According to the Washington Post, the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has plans to attack the severely damaged civil service (damaged by constant Congressional criticisms and blame). The people of the United States take a well-functioning civil service for granted. Failed civil service organizations exist in other countries; ironically, it is the United States (through the World Bank) that has been leading a movement against such corruption. Now, with the next president, calls of hypocrisy will come and will be deserved.
When we go to the motor vehicles department for a drivers license, we have to wait, but we expect a drivers license at the end of the process without having to pay a bribe. The same is true to have a judge hear our case in court, for applying for and receiving Social Security benefits, for applying to work for the civil service. All of these examples and more operate well with just our tax money.
Now that the GOP, the Republican party will control all three branches of the federal government (in early 2017), their ideas of “reform” now could be set forth on the remainder of the integrity-filled civil service:
- Making civil service jobs at will.
- Replacing the Federal Employees Retirement System with a 401(k)-based system (a failure).
- End of cost-of living increases.
- Further restrictions on federal employee unions (already weak because they cannot require membership and cannot strike).
All of these ideas are an abomination and an insult to citizens who enter public service to serve their fellow citizens and residents of the United States; such is never contemplated for those in military service. Further, a billionaire, with autocratic tendencies and a person who–
- does not pay federal taxes,
- lives off the largess of the majority of people in the United States,
- does not have to work to have an income stream,
- combines his business ventures with the Trump Organization with his responsibilities and power of being the U.S. head of state,
will be the person leading the charge against our civil service.
In this dangerous time, civil service reform, which will require acceptance from all citizens, cannot be forced through by the GOP alone. Especially, at a time where it is apparent that an autocrat has become president. Energy should be spent on the prevention of systematic corruption.
Civil service protection is needed more than ever, with the next president potentially using his government position as a conduit for his business interests (express or implied). Vigilance is required more than ever.
Firing fellow citizens, civil servants (who also suffer from stagnant wages and sky-high cost-of-living expenses in Washington, D.C.), to satisfy rich people, like the 45th president (who doesn’t pay any federal tax on his $billion) is offensive. Huge changes will have to wait; our very democracy is at severe risk of falling apart.
Government pay is low; most civil servants are thankfully people of integrity and do their jobs for their fellow Americans well. [Conduct issues–refusal to work, etc.–are already handled by regulations.]
These constant attacks on the civil service have done severe damage. Perhaps, if the GOP fulfills its wish and is allowed to break the civil service, and we discover that corrupt people take positions with the purpose of self interest alone (you will have to pay bribes to get a passport (or a tax return processed) on time, for example), we will miss our civil service.
The only thing is, by then, it will be too late. The civil service as we know it would be gone forever.