Russ Vought, former Heritage Action Vice President, was officially nominated by President Trump to be Deputy Director of the Office of the Management and Budget.

In a press release last Friday, Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said:

President Trump made an excellent decision in nominating Russ Vought, one of the most talented conservatives in Washington, D.C. to be Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Budgets are expressions of priorities, and the American people should know that a principled, courageous leader will be heavily involved in translating the administration’s priorities into conservative budgets. We are grateful for Russ’s willingness to return to public service and are confident America will be a better nation as a result.

The Office of the Management and Budget is responsible for administering the federal budget and ensuring federal agencies are running effectively.

Do you believe federal agencies need to be downsized?

Comments (87)

Mary Barker - April 15, 2017

Absolutely the federal budget needs to be downsized – big time!

Robert J Schundler - April 15, 2017

I feel the Federal Government should be down sized …. I think the states can do more, and people should get bigger tax credits for donation to non-profits, perhaps 10% of one income tax could be donated giving 100% tax credit for the donation. This way people will express their will as to what should be supported.

Janelle Nowell - April 15, 2017

I think federal agencies need to be downsized only to get rid of the one percent the General Accounting Office said months ago were not fit to work in the federal government .

Jim Anderson - April 15, 2017

I feel that government agencies should not only be downsized, but in some cases eliminated. Our federal government should be limited to defense, diplomatic relations, and occasionally other things that resolve problems or create fairness on matters between states. We even need to be careful about the federal government getting overinvolved in infrastructure.

Barbara Leon - April 15, 2017

Yes Federal Agencies need/must be downsized. Some probably need it more than others. Could probably get rid of duplication of services also, by combining them.

Gordon T. Ray - April 15, 2017

Yes I believe downsizing is very important

Chan Bailey - April 15, 2017

Almost every federal agency needs to be downsized and streamlined. All of them need to be held more accountable. And some need to just disappear.

Leslie Hansen - April 15, 2017

Budgets that are designed to eliminate activities are the quickest and effective method of determining what the true needs are by the daily established priorities.

Jan F - April 15, 2017

Definitely the federal government needs to be streamlined. There is too much waste, fraud, and corruption. Send what is appropriate back to the states and don’t protect ineffective employees from dismissal. Salaries and benefits need to be reviewed and brought into line where necessary. Godspeed President Trump!

Samuel W. Baugh - April 15, 2017

Back to the basics as outlined in the constitution. Not sure, but I would hazard a guess that over half of the agencies would disappear.

Robert S. Licata - April 15, 2017

Are you kidding me? Is the Pope Catholic? Of course it should be downsized. Only a brain dead liberal would think otherwise.

Mrs. Phyllis Eix - April 15, 2017

Yes, I do. As a part of restructuring the present out-sized departments, it is required.

Shari Mildon - April 15, 2017

Yes, I think the federal government should be downsized in a big way. Some agencies should be eliminated, (Dept of education for instance, much better left to state levels.) Defense, immigration, and diplomatic issues should be the main focus. Downsizing will save a lot of money and get rid of a lot of lifetime bureaucrats, hopefully

Robert Ronish - April 15, 2017

Yes! An inspection of every Department in the federal government, from the standpoint of every positions need to the total mission. I am sure the Inspectors will find that 50% of the spaces are not needed! I don’t want a team of government bureaucrats doing the inspection. The inspectors should come from private industry. That way the empire builders can’t influence the outcome of the survey/inspection. Thank you!!

Robert Appleby - April 15, 2017

Not only downsized, but stop funding for organizations that have nothing to do with the enumerated powers as specified in the Constitution. For example, PBS.

Barbara Poulson - April 15, 2017

Federal agencies have too much power. They make rules that Congress has no part of. They have ways to enforce these rules. They are unelected bureaucrats. It must end.

June Wilson - April 15, 2017

I would like the Federal Government to be downsized in order ( in my opinion ) to help the needy more. When the government is so big it ends up neglecting the very people it was intended to help! I would like to add:I am pleased with the job President Trump is doing and I like how he and the Heritage work together! That can only be good for America!

