A Politico piece this week described the influence a Heritage report is having in Donald Trump’s plans to restructure the state department.

Conversations with more than a dozen people in and outside of State who are involved in or monitoring the administration’s plans suggest some broad outlines are emerging about State’s future, including from proposed budget cuts accepted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and from a 2016 Heritage Foundation report that laid out some dramatic ways to reshape the department.

Various stakeholders nearly all mentioned the 2016 report by the Heritage Foundation’s Brett Schaefer. A former senior State Department official said Trump transition aides were “enamored” of the report and took it into meetings.

You are making this impact possible.

Thank you.

You can read the full Heritage report to see what changes should be made in the State Department.

Do you believe President Trump is doing a good job restructuring federal agencies to make them more streamlined and cost-effective? Why or why not?

 

Comments (59)

Barbara V. Caira - April 15, 2017

Up to now he has done what he said to do, of course he doesn’t have any help from the demorats and I wish he would give the seniors an increase in our Social Security because the cost of living went so much up and foe several years we haven’t got any increase in our S.S and this is hard, I’m still have to make it with my $860.00 income from S.S and that is all I have to live on, I believe that the Politicians should try to live on such little money too

Barbara V. Caira - April 15, 2017

I think that he try to do what he can

Todd Givens - April 15, 2017

“Draining the Swamp” will be an arduous task. The task must be accomplished quickly since there may only be two years where the Senate is in control of the Republicans.

David Humphries - April 15, 2017

Yes, i think this a monumental task but it needs to be done. There a lot of Federal agencies that are redundant because every state already has these agencies such as DHH, EPA, FDA, DEA, and tax agencies. As far as I am concerned, these Federal agencies have way too much power with no oversight and need to be pared down or eliminated

Gordon T. Ray - April 15, 2017

I believe President is on right track reducing head count & redefining responsibilities.

Chan Bailey - April 15, 2017

While it’s too early to judge the results I believe he has made a great start in doing what he can without much help from congress.

Robert S. Licata - April 15, 2017

You bet I do!
Trump has seen the light of day long ago and is acting in concert with his good conscience. Keep it up and we will have a much less bloated government and many, many less brainless bureaucrats!

William Layton - April 15, 2017

I heartily agree with Messrs. Givens and Humphries that “draining the swamp” will be an arduous and monumental task, but I do not concur that it can be accomplished quickly or by the thousands of incumbents who perform the unnecessary and duplicated tasks. I have read the entire Heritage report, and I commend the authors. It is thorough and detailed, although more general than specific in certain areas.. However, I do not believe taxpayers can trust the insiders to be objective and do what is necessary with cutbacks. There needs to be an independent, non-partisan commission appointed, and detailed analyses done following the Heritage outline but drilling down much deeper. Rather than taking years to measure individual competencies, the wholesale elimination of departments and sub-departments is probably the only practical solution. And doing so will be highly controversial.

Mrs. Phyllis Eix - April 15, 2017

I think it is an imperative part of streamlining the government which has become bloated with too many Bureaucrats and overlapping missions. I have confidence in the Heritage Foundation’s plan to reduce the size of our government, and would like to see it put to work.

Lenny - April 15, 2017

yes I do believe President Trump is doing a good job, but not any where as deep as needed in these very bloated agencies.
Nothing gets done, because there are too many persons attempting to do the same job to justify having a job, so what happens?? no one does any work…
I know in my heart that “state” as well as all the other agencies can do with 1/3 or even 1/4 of what they have now. Then the work load would be appropriate for the amount of people. They would have to do their job. I know that is an awesome concept unnatural to many in these agencies!
So, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE….CUT CUT CUT personnel.

Frank W. Riegert - April 15, 2017

The State Dept. has become very political and needs to changed to where they only enforce the laws as Congress has written them.

Joseph R Galaske - April 15, 2017

Weed out the “Deep State folks before they do futher damage. Trump is doing an aw e some job.

