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 (159)

Sylvia Coulson - April 15, 2017

There is so much waste All need to be downsized and some need to be eliminated.

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.

John F. Hageman - April 15, 2017

Absolutely. I would start by abolishing the IRS.

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.

k questel - April 15, 2017

A must, most departments, maybe all. All levels of government are bloated, with no accountability and no voice for the citizens.

Richard Tancrell - April 15, 2017

Since working for the Feds for over 20 yrs. I have seen that waste. A 20% cut across the board would be a good starter and elimination of certain agencies will be an even better starter.

Alberta - April 15, 2017

Absolutely, the Federal Government should be downsized. When our government employs more people than private businesses and civil servant employees can’t be fired, there needs to be change . Money should not be taken from tax payers whose job is not guaranteed to ensure government employees job protection.

Conrad Pogorzelski - April 15, 2017

Now is the time to reduce the Federal employments.

Matthew B. Gorniak - April 15, 2017

Yes, downsize government agencies.

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

Ken Smith - April 15, 2017

Good luck with this, one can only hope.

Arthur Naujock - April 15, 2017

Now is the time to get serious about controlling the federal budget. This means two things; controlling spending and collecting appropriate taxes and fees to support the spending. Getting this done gives the appearance that it is very hard to do, but it does not have to be.

First off our tax code is outrageous; it is complicated, has to many pages and forms, requires too much documentation of minuscule expenses, and large staffs of lawyers and accountants to prepare and process. So the solution to fixing the tax rate is to fix the tax code thus reducing the enormous size of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Reducing the IRS code will require much less office space (reducing the cost for both floor space for desks and computers) as well as reducing the personnel needed to perform the functions. This would release a large number of highly educated professional to become gainfully employed increasing the country’s GDP rather than consuming a large part of it.

If this approach is followed in all the other paper factories (government regulation generating departments and agencies) in the government then without a doubt we will be able to have a more balanced budget and we will be better able to reduce the national debt as the former government employees put their skills to work in a productive economy.

Use the size of the Constitution as the guide to limit the size of the tax code or tax law.

Art Naujock

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.

Kay Alina - April 15, 2017

Yes, because as government expands, liberty contracts.

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

JoAnn Waltz - April 15, 2017

Yes. That is such a rhetorical question. Taxes could be lowered and citizens would be able to help meet local community needs with that money. Reduction where needed and elimination in majority of departments that are not essential. It cannot be done all at once but expect ongoing progress to this end.

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.

Bruce Higley - April 15, 2017

“. . . . Many have quoted Jefferson’s 1798 letter to John Taylor as support for a balanced budget amendment. Here’s what he actually wrote:

“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.”

What is a balanced budget? It’s simply a budget that doesn’t require us to borrow. Then why not just say so, as Jefferson did?

Instead of trying to define fiscal years, outlays, expenditures, revenues, emergencies, triggers, sequestrations and on and on, I hope we would consider 27 simple words:

“The United States government may not increase its debt except for a specific purpose by law adopted by three-fourths of the membership of both Houses of Congress.” . . . . ”

The words above by CA congressman Tom McClintock (from his website article) make perfect sense to me.

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.

Mike Mallinger - April 15, 2017


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?”

Linda Gibney - April 15, 2017


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!!!

Mary R. Elliott - April 15, 2017

The Office of Consumer Protection is a prime example of a federal program gone amuck. First, it was the “brainstorm” of avowed radical liberal, Lizzie Warren. Second, it is accountable to NO government entity: NO oversight by ANY congressional committee!!! Third, it has made it extremely difficult for small busnesses to get loans. Fourth, shortly after it’s incarnation, it had 1700 employees( probably double or triple that today)!!!! What the hell does it do but create paper, regulations, and a aveck!
Abolish the Department of Education! Find the schools and their programs that are truly effective and encourage other districts to model them through grants and other means. Start paying great teachers real money! Turn them loose in their districts and let them work with others in their field to get better. Vouchers offer children in BAD schools an opportunity to get into good schools. Tell the lobe rails and the unions to get out or get better!!
Frankly, I am horrified at the panty ass college professors and their wimpy administrators and their total disregard for FREE SPEECH!!! Education is suppose to be a process of sifting and winnowing! That is no longer the mantra of education rather it is the liberal voice or the highway!
Journalists in many cases drink from that same fountain!! America had best wake up or the FOUNDING FATHERS beautiful CONSTITUTION and the FEDERAL PAPERS will be relegated to the dustpan of despair. God save us from such a looming disaster!!!

