If elected president, political outsider Vivek Ramaswamy vows to cut 1 million jobs from a behemoth federal government workforce.
And the GOP presidential candidate’s plan to rein in the administrative state is driving the Left and the mainstream media insane.
Ramaswamy on Wednesday unveiled his proposal for shutting down several government agencies and issuing mass layoffs during his first major domestic policy speech at the America First Policy Institute.
As The Star News Network first reported on Tuesday, Ramaswamy, in a new white paper, lays out his sweeping federal bureaucracy reorganization plan that takes a big bite out of an “unconstitutional, fourth branch of government that is choking American democracy, and it is called the administrative state.”
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) September 13, 2023
The plan calls for shutting down what Ramaswamy believes to be a corrupt-to-its-core Federal Bureau of Investigation, an indoctrinating Department of Education, an archaic Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and a constitutionally abusive Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, among others.
Ramaswamy said his plan would in the first year cut 50 percent of the administrative state workforce, which would amount to approximately 1 million jobs from the 2.2 million civil service employees in the federal bureaucracy.
And the Ohio bio-tech entrepreneur who hasn’t spent a day of his life in government, said he would use the power of the presidency to rescind many of the federal regulations negatively impacting Americans.
“We need to undo the damage that has already been done by federal regulations already on the books,” he said. “But how about actually rescinding the existence of the bureaucratic agencies congress never authorized?”
Ramaswamy said it’s a radical idea in modern-day America that “the people who we elect to run the government ought to be the ones who actually run the government, not the managerial bureaucracy in the three letter agencies.”
Defenders of the administrative state, of course, hate his radical plan.
“Vivek Ramaswamy wants to trigger mass layoffs at federal agencies — and he thinks the Supreme Court will back him up,” said an NBC News headline.
“Scoop: Ramaswamy wants to cut 1 million government jobs,” the left-leaning Axios headline said.
Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to an effective federal government,” told NBC News such plans to fundamentally alter how the civil service works are causing “quite a bit of anxiety in the federal workforce and in the broader community of organizations that are focused on trying to help our government work more effectively.”
Critics warn the economy would take a huge hit in the loss of hundreds of thousands of government jobs.
“The proposals Ramaswamy is putting forward would add up to some of the most sweeping short-term changes ever to the federal government,” the NBC News story said. “And he proposes to do large parts of it by executive action, without votes in Congress — which enacted the laws forming agencies Ramaswamy wants to end — reaching far beyond what past Republican administrations concluded were the limits of their power.”
The presidential candidate, in his speech, laid out the legal justifications for his plan, pushing back on what he said are the “myths” that insist the president does not have the authority to shut down agencies and implement mass layoffs. He pointed to statute that puts large-scale reductions of federal workforce under the control of the executive branch and ultimately in the hands of the president.
“… And large scale mass layoffs are actually what we will bring to the Washington bureaucracy,” Ramaswamy said.
He noted the President Jimmy Carter-era Executive Reorganization Act that remains in effect.
It states, “The President shall from time to time examine the organization of all agencies and shall determine what changes therein are necessary to accomplish” several purposes. That includes reducing “the number of agencies by consolidating those having similar functions under a single head, and to abolish such agencies or functions thereof as may not be necessary for the efficient conduct of the Government…”
“This is not a suggestion, it’s a mandate to the U.S. president,” Ramaswamy said, adding that it “completely debunks” the assertion that the president must secure congressional permission on changes to the executive branch.
The administrative state fired up by President Woodrow Wilson in the early 20th century and expanded by Democrats and Republicans alike is a far cry from the founding vision of the federal government, critics say.
“Our nation was founded by men who believed in limited government, especially limited central government. They were not anarchists; nor did they espouse laissez faire. But they did believe that rulers ought to be restrained and accountable to the people they govern. If the founders could see what has happened to the relation between the citizens and the government in the United States during the past two centuries, they would be appalled,” Robert Higgs, wrote in a 1990 column on the massiveness of government.
The bloated bureaucracy that would have the founders spinning in their graves continues to grow more than 30 years later.
What Ramaswamy is proposing is a much more active and aggressive executive branch to, among other things, significantly limit the size of government.
That idea excites a lot of limited government advocates like the people at the America First Policy Institute, but it scares the hell out of backers of a broader bureaucracy — Democrats and Republicans alike.
Ramaswamy saluted former President Trump for taking important steps forward in checking the growth of the administrative state.
While president, Trump issued Schedule F, an executive order that reclassifies tens of thousands of the 2 million federal employees as at-will workers who could more easily be fired.
President Joe Biden did away with the executive order. Trump and others have vowed to bring it back.
Ramaswamy, who has risen to third place in national Republican presidential primary polls but remains far behind frontrunner Trump, says he wants to take the former president’s America First policies further.
“This begins to give you at least a preview of what the new administration starting in Jan. 25, 2025 can actually begin to do,” he said. “I’m running to lead that movement for our country … But what I’m suggesting now is the next president needs to go further in having a deep first-person conviction … to have the spine to ensure that we have one executive branch in the United States of America.”
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M.D. Kittle is the National Political Editor for The Star News Network.
Photo “Vivek Ramaswamy” by Vivek Ramaswamy.