Larry D. Butler, Phd. - April 15, 2017

The illicit Obama Administration “bloated” the federal government by 30% during his corrupt regime! This must be reversed immediately, if we are to even have a chance to “repair” the “staggering damage” he and the Democrats caused to our Republic! Moreover, during his last year in office, Obama “stuffed” the civil service ranks with “unqualified and unskilled” cronies! This too must be reversed, “for the good of the service” and the survival of our nation! These “moles” will only serve to perpetuate Obama’s legacy and his goals of “a Stalinist state”, upon which he was raised! It is therefore mandatory that a “reduction in force” take place as soon as possible!

Fred Novak - April 15, 2017

The budget has to be fixed.

Send Ryan home for Easter and have him stay there for the next four to eight years.
This would really help.

LeAnne Tillar - April 15, 2017

Yes, downsized as well as eliminated where their function as a federal agency is not authorized by the Constitution. In particular, the EPA and the Education agencies have no business existing–and probably the Commerce department and the Energy department could to away. Then, is there a way to set limits on how far reaching all departments could go in regulating and restricting people’s lives by the bureaucrat “rules” constantly added to their “rule book?”

Lenny - April 15, 2017

UNTIL…..each employee has to put in a full 8 hr day for a 8 hr paycheck. If they do not want to work, get them the hell out !!!
Thank you!!!

Jo-Ann - April 15, 2017

Government bloat and duplication with little to no accountability is a major part of the national debt (and shame). I believe it is way past time for lawmakers to be required to be covered only by the same laws and retirement benefits as other Americans. Term limits is a must!

Delores Courtright - April 15, 2017

There is not one government program that I know of that has been effect and sure not or well run. I am 83 yrs old and have yet to see a well run government programs that has worked. Every single program has gotten so big that the right hand does not know what the left had is do and it doesn’t care.

Bill Daniel - April 15, 2017

Yes, very definitely many agencies should be downsized or even eliminated. Who determines whether any agency is performing positively with our tax dollars? I suspect every agency could be cut 10% and never miss a beat!

Doris - April 15, 2017

Downsize – Absolutely!

Joseph R Galaske - April 15, 2017

I’m 85 yrs old and “ditto”to Delores above. You only have to look at the Post Office and the IRS to see badly run bloat..

Jaime L. Manzano - April 15, 2017

Incentives to Improve Public Service Performance

The public sector rarely looks for savings through better management. Legislators focus mainly on new programs or expanding existing ones, accompanied by budgetary gimmickry to cover increased costs. They work for a bigger share of expenditures in their jurisdictions. Senator Gramm of Texas was instructive. He opined that he would be against a program that planned to mine cheese from the moon, but if such a program came about, he would work tirelessly to make sure the mining operation was located in Texas.

Government employees at the same time, through their unions, view bigger government as a means to increase jobs and membership. By adding administrative layers to organizational structures, staffing opportunities multiply, and opportunities for promotions and advancements increase. Simply put, there are no market incentives to increase public sector productivity. The public sector is much like a command economy, little different than the one used in the USSR, now reigning in Cuba, currently holding back growth in the European Union, and about to take over Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

Can it be changed? Sure. Introduce market forces into the public sector. Simply reward bureaucrats for budgetary savings. It could work with legislators as well. For bureaucrats:

– Give civil servants, say, half the administrative costs they save as salary bonuses, or additional fringe benefits such as additions to their retirement accounts, or the funding of the college education for their kids.

Productivity would jump and cost savings would roll in like welcome summer rains.

And the savings potential? When I worked for the Social Security Administration (Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Strategic and Manpower Planning) SSA saved an average of 3 percent annually of the Agency’s wage bill for 7 years, or about 20 percent overall. Since the annual attrition rate of SSA employees was over 3 percent, the numbers of staff forced into unemployment was zero. It represented a savings of about $1 billion of administrative costs the year I left.

Not bad, for government work.

Now, here’s my proposal.

– Federal agencies should be informed that, on a selective and experimental basis, half the savings the agencies realized in their existing administrative budgets are to be authorized for use as bonuses to employees. Such savings need to be continuous, measurable, and not a one time occurrence. They need to maintain or improve the level of service performed by the program. They need to be implemented without resorting to separations resulting in unemployment. All federal agencies may apply for participation in this initiative.