Ed Jonson - April 15, 2017

The President has made a good start in the regulatory area. So far it’s mostly talk about reorganizing and controlling cost. He needs to get a boat load of appointees in place following up on the intention. I’m hopeful that this happens soon.

Tom Lanners - April 15, 2017

Just the fact that President Trump is setting forth
plans to streamline Agencies, and Departments,
is progress. It will be fought by the Establishment,
the Democrats, the bureaucracy, and the media.
God Bless him for trying, time will tell how successful his attempt at draining the swamp
turns out.
It is a HUGE plus that he is availing himself of the Heritage Foundation, and the expertise they bring to solving problems.

Bob - April 15, 2017

President Trump is doing an excellent job. Having read The Agenda by Horowitz (and agreeing with his analysis) I believe Trump is right on track. Our country needs to give him our full support.

Richard Watson - April 15, 2017

I like what Pres. Trump is doing in that he is not reluctant about offending the offenders,
i.e. those who won’t change those items that will improve our overall condition as a country. And there is still no free lunch!

Robert Wahl - April 15, 2017

Yes, it is encouraging that the Trump admin is utilizing more of the Heritage conservative ideals and actually using some of your personnel in their administration.

Al Wunsch - April 15, 2017

Pres Trump is doing an excellent job but hampered significantly by the lack of democrat support, some of the republicans and the slow process in congress to give him the personnel he needs. As for State, it needs a house cleaning I was hoping Geo Bush’s SecStates would do so but nothing seemed to change. Coordination with the Pres’s vision and with other departments such as SecDef where appropriate have never been good. Serious personnel cuts will help to get rid of some of the fat but it needs a new structure internally and a defined place in high level planning and strategy if they are to do their part. Two continual problem area with defense are defense of the embassies and coordination with defense – the latter where actions can be planned to discourage a particular country’s will to fight along with planned military action.

Benjamin Blumberg - April 15, 2017

I think he is just beginning to make an impact. But he will be plagued by liberal holdovers at all levels, until he can identify them and root them out. I have suggested that he lease a large office building in Fairbanks, Alaska, to send all liberal bureaucrats who cannot be fired due to Union rules. He must not stop until he has reduced the number of Federal Bureaucrats by at least 1/3. I think also that he should finally honor the lessons of Prohibition, and legalize and TAX the hell out of ALL Drugs, recreational or medical. In doing so he can eliminate ATF and DEA, and fold the remaining few good agents into the FBI where they should have been in the first place. He should also close down HEW, assign its functions to the States, where they should have been all along, and send the holdout employees to Fairbanks. And tell POTUS to stand firm in his refutation of “preserving” the earth and stopping climate change. It is and will be forever true that 99% of the Earth’s heat flux comes from solar irradiation and volcanism, no matter what we do, and that the Atmosphere will just have to put up with the fact that we breathe air, use up oxygen and emit carbon dioxide.

Otis Hindbaugh - April 15, 2017

Yes I believe that president Trump is doing the very thing we elected him to do!!! I am so glad at this point in time to have played a small part in helping change our world with my vote!!!
Thank you Mr. President Trump and staff you are doing an excellent job !!
A very big thank you to The Heritage Foundation for all that you do as well you have help change our Country in extraordinary ways!!!
Sincerely, OTIS

Paul D’Aigle - April 15, 2017

With good intentions he has gotten some good things accomplished. But, with good intentions, he needs to be more aware of the political process and with the relationships he garners. Never having been a politicians before, he is doing remarkably well, all considered.

Jerry Metcalf - April 15, 2017

I am waiting to see some results.

Tom Lowrie - April 15, 2017

Yes, he is. The Federal government is so far outside the limits of the constitution it makes me wonder how much one term will be able to fix. Start now to get Trump elected in 2020.Tom Lowrie

charles e Vaaler - April 15, 2017

Disappointed that the complete repeal of Obamacare hasn’t happened with all it’s insidious taxes and mandates. Also disappointed that more of Obama’s appointees have not been removed from the bureaucracy especially in State and Justice depts. Food stamps need to be restricted to those who truly would starve without them and then used only for their intended purpose. Planned parenthood must be defunded. This is not a government
responsibility.

