Although President-elect Donald Trump won’t be sworn in until Jan. 20, lots of people are speculating on what the Trump Administration will mean to the nation, the world and to various groups, from oil speculators, farmers, now unemployed former factory workers to federal civil servants. If D.C.’s swamp is truly drained, what will that mean to your agency and job, whether you work in the Federal Triangle or the Federal Building in Boston, New Orleans or Oklahoma City?
Bottom line is that nobody knows for sure what’s ahead, whether the issue is what to do with Iran and North Korea, to the fate of the Environmental Protection Agency. But it is possible some of the educated guesses about POTUS Donald Trump may be on the money. So we went to the folks on the front line. That would be you.
Monday’s column posed a question. “In politically correct, watch-your-mouth Washington circles, the word ‘interesting’ can mean anything from Dull-As-Dishwater (DAD) to the other extreme: SFTAPP, which stands for Send-For-The-Adult-Pampers Please!” So will SFTAPP fizzle and fade away when the dust settles, or will it be a battle/warning cry for the next four years? And you said:
“I am hoping for DAD, but the interview with Gorbachev in the news suggests time is due for a new round of perestroika and changed world relations. Are Congress and the President-elect up to it? Are the American People? And those suggested changes to Social Security — I remember thinking ‘way back when’ that just when I understood the rules someone comes along and changes them. Will the millennials react similarly or differently? Perhaps it is good that Bob Dylan should receive his Nobel Prize because ‘the times they are a-changin’.” — Confidential Please
“My thoughts on our imminent President. We will be lucky to survive as a country. He strikes me as excessively narcissistic and too in love with himself and overly convinced of his own smart. He has not even take the oath yet and has managed to piss off China, who we will need to run interference with North Korea when it blows up. He has alienated the entire National Intelligence system, domestic and foreign. And he wants to stay ignorant, finding it a waste of his time to be briefed daily. If you are rich you will get richer. If you aren’t you will be screwed. If you are a fed, pray that you are eligible to retire soon, because you will be even more overworked with a hiring freeze reimposed. Stand by for more losses of benefits, including union representation, which I expect will be hit hard. As for the IRS, I can only guess it will be tossed into a toilet and flushed. It is, after all, auditing his return. I assume he will leave office with the family business richer than ever, having used his position to his benefit. This presumes, of course, that the world is still in one piece.” Cheers. — Laurel
“As a late career (ex-military) low-level employee of the IRS, it seems that the future is anything goes. Talk of a “flat tax” or gross simplification of the tax code — postcard returns? — are not new and seem unlikely even in today’s mystical world of Washington, D.C. maneuverings. Yet there seems to be a collective holding of the agency’s breath, given all that has happened in recent memory — severe cuts in budgets, threats of impeaching the commissioner, congressional hearings focused on all the “bad” things. What’s a civil servant to do? Send-For-The-Adult-Pampers™ Please!” — David, Austin, Texas
“Hi, Mike – I work at HUD and am appalled by the selection of Dr. Ben Carson to lead the team. I’m sure he is a brilliant pediatric neurosurgeon, but I am not aware of anything in his past that has prepared him to lead HUD. Living in public housing or treating poor people does not qualify one to lead an agency with a $80B budget and over 8K people. That’s like Sarah Palin saying she could handle foreign policy because she could see Russia from her house!
“If he didn’t think he could run HHS, what makes him think he can run HUD? My main fear is that Dr. Carson will rollback many of the Fair Housing and Affirmative Action Housing regulations. The only saving grace in this appointment is that he doesn’t appear to have the energy to introduce/implement many new initiatives and maybe my last few years at HUD won’t be as hectic as the previous 19!” — Lady In Waiting
Lots more to come! If you have a friend on one of the transition teams, urge them to check this out.
Nearly Useless Factoid
By Michael O’Connell
In Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the hero, Tom, tricks Ben Rogers into trading his half-eaten apple for the privilege of whitewashing Aunt Polly’s fence.