Craig D. Bills - April 15, 2017

Cut federal government down by percentage of 10% below each year’s deficit, excluding paid in programs like SS & Medicate.

Increase SS/Medicare/Medicaid by taxing unlimited earnings including ALL INCOME including capital gains. No exceptions.

Put a sales tax of a max of 5% on all
Sales to fund SS/Medicare/Medicaid & DEFENSE.

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!

Brian N - April 15, 2017

The Federal monstrosity is out of control. President Trump has started out by reducing regulations but needs to go much further in downsizing the beast! Start with the IRS and work through each department eliminating excess overhead. This includes the military, having spent 37 years working for the DOD the waste is atrocious. At the end of a the fiscal year what ever monies that had not been spent were used to buy a lot of non-essential items. This mindset was due to the fact that if there was any money left to over then the budget for the next year would be reduced. This also applies to the Reserves in using budgeted money to bring reservists in on man-days to use the manpower budget up.

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.

John L. Johnson - April 15, 2017

Absolutely, As a private businessmen who has dealt with both federal and state governments they always employ a bloated staff that would not be possible in the private world due to costs. We need to make government much more efficient. That includes being able to get more for our money on government contracts.

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!

A. Grabinski - April 15, 2017

Absolutely. The government at all levels needs to operate with the same requirements as a private sector business: competency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility. Beyond that, the prior administration clearly used the many administrative agencies to reward it friends and to punish and intimidate those who it identified as opposing its liberal agenda.

Laura Wyscaver - April 15, 2017

Yes, government is too involved in our lives and wasteful. Departments need to be skillfully analyzed for need and effectiveness, including costs.

Doris - April 15, 2017

Downsize – Absolutely!

Craig D. Bills - April 15, 2017

Constitutional Amendments after Federal Laws Passed for:

(1) Balanced Federal & State’s Budgets for two year budgets; each 2 Year Congressional Session, passed into law by September of that first year of Congressional session, if not passed by September, previous Congressional Budget goes into effect with NO INCREASES.

(2) Max 12 years in Federal Elected Government; Max 12 years in appointed Federal Government;

(3) All citizens & Green Card aliens possess the same retirement, Healthcare, Insurance of all types, as Elected Government Officials and vica versa; these are set by Congressional Law.

(4) Election spending limits; $1 per citizen per Election Cycle per Election Type of Election; examples: Prez/VP includes entire USA National Election; States such as Senators, Statewide Governor,etc., total citizens of USA in each state; Congressional, total for each Congressional District, County, total for each County, total for each City, etc.,for other election boundaries; an increase each six years based upon official Federal inflation.

James. Mullins. Sr - April 15, 2017

Absolutely, without any doubt. The Swamp needs to be drained. The Obama lovers need to go first & fast. We are sinking fast, the well is fast running dry. Run the Government like a Business, always pay attention to the bottom line. We have never had a man like President Trump, & frankly he is long overdue. I just
Pray he will be able save our Country.

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….

Donna M.Milne - April 15, 2017

I am all for it downsize the better.

Bob Davis - April 15, 2017

The growth of government should be a concern of every citizen in America.

Today it is bloated, unmanageable, and wasteful,

The entire Dept. Of Education should be abolished. The Constitution leaves Education to the states. Federal involvement leads to Federal dominance.

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%.

Katy Tyree - April 15, 2017

Yes, particularly held accountable for every dollar spent.

Patricia Sapp - April 15, 2017

I would like to see the end of the Department of Education–waste of valuable resources (time, money, energy), and ineffectual.

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.

Anthony Perez - April 15, 2017

YES! The federal government is like a big, fat bloated pig. I have to agree that all of the previous comments that I’ve read, I agree with. I hope that Trump can accomplish this but there are too many RINOS that don’t want to help him out. I can’t do it alone.

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.

James Miller - April 15, 2017

Yes, the government has gotten too big.