G. Allan Barnes - April 15, 2017

He’s headed in the right direction, however, he should reduce all agencies at least 10% for now, until a review can determine further reductions. Eliminate EPA, depart. Ed, IRS, import/export bank, Homeland Security, (that should be FBI’S job), NSA, and speaking of NSA, reduce number of spy agencies by cutting and adding job elements to remaining agencies. On the EPA, he should cut those with encrypted apps (at least 800) of 15,000) for now. He really needs to weed out Obama hold overs like Koskinen and all others.

JOANNA EVERETT - April 15, 2017

yes.HE IS DOING WHAT IS VERY MUCH NEEDED.

Eleanor Fox - April 15, 2017

I think he has made a good start. Now he has to get through the budgeting process to cut departmental budgets. He also might need to have congressional approval to lay off staffing. I think he may have a problem with Paul Ryan in these areas.

John C. (Jay) Adams - April 15, 2017

Too slow. Need to move on quickly

Janice Evans - April 15, 2017

It’s a bit too early to really judge, but he has started down the right path. The problem with “the swamp” is not necessarily the elected, but the bureaucrats! Many are entrenched because they have a lifetime job whether they do it well or not!

Hank Raehn - April 15, 2017

It seems to me that he is trying hard to do so, but I believe it is too soon to tell whether he will be effective in significantly reducing the size of the federal government in the executive branch. I sure hope he succeeds! Wouldn’t it be great if the Republicans in Congress would support his efforts?

Ralph Morrison - April 15, 2017

Thank you Heritage for providing solutions to “drain the swamp” of empty promises and failed policies. Your solutions need to be implemented fast and furiously while conservatives still have the ear of the president and controll of both houses of congress. Push needs to be as hard if not harder than when Obamacare passed by democrats. They can read everything it changes after we pass it this time.

Marty Ellis - April 15, 2017

I Believe He Is Trying To Do The Things He Promised and Set Out To Do… I Think IF HE Cannot… NOBODY CAN… We Are Doomed… :(( But, Also, I Think He “Trusts” The Worng People… Paul Ryan and The RINOS… Do Not Want Change… They Have Their “Cozy” Little Situation… They Like The Status Quo… They Are Beholding To The Lobbyists and The Chamber Of Commerce… These Are All Entities, I Used To Agressively Support… Until Trump Came Along and Opened My Eyes To The Fact… The Republicans Really Are Not Much Different Than The Democrats… The Consrvative Caucas In My Opinion, Was Grossly Malinged In The Repeal and Replace Fiasco… I KNOW I Heard On FOX Business… They Were Leaving The Additional Medicare 1% Increase From 1.6% to 2.6% Under Obamacare Medicaid Tax In Their Bill… So… I AM SURE AS HEAVEN… They Also, Did Not REPEAL THe 3% Real Estate Transfer Tax, That Was Implemented With Obama Care Too… ??? Not Heard Anybody Mention That… Just DOUBT They Did Away With That Winfall/Landgrab Of A Bundle Of Revenue Coing Into DC. If They Did Not Even Get Rid Of The 1% Increase In Medicaid… Sadly, Most People In America Are Too Ill Informed and Stupid To Ever Know What Is In All The Bills… Sadly…

Jean Barnes - April 15, 2017

I really haven’t heard much on restructuring. I do remember that Home Land Security was developed to combine the other security organizations under one. Now we have another secret security agency spying on citizens… Nothing said on getting rid of the IRS. No luck with getting the government out of health care. The Dems want a government health care. Trumps people do not want that. Get rid of the Obama globalists that are deep inside government. Yes, I Love President Trump and I do believe he is doing and will do what he said. I’ve just never been very patient!

