White House hopeful Ramaswamy joins Trump in calling for huge government job cuts – Times of India

White House hopeful Ramaswamy joins Trump in calling for huge government job cuts – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Indian American Vivek Ramaswamy joined a rising chorus of Republican presidential contenders in 2024 who have pledged to drastically cut the size and scope of the federal government if elected next year, calling for a “revolution” that will hold the federal bureaucracy “accountable.”Former President Donald Trump and his main opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, have similarly promised to dismiss hundreds of thousands of federal employees and to abolish or restructure various departments and agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Education.Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur fresh to politics, laid out his strategy on Wednesday at a Washington think group that backs Trump’s “America First” platform.”Do we want incremental reform? No,” Ramaswamy said. “Or do we want a revolution?”Ramaswamy, 38, trails Trump in national polls, but his prominence has risen after engagement with other candidates in the first presidential debate last month. He is running as an unashamed supporter of Trump’s policies and has repeatedly defended the former president on the campaign trail.Ramaswamy stated that his plan would eventually reduce the federal employment by 75%, resulting in more than 1.6 million layoffs, a more drastic aim than Trump or DeSantis have proposed.Among other departments, he would abolish the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Department of Education, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which regulates commercial nuclear power plants.”Speaking as a CEO, if somebody works for you, and you can’t fire them, that means they don’t work for you,” he said. The vast majority of the 2.2 million government employees are permanent and non-political public servants. A small percentage, approximately 4,000 employees, are political appointees chosen by the current administration.According to Ramaswamy, the president has nearly unlimited control over the executive branch under the US Constitution, but scholars differ. “It could not be done without Congress repealing the laws that empower these agencies and functions,” said Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution.However, Ramaswamy did not address the economic consequences of almost 1 million workers losing their jobs.According to a study issued last week by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, a five-week government shutdown in 2018-2019 resulted in almost a million federal workers being furloughed and a $3 billion reduction in US economic production.Trump has promised that upon assuming office, he will issue an executive order allowing him to terminate “rogue” bureaucrats in protected civil-service positions who are deemed disloyal to the White House.Allies of both Trump and DeSantis have participated in “Project 2025,” a collaborative effort by dozens of conservative think tanks to develop lists of thousands of conservatives who could fill positions across federal agencies and departments if a Republican is elected president.Trump, who is facing federal and state charges in connection with his efforts to sway the 2020 presidential election, has urged Republicans in Congress to defund the FBI and the Department of Justice, alleging that they have been “weaponized” against him. (with agencies input)

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