Dennis Carpenter - April 15, 2017

ABSOLUTELY down sizing the government agencies is necessary. The civil service regs should be changed to allow managers to cut the deadwood. Lord knows there’s enough of it. Over-site at all levels needs to be improved.

robert - April 15, 2017

drain the swamp is that clear enough

Thomas Adams - April 15, 2017

The answer to get the Dem “traitors’ to shut up and ‘get out of the way’ IS ; Charge and indict Hillary on any one of available charges an see just how fast all Dems ‘come around !! (Obviously, someone has all the old FBI Hoover “blackmail ” files on all those in office !!)
Thomas Adams, Capt,USMCR (ret.)
P.S. Also, IMMEDIATE TERM LIMITS, and Not a G_D_ed cent to “sanctuary areas !! Emphasize – JUST OBEY THE EXISTING LAWS! Also, “Target”and spend, whatever it takes, to defeat Dems up for election in midterms !
Federal Govm’t? MUST be downsized!
WHY? don’t they work 40 hr weeks like others? Eliminate their “breaks and holiday!” IDEA – Why not have most sessions done at their homes over computers?(SKYPE) No 2nd home or travel allowances! No salary increases! (Term limits would handle a lot of these !) What should be done is defer (if not stop) all congressional salaries for 1 year! (Total probably eliminate nat’l dept in 1 felled swoop ! )(and show IF congress were really patriots? )

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.

D. J. Windsor - April 15, 2017

Definitely should be downsized. There are probably a lot of people doing very little work in these agencies, just like every company. Eliminate the free loaders not carrying their load!

Brendan Davidson - April 15, 2017

God, yes! We have people watching people watch other people who actually do the only work getting accomplished. Badly.

Rosemary D’A - April 15, 2017

It has got to be done. But it’s a tremendous and intricate job which will be resisted by every one being eliminated.One can only hope the President has the guts and fortitude to do it. It is really now or never!

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.

G C - April 15, 2017

YES ! ! !

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.

Malcolm Harbison - April 15, 2017

Yes for sure. If the Feds tax and block grant to the states why not skip the Feds and let the states decide for themselves what they need and raise their own taxes. If there are poor states maybe they should look at how that happened. Next states should allow tax payers to keep their hard earned money and buy what their families prefer. Back to personal responsibility. ?

Betty Jo Hvistendahl - April 15, 2017

Yes! Some departments like Educationand EPA should be cut out altogether!

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.

Ronald May - April 15, 2017

It would appear that there are zero Democrats with any commentary here. They are all way too busy spending their time collaborating with others of that ilk to gather any possible information to cast accusations at new Trump personnel.
Everyone (except the leaches) wants to see government agencies reduced or eliminated, however common sense says that it would be preposterous to just close the door one day. There are so many layers of entrenched bureaucrats who have made a career out of doing the absolute minimum so that no one could question their output… or lack thereof. These are the minions who spend most of the day complaining about how hard they work while getting nothing done. The moment that government workers were given unions, all incentive to perform at a high level was immediately eliminated. “Slow down or you’ll make the rest of us look bad” is the credo I have heard from a number of folks who tried to work for government agencies.
Think about the thousands of V A employees who are paid to do nothing except work for the unions while being paid by taxpayers…… all while veterans are denied care or die for lack of any care. The senior management at the VA is inefficiently at its best …… while being paid a quarter million $$$ per year.

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.

Ed Davis - April 15, 2017

I had a family member that worked for the BLM. At the end of their Fiscal they were always in a panic to spend the rest of their budget to maintain their funding level so they will do stupid stuff like buying $50,000 pieces of equipment they don’t need. They give their fire fighters credit cards and they buy Yeti coolers that should last forever but they are buying a number of them every year. Where did the old ones go? You can only guess in some fire fighters garage. The way they approach their work is corrupt and I’m sure this reflects most of the federal agencies. It needs to be overhauled. They need to get rid of some of the entrenched management that has a belief that these type of spending habits are the norm and are trying to out last an administration that wants to fix their business practices.

Michael Young - April 15, 2017


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 .

Dave Katzer - April 15, 2017

In my opinion the federal government should be about 3/4s smaller. It will take time but it needs to be done. Our country can’t continue the way it is going. To many in government employ. God bless America.

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.

Mark Pesa - April 15, 2017

Yes, Federal government and agencies need to restructure and reduced. Too much duplication across the board.

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.

Jim Shaffer - April 15, 2017

Agencies and Departments need to be eliminated not just downsized. Pull them out by the roots do they don’t regrow.

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.

R. Boysen - April 15, 2017

Yes! There are far too many redundant programs, policies and regulations that need to be consolidated and streamlined to make our Federal Government more responsive and accountable to “We, the People”!

Phil Griffinl - April 16, 2017

Weather it a county, state, or the Federal government they have a problem and just add more people to handle their poor management and increase taxes. America needs more people that produce products that boost the GNP and not more government employees that want to create more and more policies that choke entrepreneurs with their fees and new policies. Yes America needs to reduce the budget big time.

