The Secretary of State wants to cut 2,300 jobs at State. That might seem like a lot, until you recall that State has 13,000 Foreign Service employees, 11,000 Civil Service employees, and 45,000 Foreign Service local employees. That’s 69,000 folks on the payroll (some estimates put the number higher, to 75,000); Tillerson wants to cut all of 3% of the employees.
Contra The Wall Street Journal‘s subheadline (The plan underscores the Trump administration’s preference for military spending over diplomacy), this is a good start on the true priority—downsizing the Federal government physically as well as fiscally. Here’s hoping Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can follow through, and Congress and the other Cabinets and Agencies join the party.
It’ll be even better if the ones cut by Tillerson (et al., I hope) aren’t merely reallocated elsewhere on the government’s payroll but are instead returned to the private sector.
Naturally, politicians are all in a tizzy at the thought of actual downsizing—including an embarrassing number of politicians who caucus with the Republican Party.
…43 Republican and Democratic senators signed onto a letter to congressional appropriators arguing for “robust funding” for foreign aid and diplomacy.
“At a time when we face multiple national-security challenges around the world, deep cuts in this area would be short-sighted, counter-productive and even dangerous,” the letter said.
It is, though, entirely possible to do the same amount of work with fewer folks and less money—just using them both more efficiently. In fact, it’s entirely possible to do more work with fewer folks—the lesser number won’t get in each other’s way so much.