ROMNEY WORDSWORTH - Fifty-four years ago, in 1962, President John F. Kennedy issued the infamous Executive Order 10988 and changed American politics, and the relationship of the citizen to government, in a radical way.
Executive Order 10988 allowed Federal employees to unionize. That power has allowed Federal workers unions to get outrageous pension benefits with little or no contribution from their members, with American taxpayers getting burdened with paying the bill for Cadillac health plans and gold plated pensions even while wages have been stagnant for decades in the private sector, pensions become a thing of the past in the gig economy, and contributions to health plans skyrocket. Assuming your employer hasn’t already thrown in the towel and sent you to the Obamacare gulag. The same thing has played out in state governments, the most notorious being California, New York, New Jersey, and others.
Government worker unions act, in effect, as the tail that wags the dog of the legislature. At the bargaining table between Government, the employer and Government the employee, there is no one representing the tax payer. Instead there is an incestuous relationship where the unions and their ostensible adversaries just agree to deal themselves higher and higher wages and piles of perks. Who cares about the cost? That’s for the suckers in the private sector to pay.
Government workers were making good salaries in 1962 when President Kennedy lifted, by executive order (so much for democracy), the federal ban on government unions. Civil-service regulations and similar laws had guaranteed good working conditions for generations.
The move to unionize public servants wasn’t for moral, economic, or intellectual reasons. It was purely political.
Traditional private sector unions, the backbone of the Democratic party, were beginning to lose ground. Today they are shadows of their former selves as manufacturing has fled to non-unionized foreign countries. JFK saw how in states such as New York and Wisconsin, where public unions were already in place, local Democrat politicians benefited politically and financially. He took the idea national.
The plan worked perfectly, to a fault. Public-union membership skyrocketed, and government-union support for the DemocRat party (the party of Big Government) skyrocketed with it. From 1989 to 2004, AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, gave $40 million to candidates in federal elections, with 99% going to Democrats, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Even America’s original socialist President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, knew that allowing government workers to unionize would result in many Americans growing to hate the government, saying “the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” That is exactly what has happened.
Which brings us back to President Elect Donald Trump. Trump’s management style of ruthless efficiency requires that he has the freedom to say, “You’re Fired!”, to anyone who doesn’t measure up. Let me tell you: There is a vast amount of dead weight in the Federal bureaucracy. Government worker productivity is abysmal. Government workers are under no pressure to get anything done on time or on budget. Many have their jobs purely due to patronage; jobs they aren’t even qualified to do.
With the revocation of Executive Order 10988, Trump can truly clean house and drain the swamp. It would also allow him to completely remove DemocRat operatives who have been in government for decades and who stand ready to sabotage and stymie Donald Trump’s agenda. They Must Go!
Revoke Executive Order 10988, Mr. Trump. Revoke it, audit every agency and department of the Executive Branch, and carry out mass firings. Slash Federal employee wages and benefits and bring them in line with the private sector. Bring down Federal spending, and bring the Federal Leviathan back under a budget; something that Congress used to pass every year before the Age of Obama.
It’s time to get back to Constitutional basics again.