Anne M Woods - April 16, 2017

Yes, I do believe some government agencies need to be reduced in their power to initiate new programs within the agencies so as to apply for more funding. The USFW and the USForest Service are two big spenders on programs that are wasteful in fire fighting and in using man-power more correctly. USFW acts like accepting any good ideas from the public or animal organizations threatens their management control, so will not consider these helpful and research ideas.

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 !

Jeanie Artis Adams - April 16, 2017

Absolutely! There are so many entitled friends and family government workers who bank taxpayer dollars to clock in. I also agree to not funding PP and NPR. Other entities not benefiting the taxpayer should be cut to the bone. Duplicate services should be culled.

Carolyn Jones - April 16, 2017

Not only do I believe that the Federal Government should be downsized, and duplicate agencies, by combining them.The salaries need to be addressed as well, and those employees that are what some call “dead weight” need to be eliminated. Federal Government or not, if you worked as a cashier for McDonald’s and didn’t do your job and/or unfit .. you would be fired. Give citizens more of a tax break and they may be more giving to donating funds to the government establishments and various agencies. And while I am at it, abolish the tax law that states if a person whom receives help from agencies in time of need, that they aren’t taxed for for receiving help because a tornado/hurricane just destroyed their home for example, or a flood floated off with their home. It should be tax free donation, meaning .. if the donee doesn’t receive any tax credit for donating to various charities, then those who receive it in time of need, shouldn’t be taxed for it either.

Richard A. Davis - April 16, 2017

Definitely YES!

Robert - April 16, 2017

Downsize,Downsize, Downsize!!

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.

William C. Mackenzie - April 16, 2017

Excellent article on the State Department.
It is a perfect example of why, throughout history, even layman despise bureaucracies. State is the quintessential example of inefficiency and paralysis resulting from internal conflicts.
Be bold, chop it in half!

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.

Malcolm H - April 16, 2017

If President Trump finds an agency or division so totally out of control and non-compliant it may be better to just close the entire expensive thing down and combine necessary functions with an agency that is under control.

Richard Deters - April 16, 2017

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

Lynn Sorlie - April 16, 2017

We had such hope. Don’t take it away by suddenly being afraid to act! Generals must be bold or lose the battle.

Don’t do what Ryan did.Get everyone on board and then go for it!

Departments need their deputies. Good ones. We’re praying for you too!

Charles Fickling - April 16, 2017

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

James Lawson Maj. USAF Retired - April 16, 2017

Absolutely! The elected and appointed officials of the US government are building their own private Empire to be operated and controlled by them using public funds. Until this behavior is stopped the voters of the United States of America are left with no control.

Richard Price - April 16, 2017

For sure the federal government should be down sized and numerous agencies should be eliminated. States should take on more responsibilities. Politicians that broke laws should be held accountable at all levels.

M J Casablanca - April 16, 2017

Yes, the federal government needs to be downsized, and I agree that in some cases, agencies should be entirely eliminated. Not only would it save lots of taxpayer dollars, but we would be a much freer country again. We are not subjects of a kingdom, but free citizens who don’t need to be dictated to by faceless bureaucrats whose only goal is to maintain their position with all the cushy benefits

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 .

Shirley - April 16, 2017

Yes and eliminate many depts
Stop secret service for past presidents and family
Members. Stop paying for President’s vacations
Make congress have same medical coverage as the rest of us. Stop giving lavish retirement to congress members. Do away with VA hospitals let the Vets get better care from private practices. Stop giving aid and incentives to illlegals. Stop all the grants for foolish things. Make taxes simple do away with the IRS who have been so badly managed & Been used to intimidate people. Dept of ed gone EPA cut etc. so many ways!

Melody Reed - April 16, 2017

I assume that the federal agencies are overstaffed….but have no direct knowledge to that fact. It is good to bring in an individual/team to reevaluate, downsize if necessary, and streamline necessary tasks and duties. Make government more efficient and cost-effective!

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 Hatchell - April 16, 2017

Don’t jump the gun. Let’s start with Congress which needs to be on the same health and retirement plans as the other Federal employees. Congress has passed legislation that affects their constituents but they exempt themselves.
When Congress and their staff are brought inline then we can tackle the departments.

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.

Eugenia Ramsey - April 16, 2017

I found the report and recommendations good to implement to make the State Department efficient and afective..

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!!

