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Sunday, January 20, 2019

From Government Shutdown to Right-Sizing, i.e., RIF the Raff?

It is time to begin . . . .

I was reading a usually boring article but one, in light of the ongoing government shutdown, now quite interesting. You can find it here. It deals with how to conduct, legal and in accord with voluminous regulations, a Reduction in Force (RIF) of the government. I have read a few commentators proposing that the President should begin a RIF process for furloughed employees, citing the reg that after 30 continuous (I believe) days of furlough  such a process can begin. Sorry. It, of course, is more complicated than that, and the civil service mavens have written all sorts of loopholes that essentially exempt furloughs caused by a failure to appropriate funds.

My usual disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, nor a civil service personnel expert, and don't pretend to be. I would note, however, that it seems the President could announce that he has tasked the agencies under his direction to develop a plan within X number of days to reduce permanently functions, in particular those shown by the current shutdown as nonessential, and to propose a corresponding RIF. You want to see prog heads explode? And we all do, of course . . .  do that! In addition, there are many positions at State and elsewhere in which personnel serve at the pleasure of the President, as James Comey discovered.

It's time to get serious about what ails us, and one of the principal diseases affecting the American body politic is way too much federal government.

BTW, I loved Trump's canceling of CODEL Pelosi's excursion.

I also love how CNN's Jake Tapper angrily tweeted out that the President had denied Pelosi a "military plane" to a war zone! Does he think this plane is some sort of B-52, or even a B-29, or a Lancaster bristling with guns? It's just a run-of-the-mill Boeing 757 or 767 crewed by military pilots and stewards. That's all. She could have flown to Brussels and Berlin by commercial and then, perhaps and more PR wise, requested a "military" plane to Kabul. But nah. She didn't. Irrelevant, of course. The point is, there shouldn't be CODELS while the government is in shutdown mode, well, that is in accord with the logic of Pelosi's own letter to Trump suggesting he dispense with the State of the Union Address because of security concerns arising from the fact that the Secret Service is not getting paid.

Nancy, my dear, you're playing against the world's greatest chess player. Give up and stay safe behind the walls of your mansion.

Back to picking up all the dead bodies caused by the shutdown . . . that is after I go to the range and burn off some 45 ACP.

28 comments:

  1. Maybe these RIF'd employees can do the jobs illegals won't.

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  2. I have no reason to believe that this shutdown will end before the 2020 elections.
    I'm guessing that there will be *some* essential stuff that will fail alongside the bulk of the bureaucracy-to-nowhere. ie, Military programs that aren't imminent enough to be 'essential'. Long overdue bills to contractors that begin to have trouble obtaining gap financing for services to the military? (I assume this is how contractors finance ongoing operations/obligations during a shutdown.... finance the costs and bill the feds with interest after the spending bill passes?)
    Who wins here? One group is Northrop Grumman... this shutdown is going to provide an easy excuse to delay the "Jobs Program Formerly Known as the James Webb Space Telescope" for another decade and quadruple it's current projected costs. (Or maybe Trump can just cut that thing and pay for a completed orbital telescope, whoever can build it and get it launched.... pay for results rather than feel-good efforts? Now that would be a first since WWII pretty much..)

    I think I understand why we're in this situation. Trump will not win reelection in the generals without building the wall. Pelosi and pals will not even get renominated if they fund the wall. The lefty base is just so seriously out to lunch that their leaders can no longer even make basic decisions without being eaten by their own supporters.

    Basically, the only way out of this is for Pelosi to end her political career, as Trump doesn't even have a political career to care about.

    If the dems and much of the GOP weren't so obstinately opposed to paring down the government, we wouldn't be in this situation.

    Didn't Tillerson nix a large fraction of the state department? Or did those positions come back as zombies after he left?

    - reader #1482

    ReplyDelete
  3. To extend your statement on CODELs, why do we have taxpayer CODELs to places outside the USA.

    Instead, have CODELs to Coal Country, to a real cattle spread suffering from BLM (not the social movement, the government agency) issues. Or to a bad neighborhood in Chicago where guns are illegal (and not provide them armed security.) Or in a 'Scared Straight' program, a weekend at Leavenworth to show what will happen if they are stupid and get caught. (Call it the 'Corinne Brown' program.)

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  4. That RIF idea has plenty of supporters. Unfortunately, it fails to get to the root of the issue: stupid programs. For example, I have no problem RIF'ing the Treasury employees who oversee the labels placed on beer containers. Unfortunately, doing so would only stop the production of new beverages, as the program would survive the loss of the employees.

    Jimmy Carter, of all people, actually got rid of an agency by ending a program. Who has missed the higher airfares mandated by the Civil Aeronautics Board? And those employees were let go.