Efficiency in the use of the existing workforce can produce savings by either reducing staff, or increasing productivity. Staff reductions, however, are the most likely opportunity for savings. The fear that accompanies staff reductions can be muted or eliminated by, 1) Matching reductions to normal attrition, 2) Facilitating the transfer of employees to other agencies, 3) Training on-board staff to fill skill vacancies, 4) Opening up opportunities for employees to fill private sector, or state and local jobs, and, 5) Buy outs or early retirement. None of these options expands the roles of the unemployed.

While there are instances when legitimate increases in workload occur, savings, in such instances can still result by redeploying underutilized existing staff, introducing improvements in processing, and using improved technology. Productivity would increase, unit cost would likely diminish, and savings would result.

Improvement measures in efficiency and increased productivity are easily obtainable from existing data. For example, the number of people served, or the product produced, can be divided by the number of employees dedicated to the work at hand. Similarly, the costs of operations can be divided either by the number of employees, or the number of units produced, or clients served. Thirdly, processing speed can be used to compare performance between different time periods. Fourthly, error rates can be established to measure wasteful duplicative effort, and quality of operations. Customer satisfaction.can be measured through surveys of clients.

The Social Security Administration used, and may still be using, such measures. Performance of offices were compared and ranked against those offices doing similar work. Regional Offices, for example, were compared, and competition between offices resulted. Further, improvements in performance, became part of executive performance reviews and bonus awards.

Based on the above, real savings in program expenditures resulted. And while a bonus system based on savings was not authorized and could not be implemented, the Commissioner chose to use savings to prepay prospective operating expenditures. The public benefited.

A similar system can be structured to reward Members of Congress for savings in program budgets:

– Give legislators, say, half the program savings they pass for use in continuing programs in their districts. Reward their efforts to eliminate redundancies or the termination of dysfunctional programs, or the elimination of needless procedural complexities.

This is old data, but if, the Medicare bill were reduced by $5 billion by votes of 60 percent of the Congress, each legislator voting for the savings would would have about $8 million to distribute to continuing programs in their constituencies. Applied to the full budget, a practice of performance awards based on a one percent saving would generate about $400 million for re-programing by individual legislators to continuing programs in their jurisdictions.

Beats earmarking.


Jaime L. Manzano
Federal Senior Executive and Foreign Service Officer (Retired)
7904 Park Overlook Drive
Bethesda, MD 20817

James Thomen - April 15, 2017

The Federal Gov’t is just to big, trying to do to many things it should not be doing. It is FAT and as with people who are fat and have diabeties (sp) all sort of undesirable outcomes is the result. Reduce Fed Expenditures 5% per year. Get the American people used to this idea!!

Ed Jonson - April 15, 2017

No question that federal agencies need to be downsized. We could make at least a 15 percent cut in the total workforce and no one outside of Washington, DC, would notice.

Annemarie Maynard - April 15, 2017

How could I be a constitutional conservative if I didn’t believe that our federal agencies need to be downsized?

Judy L Cummins - April 15, 2017

Yes, we have too many federal agencies, many doing duplicate tasks….every dept needs to be downsized or gotten rid of.
Some of the outlandish spending we have heard about should be punished & fired.
Clean it all out….there seems to be corruption everywhere.
Makes me ill….

Tom Lanners - April 15, 2017

I was going to give a one word answer, yes.
I will add, that if done based on our Constitution,
many, many, many, many, many, people would
have to get real jobs, but our Country and our people would be infinitely better off!
One can hope and pray.

Bruce Holstein - April 15, 2017

Yes – there are too many programs and too many employees. One tactic that could be used is a small % reduction across all Federal agencies except DoD. This approach forces managers to prioritize their work and staff. Personnel reductions can be handled by attrition. This same approach should be applied each year to really start making a difference.

Marjorie Taylor - April 15, 2017

They should be downsized if not eliminated entirely. The government should only be involved in areas that the Constitution clearly says they can be.

