Donald Trump got into office by promising to drain the swamp, and one of the swampiest parts of our nation’s capital is the liberal favorite known as the Environmental Protection Agency.
Thankfully, the president appointed the right person for the job — Administrator Scott Pruitt, who has taken a scythe rather than a scalpel to the bureaucratic monolith.
While it was clear to observers that Pruitt was making some headway, we didn’t realize just how much progress he was making until the EPA administrator announced this week that he planned to cut the agency’s staff by almost 50 percent in the president’s first term.
“The EPA Tuesday provided to Secrets its first year staff results which show that the agency is below levels not seen since former President Reagan’s administration,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“And if just those slated to retire by early 2021 leave, Administrator Scott Pruitt and his team will have reduced a staff of nearly 15,000, to below 8,000, or a reduction of 47 percent.”
For Pruitt, that’s all part of the job.
“We’re proud to report that we’re reducing the size of government, protecting taxpayer dollars and staying true to our core mission of protecting the environment,” Pruitt said in a statement.
The EPA currently has 14,162 employees, which is the first time it’s been below the 14,440 level since The Gipper was in office.
Those are some pretty impressive numbers, but it gets even better. Given that 47 percent of EPA employees can retire with full benefits in five years or less, it could be very possible that almost half of current employees would be gone by 2021.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Pruitt is offering some massive buyouts and retirement benefits packages to get some of the bureaucrats to retire.
“We’re happy to be at Reagan-level employment numbers and the future retirements shows a preview of how low we could get during this administration,” one EPA official said.
“It would be fair to say anywhere from 25 to 47 percent of EPA could retire during this administration.”
Conservatives should be very happy, too. The EPA has always been one of the most overreaching agencies in the federal firmament, particularly when a Democrat is president.
The agency definitely made hay when the liberal sun was shining under the Obama administration, costing American jobs and doing fun stuff like blowing up ponds, all because of insane overregulation.
The best way to protect against this kind of thing is to drain the swamp to the point where it can’t be easily reassembled by any future Democrat presidents (perish the thought, of course).
From the looks of things, Pruitt is well on the way to that goal.
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H/T Frontpage Mag