How to Drain the Swamp in Three (Not So) Easy Steps | Glading

If the recently released Durham Report taught us anything, it is that Washington D.C. is an absolute cesspool of corruption.  Legions of swamp creatures have taken up permanent residence inside our nation’s capital, permeating our federal government from top to bottom, and feasting on our hard-earned tax dollars.  For our Republic to survive – let alone be restored to its former glory – these parasitic and self-important leeches must be peeled away from the Body Politic lest they bleed us dry.

Such a monumental undertaking will require a strong resolve, an indomitable spirit, and almost draconian measures.  Forget the scalpel; it’s time to grab an ax and start chopping away at the roots of the bureaucratic beltway behemoth that has taken on a life of its own at the expense of everyday hardworking and law-abiding Americans.

Here’s how to do it…

Enact Term Limits.  Please don’t tell me that we have term limits in the form of the ballot box.  Well-meaning people (and some not so well-meaning pundits) who make that argument demonstrate a blissful naivete as to how politics actually work.  Simply put, those in power will do almost anything to remain in power… period.  And from the day they are sworn into office, most elected officials have one goal: to be re-elected again and again and again.

That, my friends, is why congressional districts are so heavily gerrymandered, creating very few truly competitive races.  With a wink and a nod, both parties carve out politically safe districts so that career politicians can continue to accrue more power and seniority.  Why else would an institution as unpopular as Congress, with a 16% approval rating in the most recent polls (Statista Research Department, May 15, 2023), boast a 94% re-election rate (Ballotpedia, January 5, 2023)?

Another unfair advantage that incumbents enjoy are franking privileges, which allow members of Congress to send “free” mail at taxpayers’ expense, bragging about the great job they are supposedly doing.  Finally, deep-pocketed donors, special interest groups, and political action committees eagerly line up with outstretched hands… anxious to exchange large campaign contributions for political influence and personal favors.

Six congressional terms of two-years each or two senate terms of six-years each should be enough for anyone.  After 12 years as a Washington insider, even the best-intentioned public servant has lost touch with reality as well as with his or her constituents.  Fresh blood, fresh ideas, and fresh solutions are desperately needed in Washington D.C.  It’s time to pass the baton to some new (and younger) leaders and send the career politicians packing.

Eliminate Federal Pensions.  If you told Senators, Representatives, and all other federal employees – except for the U.S. military – that their pensions were being eliminated, tens of thousands of people would be crushed in a mad rush for the fire exits.  According to CNN Money, only 4 to14% of Americans who work in the private sector have an employer sponsored pension plan.  However, if you are a federal employee, you can count on Uncle Sam to fund your Golden Years in often grand style at the taxpayers’ expense.  Get rid of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS) and the rats will flee the sinking ship in very short order… guaranteed.

Reduce the Federal Workforce.  When was the last time the federal government ran smoothly, like a well-oiled machine?  According to the Brookings Institute, “Popular appreciation of and respect for government service and public servants have steadily declined in the United States since the 1960s, with only two brief exceptions: in the 1990s during the Clinton administration, and in the months immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  There is a particularly deep sense of distrust in the U.S. federal government.”

An April 2019 Pew Research Center poll supports those findings, with only 17% of respondents indicating that they trusted the federal government “to do the right thing,” down from nearly three-quarters of all Americans in a 1958 National Election Study.

So, if the last time the federal government was firing on all cylinders was at the end of the Eisenhower era and the dawn of the Kennedy administration, why not cut the federal workforce to 1960 levels?  Ask yourself this question: do we really need 2,000,000 civilian federal employees?  That’s one for every 170 Americans.  Add 800,000 postal workers to the mix at a net loss of $10 billion per year and you can see just how poorly the public sector is run.

According to WebMD, the best way to reduce bloating is to stop overeating.  In other words, it’s time for Uncle Sam to tighten his belt and go on a strict diet.

Dale Glading
About Dale Glading 60 Articles
Dale Glading is an ordained minister and former N.J. Republican candidate for Congress.