Jack Dayley - April 15, 2017

I have never saw a budget that could not
be downsized. States should take on more.
Get as many things out of Washington as
possible. Our government is just too big.

Paul Carroll - April 15, 2017

Without question, federal government needs to be cut! The bureaucracy grew at an outrageous rate under Obama. If that growth was 20%, the cutbacks now should start with that and continue with at least another 25%.

Bonnie McCoy - April 15, 2017

Yes, the federal agencies need to be downsized…and some eliminated!

Al Wunsch - April 15, 2017

Absolutely, I see no reason for the fed gov’t to be bigger than it was in 2000 for example. Fundamentally all activity beyond, say defense – that designated by the constitution for the federal gov’t should be handled by the states. Human nature dictates that we will normally drive our mission into bigger and broader areas. Too many offices, shared responsibilities and bureaus that get in the way of good governance and bloat the budget. Congress also causes some of it by giving the exec branch the job of defining details of law and regulation that should have been worked out in the congressional committees. What are they doing? Too big, too complex – yes and that’s why it should be handled by the states. The budget’g process doesn’t help either. If you don’t spend all of your funds in a fiscal year, it will be assumed that you didn’t need it and your budget in the following year will be reduced. When you plan a program and let a contract, you find yourself looking for funds in Feb for the year that started the previous Oct. Federal government needs serious downsizing.

Bill Bruce - April 15, 2017

The federal government has fed on itself for too long. Just as in the private sector, each agency must be able to justify its existence or be eliminated.

Frank Wetherbee - April 15, 2017

without a doubt…and only a businessman like Trump can do my opinion

Paul D’Aigle - April 15, 2017

Yes, many gov’t entities need to be downsized (or eliminated), and a few need to have their budgets increased. Reducing our debt is not a dream assignment that never gets done, but an absolute need to keep our American way of life insured.

robert - April 15, 2017

drain the swamp is that clear enough

Jerry Metcalf - April 15, 2017

A 50 percent should be good. Place all federal employees into 401Ks and VA health plans.

Timothy R Eby - April 15, 2017

ALL Federal agencies are bloated, wasteful, and inefficient. In order to drain the swamp, the first step must be to reduce the size of the bureaucracy, starting with the employees infecting the work of the new administration, and redundant and useless programs. The budget could be thus reduced by a large percentage.

Jon Daly - April 15, 2017

Totally down size.

G. Allan Barnes - April 15, 2017

Reduce and eliminate all across the board. The duplication/redundancy is mind bogeling and the costs are staggering. For example, we don’t need roughly two dozen spy agencies reading our emails or tracking our whereabouts. I saw where even the staff of an agency, had a staff, it’s ridiculous. A bureaucracy is like a cancer, it never gets smaller, it feeds on the host until there’s nothing left.

Janice Evans - April 15, 2017

Absolutely!! Enough said.

PATSY THOMAS - April 15, 2017

Yes, Feds of all catagories should be deminished. There hasn’t been enough time to study in depth who should go.

Blake Hillman - April 15, 2017

Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that we need to downsize the federal government. Most, if not all, federal agencies need to be downsized. I agree that some should be eliminated completely, too, such as the EPA. In addition to some of the suggestions I’ve seen in the comments below, I also think the tax code should be simplified, and the IRS greatly downsized. Further, we should be more frugal with our foreign aid, and much more judicious in who we give it to.

Hank Raehn - April 15, 2017

Yes, I believe most federal agencies in the executive branch and the independent agencies ought to be “rightsized’ and to be better accountable but it will take competent management willing to do so. The country certainly doesn’t need almost 500 agencies in the federal government. However, I wonder whether Congress has the will to eliminate federal unions and collective bargaining of federal employees. I think management ought to have the same responsibilities to hire and fire employees as does the private sector.

Robert A. Patterson - April 15, 2017


Sandra Aleman - April 15, 2017

Some agencies should be eliminated, most should be streamlined, and even the defense dept. needs to be audited and made more efficient. Trump isn’t going to be able to do what really needs to be done, but he is starting on the right track. We need to convince congress that bureaucrats are overprotected and overcompensated, and that precedents really only count in court.

