Government’s Trumpexit in full swing … or not?

If this isn’t take-an-expert-to-lunch month, maybe it should be, says Senior Correspondent Mike Causey. It’s a perfect time to check in on any crystal ball-...

In the run-up to last year’s presidential election, a number of Hollywood celebs threatened/promised that in the unlikely event Donald Trump was actually elected, they would promptly move. To Canada, the United Kingdom and other places. Well, he did and they didn’t. But who’s counting, right?

Also, before the election, some people predicted that if you-know-who became POTUS, there would be a mass exodus from the government. That tens of thousands of career federal employees, some of the best and brightest workers anywhere, would flee D.C.; Anniston and Huntsville; Charleston; Raleigh-Durham; Ogden, Utah; San Antonio; Dayton; Cincinnati; San Diego and other major federal centers and go into retirement. The idea was that Trump was anti-government, anti-bureaucrat and that his promise to drain the swamp in Washington would spill over to other places and many federal jobs.

Shortly after he was sworn in, some kind residents of the District of Columbia delivered homemade cupcakes to workers at the Environmental Protection Agency. EPA was slated for big cuts (31 percent in the president’s initial budget), which have since been watered down. State, Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services were also in for big cuts, along with Commerce, Education, the Army Corps of Engineers, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation and Interior. Smaller, but still substantial cuts, were initially proposed at Energy, Justice, Treasury and NASA. But at the time gloom-and-doom was the order of the day. With the firing of FBI Director James Comey,  the Justice Department is down at least one employee.

The problem, if you consider it one, is that the Hollywood and New York-based entertainers who threatened to leave didn’t. At least not for good. Some modified their threats by taking nice (pricey) vacations to the Italian Riviera, exclusive spots in the Caribbean or other exclusive spots that GS-11s could never afford.

The other thing that didn’t happen was the Trump Govexit. Hordes of frustrated, angry or fearful civil servants leaving good jobs that they loved, while the leaving was good. Although there were forecasts of a tidal wave of Trump-inspired retirements starting in December, right after the election. In that respect, they matched the track record of their political opposites on the right, who assured us that Hilary Clinton would be indicted, if not stamping out license plates in a federal pen before she could be inaugurated as POTUS. The retirement flood for most of the months (December 2016 through April 2017) was more of a trickle compared to the same months last year. What’s happening is that people are not retiring in droves. At least not yet.

Last month, for example, the Office of Personnel Management got 6,851 retirement applications compared to 6,581 in pre-Trumpian 2016. In March 2016, 7,241 feds put in their papers. For the same month this year, the total was down to 5,741. Look at the then vs. now numbers, and read the original story by Federal News Radio’s Nicole Ogrysko.

One of the lessons of the non-exodus of federal workers is that experts, credentialed and self-appointed, probably should recall what their mothers or fathers probably told them many times: Don’t make predictions, forecasts or (if a public figure) statements while under the influence of fear or anger.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

When Congress first authorized the U.S. Mint on April 2, 1792, many people wanted the first coins to display President George Washington’s image. Washington rejected the idea as being too monarchical. Instead, the first image on the face of U.S. coins was of the goddess Liberty.

Source: Littleton Coin

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