Chuck Henne - April 17, 2017

Yes, Yes, Yes! Fiscal discipline begins with a determination to make timely, bold moves to reduce the worst fat first, and keep moving. In today’s world we already know that causes a wild scream and fit from the entrenched entitlement crowd. But it must be done. And, we the people must support it strongly.

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.

Marty Pearson - April 17, 2017

I COMPLETELY agree with Jim Anderson! (See below)

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.

Kory Clark - April 17, 2017

yes, keep moving forward

Thomas Stark - April 17, 2017

For starters: Remove the following as there is no justification (other than progressive misinterpretation) under the terms of the constitution: Education, Housing/Urban Dev.; HHS; Energy, EPA (each state has their own); Interior – Feds should not own land except as provided for in the constitution (forts, storage, and military-related reasons); Sell all government buildings back to private ownership which adds them to the tax rolls and then lease them as needed. More flexible for government and better for economy.

With the above moves, plus selling the public holdings (other than national parks) to private industry, you will very likely reduce the budget of the feds by 50% or more. Are all of these possible – YES. Are all of them easy – NOT SO MUCH. It will take guts and integrity as well as a lot of legislators voting according to their oath of office.

Marion E Daniels-Price - April 17, 2017

Downsized, merged, or outright eliminated. Trump already instituted a hiring freeze, now every position needs to be evaluated for effectiveness and need, every employee for effectiveness and need as well. Just because someone’s held a position for a long time does not mean that person is the best person for the position. Get rid of the dead wood. And no lifelong benefits for any discharged employees. COBRA for 18 months for which the employee pays for coverage in full, then the former employee pays for their own healthcare benefits, not the taxpayers.

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.

Sylvia Cole - April 17, 2017

Yes, Downsize. What we’ve been watching for 8 years expanded Big Government. How many unknown people did Obama bring into his hidden agenda to enable the UN/New World Order to take over our country? Get rid of all these prior eight year appointees. What a money Saver!

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.

Ellee McLemore - April 17, 2017

I do believe federal government agencies need to be downsized. Some of them have grown so big that they virtually enact their own laws, irrespective of what is actually on the books regarding laws! Over grown federal agencies are making decisions and enacting practices that curtail our freedoms and they need to be stopped.

M Masters - April 18, 2017

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

Diana Jackson - April 20, 2017

The Department of Education needs to be downsized and reorganized; the existing curriculum absolutely is un American and
does not teach a vocation, nor how to balance a checkbook, buy a house, cook, sew, work with wood or metal etc. Kids need to LEARN NOT BE PAWNS FOR BRAINWASHING AGAINST THE USA.

Diana Jackson - April 21, 2017

Look at the flow chart of the US government; I counted 33 independent, entities within government corporations, AND NINE major departments directly under the three branches of government that should be eliminated ASAP. The laughable Dept of Education 1-12, junior, 4 yr, grad, universities that teach how bad America was and is; the over paid Profs’ propaganda & riot promoting curriculum, teachers unions, all paid for with taxpayer’s money…Change all CURRICULUM. .

Laurie Smith - April 23, 2017


Charlene Golden - April 23, 2017

There is too much duplication of work in the federal government. It is time to review what each department and sub-group does. Is it still necessary, can the work be rolled into another department or is it time to stop a program that only helps a few people or doesn’t help anyone any more.

Terry Champagne - April 24, 2017

It’s about time the federal government is downsized to delete unsuccessful programs and departments that cost the working class a small fortune without benefiting anyone.
Thanks for your help.

Stan Oberst - April 24, 2017

Yes! In a big way. And some agencies should go away entirely. A return to the fundamentals enumerated in the Constitution and Declaration should be the driving force for a complete overhaul!
Thanks again.

G. Allan Barnes - May 27, 2017

Yes, ALL agencies need to be downsized or eliminated, like the NSA. As we’ve found out recently, yet again, that the NSA spends more time spying on Americans than on actual or potential enemies of this country. They were created in ’47 by executive order and they can be done away with the same way. Most others needs trimming badly, like; EPA, NEA, Nat. Endow. Arts, et al & one that’s been around for about 80 years, Rural Electrification Project. These agencies, (thanks to Congress’ laziness, lets these agencies write their own laws/rules. The scary part is, a recent gov’t official was asked how many agencies there were and after a long pause, said “dozens”. “Dozens ? !” “Yes, many dozens.” The moral of the story is, a bureaucracy left unchecked, will like a cancer grow.

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