Andy Lawson - April 15, 2017

Only men who are committed to their philosophy are able to make headway in implement changes in the actions of people. This uniquely qualifies Vaught for this position. He is committed and he will stay at the task to see that change is brought about.

Michael Merchant - April 15, 2017

Smaller government is more efficient and less wasteful . Some of these agencies should be eliminated .

Bruce Richardson - April 15, 2017

Some should be downsized; others eliminated like the Dept of Energy and Dept. of Education and Import-Export Bank

Jimmy Standley - April 15, 2017

Downsized or altogether eliminated.

John - April 15, 2017

Having worked with federal bureaucrats when on active duty in the USAF, I saw first hand the lackadaisical attitude of many of the federal employees. They were not supervised or managed very well; there were exceptions of course. When we were given orders from headquarters to cut the budget by 10%, it was my air force boss, a Lt. Col. who faced down all the belly-achers and said “You don’t understand; this is an order from HQ; now roll up your sleeves and figure out how to do it. We were able to do it; but we, mostly the active duty officers that put the pressure on the contractors to give us some answers and solutions. I believe that this is the largest difference between working in industry and working in the bureaucracy, industrial managers have controlling costs as their duty, defined in their job descriptions and have an incentive to do it. This should be part of every federal manager’s job description if it isn’t. You see evidence every time the administration tries to lower federal budgets the first thing that happens is all the managers will say something like: “Well if you cut me 3 %, I will have to cut my services and we will not be able to do our job”. I can say with 100% every time that you hear this as a first response, it is the result of incompetent or lazy managers who do not know how to motivate their people to look for better and less costly methods to do their jobs.

Retta - April 15, 2017

Yes, they absolutely need to be downsized.

Frank Schwartz - April 15, 2017

Not only should Federal agencies be downsized, some of them should be eliminated. Department of Education, get rid of it. What is the Federal government doing in education. That belongs to states.
Generate a postcard flat tax with no deductions or tax credits. The IRS would /should shrink appropriately. Get rid of any unions in the Federal government. Any government head should be able to fire people.

Victoria Macki - April 15, 2017

No question about it! To not be TOO drastic, at the very least by attrition from retirements and resignations. This would not engender panic, and give some breathing room to assess further, more substantive reductions.

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - April 16, 2017

Absolutely. All the agencies should trim down. In particular, any holdovers from the previous administration.

R. DeWayne Merckx - April 16, 2017


Robert C. Biggio - April 16, 2017

Many government agencies must be downsized, streamlined and in many cases eliminated altogether !

Richard A. Davis - April 16, 2017

Definitely YES!

Sharon Pelletier - April 16, 2017

Yes, the Federal Government Agencies should be, in some cases, eliminated as a Federal Program and placed back with the States, and definitely downsize … Next the IRS … funding for legitimate government activities and not the redistribution of wealth to political alliances.

Steve Smith - April 16, 2017

Downsizing is past due……the past can’t be sustained for future generations of our great country. Remember the Constitution!

Ed - April 16, 2017

Yes, and it could not be better timed.

Richard Deters - April 16, 2017

Yes, I believe downsizing of Federal Agencies is a must do.

Charles Fickling - April 16, 2017

Absolutely! Reduce the pay for Congress by one half and give them more time off.

Henry Vance - April 16, 2017

I think that we should start by asking the departments (include Congress and the Executive brance) to justify their budget. Then, we should ask them to reduce their budget by 10% for the coming year. Next year – reduce their budgets another 10%. Require the Senate to debate the budget from the President and to pass the amended budget befoe it goes to the House. Require the House to debate the funding of the budget and pass the funding before it returns to the Senate for approval..

peter e Bentivegna md - April 16, 2017

Downsizing the federal Government, eliminating redundancy and returning power to the states is what is needed to streamline the central government if there is any hope of balancing the budget and paying down the debt. Getting Americans back to work and off Government assistance will go a long way .

Henry Dokter - April 16, 2017

Downsizing the Federal organization provides for better and closer control on any action being taken thus keeping the Feds out of their pushing. The states need to have some control of various functions that needs to be in line with the US Constitution. It will also bring details of such items to the citizens. And control Federal spending of the income taxes paid by the citizens.