    So get things right: kill the silly stuff, then reassign or RIF the employees who did that work. It's not like there's a shortage of silliness in government, now is there?

    Green Bear

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  5. A few months back DJT asked all his direct reports to submit suggestions for reducing their expenses by 5%. Where and how did this tidy bit of logic die?

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  6. I saw a Meme recently that sang to me. "I disagree with the President cancelling the Speaker's plane to Kabul....
    He should have canceled her plane ride back."

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  7. When Nancy took the gavel in the new Congress she proclaimed herself to be the equal of Trump.
    Not just the Majority Leader of one half of the Legislature.
    Trump is the head of the entire Executive and Commander in Chief.
    I really hope this was his way of telling Nancy that No, she is not his equal. And the shutdown provided the perfect opportunity to remind her that the use of Military equipment is a courtesy, one she has not yet earned based on her and her Party's language towards him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy is 1/535 of Congress. I don't put a lot of stock in her opinion of her self worth.

      Delete
  8. Codels--they make you negotiate a visa to Laos for an honorable member from Podunk Corners on a Sunday morning; they come and treat the Ambassador's wife like trash...

    C'mon, Mr. Mad; you must have a few Codel horror stories yerself...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmmm. Let's end the National Endowmnet for the Arts and its insulting the sensibilities of half the country. If the elite want art to epater les bourgeoisie, let them pay for it without chiseling it our of some bourgeoisie who don't want to be epatered. Let's end the National Endowment for Democracy, civil rights commissions, and get us back a Congress and system of courts that do what they're supposed to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rather, reframe the mission of the NEA. Let it be the agency charged with overseeing the decorations in each Congressional Office with a mandate to make them distinctive. The members of the Board should be the representatives' and senators' children or grandchildren who are between 7 and 12 years of age.

      Green Bear

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    2. Yes, did not understand how the National Endowment for the Arts became the sole funding source for a conference I observed (as a paid evaluator), on Alternative Incarceration/placements of convicted violent criminals! I clearly recall the Keynoter's caution: "we must act now before the Feds build more prisons!". It opened my young eyes as to how the hand of Liberal largesse is hidden in plain sight.
      On Watch~~~

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  10. Rename the Shutdown, The Great Budget Reduction of 2019.

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  11. You and I, Dip, have lived through a couple of RIFs. I've also lived through a BALPA, an exercise known as a Balance of Payments reduction and designed to cut the amount of money the State Department and other federal agencies spend overseas by moving personnel back to the USA. In all cases, I though the cuts were inadequate, but they were a start. Yes, an assiduous federal employee can always find work to keep himself (or herself) busy as the FAA representative in Rome or the IRS representative in Paris. But does it really require an officer, two assistants, and two secretaries?

    Regrettably, no Chief of Mission wants the size of his embassy reduced, so every reduction is fought. That is true in offices in Washington, too. And of course Obama's example of adding additional Park Service workers to shut down national monuments (like the WWII memorial) that are permanently open demonstrates the kind of gamesmanship that the government can engage in.

    But this shutdown demonstrates that the government can function with fewer full-time employees. It truly is time to make that permanent.

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  12. The Feral govt is the most expensive demonstration of Parkinson's Law in recorded history. Like the gas law, whereby a gas expands to fit the volume allotted, so does a bureaucracy fill the time and funding allotted.

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  13. I consider the analogy more aligned towards how the colon keeps distending to allow the accumulation of more... shinola. Excuse me for lowering the tone of this estimable site.

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  14. We will win. We will keep coming into the country and filling the welfare offices and getting our driver licenses and getting our defacto Democratic Party registration cards until the wall is built. All we have to do is to stay strong and not give in to Trump, and we will win the presidency and senate in 2020, and we will DESTROY your party, DESTROY your white supremacy, RECLAIM ALL of OUR money and OUR land, and KICK YOU BASTARDS BACK TO EUROPE. Pure and simple. Game one...

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    Replies
    1. Then the only thing left in America will be the dregs and low lifes of other countries who think they can run anything. They never could and never will. Instead they will turn on themselves and fight, tribe like, over spoils.

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    2. Yes mohammed... but not due to the competence of america's enemies such as yourself, rather due to incompetence of the decadent classes of america.

      - reader #1482

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  15. Dip, would love you hear your thoughts on the developments over the last couple days in Venezuala

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    Replies
    1. We've been discussing it in Baen's bar in politics and in the kratskeller for a few days. Would love your input Lewis.

      Delete
  16. Trump should've left open the possibility of a true military flight in a C-130. Let her fly Space-A!

    ReplyDelete