30 days or more.

American Thinker's Thomas Lifson has more:


Don't believe me that federal bureaucrats can be laid off?  Well, in bureaucratese, a layoff is called a RIF – a Reduction in Force – and of course, it comes with a slew of civil service protections.  But, if the guidelines are followed, bureaucrats can be laid off – as in no more job.  It is all explained by Michael Roberts here (updated after the beginning of the partial shutdown):


A reduction in force is a thoughtful and systematic elimination of positions.  For all practical purposes, a government RIF is the same thing as a layoff. ...

Organizations must stick to predetermined criteria when sorting out what happens to each employee.  They must communicate with employees how and why decisions are made. ...

In determining who stays and who goes, government agencies take four factors into account:


  1. Tenure
  2. Veteran status
  3. Total federal civilian and military service
  4. Performance

Unsurprisingly, agencies cannot rely on RIF procedures to get rid of unprofessional employees. This is the public sector, after all.

According to a senior administration official, 80 percent of the federal employees they know scrape by with the bare minimum without fear of repercussions – confident in the knowledge that it's practically impossible to fire them.

An even higher percentage work to undermine the administration and Republican policies.


If this was the plan all along, it would explain why President Trump goaded Chuck and Nancy in his televised meeting with them last year, boasting that he would claim credit for the shutdown.  How could they resist a prolonged shutdown when he made it so easy to blame him?

Lifson goes on to compare this "trap" to Ronald Reagan's firing of air traffic controllers after they illegally went on strike thirty years ago.