Sinclair Doggett - April 16, 2017

Down size-ASAP. Ask every employee of every department to answer some questions. Name -optional. Question- if you were in charge of this department how would you save money and reduce costs. We might be surprised at the answers. Eliminate the IRS with a flat tax with no deductions. Wealthy and cheaters would hate it! Turning things back to the states is a good idea but some states are as bad as the Fed. At least the residents would pay more attention and demand improvements! Remind congress that for every law made two must die.

Jim Demonbreun - April 16, 2017

That’s good news. Yes, I believe most government agencies are overstaffed, and over funded. Maybe, we can completely eliminate some of these agencies.

Lee Lehrer - April 16, 2017

Federal agentseys should be downsized and or eliminated.u

JoAnn Ison - April 16, 2017


Mac - April 16, 2017

As the saying goes, ‘It’s to big for it’s britches’. It is time to get rid of the desk sitters that are not adding to the productivity of the department. The Education Department should be dropped and given back to the states.

Caroline Woodis - April 16, 2017

I agree w all the comments made so far. Too much waste, duplication, corruption, poor management, too little oversight. Eliminate duplication, get rid of employees not pulling their weight, and managers who are not careful Long overseeing the production of the agency. To start with a 10% cut in all agencies across the board (except for DOD) will give us a quick start in the right direction and put all federal employees and managers on notice. An outside oversight of all agencies’ productivity will also help put all into better work performance. Hospitals have outside agencies assessing productivity which gives all managers and staff more incentive to perform well. Good luck President Trump. It’s just one of your major tasks. But I think you know how to do it better than most. Praying for you and your cabinet. Praying you will get the rest of your cabinet heads nominated and affirmed as soon as possible.

Fred Henry - April 16, 2017

Most if not all federal agencies should be downsized—they were inflated under the Obama administration. The federal social welfare programs are out of control and there needs to be accountability for the recipients of these benefits. They must show that they are legitimately looking for work to receive any benefits. We are creating a society without a realistic work ethic. The Obama administration and their liberal allies have been destroying our country by creating conditions for decay from within. There is no country that can destroy the USA militarily, however, we are destroying ourselves by this liberal decay from within.

JOHN EMMI - April 17, 2017

Positively most agencies need to be downsized. The continually growing federal government is directly relative to the unchecked over reach of many of those government functions.

Jerry Miller - April 17, 2017

YES, my wife used to work for the government and most of the time she had nothing to do. She quit because she was so bored!!

Lorena Steffen - April 17, 2017

Absolutely. Some agencies, like the dept. of Education, should be eliminated. Also the EPA. Re-read what the Constitution says the federal government should be involved in. It would fit on a post card.

Jack Benkovich - April 17, 2017

I believe that the Federal Government is so large that it can’t be effectively managed by anybody – Trump or anyone else. Many of the departments like Education and subsidiary bureaucracies simply need to be shut down. If certain functions are needed to continue, the states can and should make that determination.

George Danz - April 17, 2017

I truly believe that strict adherance to I, Sec. 8 of the US Constitution would go a long way toward reducing our national debt and insure that the budget only gets applied to constitutionally mandated expenses and not lawmaker’s special projects.

George Danz - April 17, 2017

Shrinking Government on FED level is a “no-btainer”. I just wondered how long it would take to implement a plan. Looks like Trump is initiating a plan to do so.

Bruce Higgs - April 17, 2017

Yes, they need to be streamlined and legislation passed to have staff held accountable for actions and work productivity. Power to make rules must be taken away and legislation passed in such a way that bills are not skeleton’s with lines to fill in. They should be passed complete with clarity and no question about how to enforce. Power needs to be taken away from the “shadow govt.” and drain the swamp. Tenure for govt. employees needs to stop and rewards made where due and penalties and firings when needed. Too much corruption. Dues need to be done away with and loyalty to the Constitution be the standard. Not loyalty to a party. I am afraid the cancer is too deep to remove from our govt. The swamp includes Repulsicans as well as Dumbicrats.

M Masters - April 18, 2017

How soon can it be accomplished – go, go, go!

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