The administration of President Donald Trump plans to unveil a budget proposal Monday that would drastically reform the federal government by moving it from a tenure-based pay system to one built on performance.
As it currently stands, federal employees benefit from an automatic stamp of approval in their yearly “reviews” and an annual pay increase between 3 and 5 percent, regardless of how they actually perform on the job, according to the Washington Examiner.
The specific changes sought by the proposal include the launch of a bonus pool to reward high-performing employees, an end to automatic pay raises, the retraining and reshuffling of employees and a reported boost to federal employees’ retirement packages.
This latter change would offset any loss in short-term income.
The primary goals of the new budget are to “reward ‘the best’ with bonuses, make it easier to hire and fire, and provide ‘flexibility’ by moving employees where they are needed and even rehiring skilled retirees,” the Examiner reported, citing administration officials.
It appears the administration is essentially seeking to make the government more efficient and accountable, in part to keep promises Trump made on the campaign trail.
“Waste, fraud and abuse all over the place. Waste, fraud and abuse. You look at what’s happening with Social Security. You look at what’s happening with every agency. Waste, fraud and abuse. We will cut so much, your head will spin,” Trump promised during a GOP primary debate in 2016, as reported by Time magazine.
Though Social Security and other entitlement programs still remain unreformed, the president’s latest budget proposal suggests he’s ready to tackle the government side of the equation.
According to The Washington Post, the as-of-yet-unreleased budget has already provoked outrage from the largest federal union, who claims the president’s true goal is to reward loyalty, not performance.
“Does anybody want a pay system that denies pay adjustments to people considered disloyal to the administration? Pity the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) scientist whose work demonstrates the existence of climate change,” said J. David Cox Sr., the president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
However, previous evidence suggests that, despite Cox’s protestations, the EPA does suffer from serious performance issues.
PJ Media noted that in 2014, a high-ranking EPA official admitted to watching pornography for several hours of his workday. As of April 2017, however, the employee reportedly still remained on the job, collecting an estimated $120,000 per year at the expense of the taxpayers.
Another EPA official sold jewelry and weight loss pills from her office and “hired 17 of her family members and friends as paid interns,” as reported four years ago by The Daily Caller.
Similar scandals have plagued other federal agencies as well.
“This is a subject that essentially people have ignored. The American people elected a president that promised dramatic change,” a top Trump administration budget official reportedly said during a briefing last week.
Though similar attempts to reform the federal government’s pay structure in the past all failed, Trump administration officials remain confident due to the “bipartisan support on Capitol Hill” that exists surrounding this matter, according to the Examiner.
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