Andy Lawson - April 15, 2017

I think that President Trump is attempting and accomplishing the task of converting himself into a useful political/businessman that can be used in reshaping the tremendous giant of demobilization it has become. we have agencies that counter each other and agencies that have long since outlived their usefulness. In this tremendous effort, President Trump is wisely admitting his inability to be able to blaze the trail but is seeking help in his decision making process. He is wisely using the conservative think tank of Heritage Foundation for some of his fundamental decisions. There is no way to predict the correctness of this plan but at least it is following sound fact and proven methods of reducing the size of the Government. Until this is don, the budget can not be balanced and little can be done to reduce our national debt.

Sandra Aleman - April 15, 2017

I thin he is making a start, and he probably needs more presidential experience under his belt before he attempts to eliminate agencies or many programs, but I believe some agencies, such as education, should eventually go. PBS needs to become self-supporting; agricultural subsidies and other corporate welfare programs need to go.

Dr. Arthur Brown - April 15, 2017

Elimination/downsizing of the “deep” state, particularly by eliminating unelected employees regulatory power is of the highest priority in reducing the scope of the government. This, I understand, is what President Trump has instructed his appointees to do. It’s a start. Employees that cannot be fired will surely be inefficient and lazy.

Miriam Nestler - April 15, 2017

Well, I hope so, but I’m very uncomfortable about the deep state and all the leftover Obama people. I realize it’s difficult to find the traitors…how do you sort the good from the bad until you know them better? I am also very disturbed by the number of Dems in the administration, starting with Jared Kushner and his wife. Blood is thicker than water, I know. What about Steve Bannon? He needs to be listened to, and I told the White House exactly that. Also, The Freedom Caucus! They and Bannon represent those of us out here who voted for Mr. Trump! I guess we aren’t used to a President who is not an ideologue, not a politician, but a pragmatist. We pray for Mr. Trump every day.

Richard Buchanan - April 15, 2017

In the famous words of Karen Carpenter “We’ve Only Just Begun”! Give the Trumpeteers some time, for crying out loud. It took the Obamaites eight years to produce the chaotic monstrosity so don’t expect even ‘The Donald’ to fix it in less than six months!!!

Donald Waggener - April 15, 2017

I believe that this question is a little premature. The words are in-line with a smaller more efficient government, but what are the bottom line results? To be considered successful we need to see the improvements realized once and projected going forward.

Gail - April 15, 2017

President Trump should review the following: Many agencies are continually funded, even though the laws that approved the funding have expired. Those agencies should be reviewed and some disbanded, since the appropriations aren’t valid. I just hope Republicans support our POTUS 100%, otherwise vote them out.

Sinclair Doggett - April 16, 2017

He is trying his best but with total resistance from the Democrats it is very hard but I think we all support his efforts and need to send the message that we are behind and to keep on with his efforts. Polls are taken in popular areas and not in the distant counties that elected him so quoting them is really not representative of the people at large and should not carry much weight. He has found the swamp has turned into a garbage pit! Keep up the good work!!

Jane - April 16, 2017

Generally, I am pleased. He’s doing very well against strong headwinds, without a full team yet on board. But I believe he needs to instruct his A.G. and Secy of State to do MUCH MORE Draining the Swamp. The so-called Civil Rights Division of the DOJ should be cleaned out quickly. And State’s decision to take in 900 more barely-U.N.-vetted refugees per moth plus the rejects from Australia is very dangerous. He needs to set a Refugee Cap at 35,000 per year maximum. Right now we are exceeding the rate which President Obama had set! President Trump can and should set a new cap now.

Albert (Alberto) Castro Jr - April 16, 2017

President Trump’s restructuring of federal agencies seem like he is off to a good start. I’ll wait to see more, before I pass judgment.

Val McClure - April 16, 2017

Pres, Trump is right on schedule, but with a Congress doing everything they can to hold him up, it’s going to be a long drag.Now we need to take a look at “The Fair Tax Plan”. This is not “Flat Tax” it is a consumer tax where you pay Federal Tax as you make any purchase. No IRS – No April 15th – No massive tax forms.

Steve Heckman - April 16, 2017

I think he should loudly promote that Congress fall under the same insurance and social security benefits as all citizens.
No more special pensions or special insurance coverage. He should also call for term limits in Congress like we have for the President.

Pat - April 16, 2017

I am grateful that President Trump wants to streamline govt. agencies. Let the ‘draining’ proceed. Cutting harmful spending and harmful people will help toward healing our nation. I just hope and pray our side always operates justly and not fall into any traps of deception.

Robert Mathews - April 16, 2017

It is easier to spend other people’s money than one’s own. No one spends it better than politicians. Huge cuts in every department would make government more efficient. Employee unions need to go also.

Sharon Pelletier - April 16, 2017

Well, it depends on us, the American people, as how we obtain our information. Do we scan documents from the media or do we delve into serious, truthful blogs and/or writings from non-partial commentators. I believe that Trump recognized very early in the game that the bureaucracy is absurd and that ‘We the People’ need a clean slate to better run the economics of this country. He’ll accomplish this task because he truly wants to have America be great again.

Marge Palermo - April 16, 2017

I think the President is doing a great job considering it has been an up hill task for him. He has a monumental job and the Democrats are doing all they can to stop him. The government is overdue for, and really needs a huge trimming. The bureaucrats and redundancies are a huge waste of taxpayer dollars and are totally inefficient. Streamlining will get us a better working, less costly government. Go for it, Mr. President!

Charles Fickling - April 16, 2017

I think He is doing a much better job than any politician could. If you give a politician money with little restraints 9 times out of 10 he will not spend it on anything useful.
Washington is riddled with bureaucratic obesity with acres of office space being used to do nothing.
Cut the pay check for Congress in half and give them more time off.

Nancy Shaffer - April 16, 2017

I’m very pleased with his attempt to meet the demands of his campaign promises. I believe he’s handling the budget in due order and has surrounded himself with knowledgeable advisors for assessing the current spending and determining the future needs. Praise God, they seek His will and direction too.

Mac - April 16, 2017

President Trump will not be able to really restructure the gov. until he can terminate the ‘homesteaders’ that are in grained in government and will try to ambush his term

Mary Szullo - April 16, 2017

Love all the new President is doing! He is a problem solver & brilliant with his response and knowledge of business and the world. Hope he will be able to cut the excess from governmental agencies1

R A Fisher - April 17, 2017

Trump is doing a great job but has just gotten off the start line. Gov’t agencies do need downsizing. For years, the response to problems has been more money, more people. Private business cannot operate that way and the gov’t should. Streamlining is the answer and will also save taxpayer $$.

John White - April 17, 2017

Yes. My belief is based on the conservative individuals with whom he is building his support group. I believe there is much being done to shrink the size of the federal government that is not reaching the mainstream media. Reducing the budgets and refocusing the agendas of federal agencies may, quickly, increase their cost effectiveness!

Guy Fish - April 17, 2017

yes he is, but i think some in the the house and senate are getting his way.

Gerry DeYoung - April 17, 2017

The self serving mentality of our elected “representatives”(?) in both parties runs so deep, as is evidenced by their vehement and shameful opposition to the will the electorate as regards to OUR newly elected president, that their opposition to his every move is nauseatingly odious. CLEAN THE SWAMP and DUMP THE TRASH!

Reba Elliott - April 18, 2017

I do believe President Trump is doing a good job with restructuring. I especially think the reduction of All agencies is issential. I am a retired fed. employee and worked for DOD when we were understaffed. Since I retired in 2000, the agencies I worked for have more than doubled in employees. Cut back.

M Masters - April 18, 2017

I have great hope that he is headed in the right direction.

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