By former USDA Secretary John R. Block
President Trump and Conservative Members of Congress have been trying to cut back on wasteful spending. The President wants a more efficient government by reforming civil service rules – a “merit system” doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Our federal government has 2 million public sector employees. Because of federal rules, they are 44 times less likely to be fired than private sector workers. It’s almost impossible to get rid of a bad apple. I loved my work force at USDA when I was Secretary, but any business must be able to weed out the small number that are not performing.
Also, the President wants to employ a tool that has not been used in 20 years. He wants the Congress to rescind $15.4 billion of needless federal spending which the Congress had already approved. The above proposal will save some money and make our government more efficient. With a $21 billion deficit, there is much more to be done.
Did you take note that the NFL told their players that when the national anthem is played, “stand and respect the flag or go back in the locker room.” Those are the rules for the 2018 football season. I hear the critical voices. “That is denying freedom of expression, freedom of speech.” Well, don’t forget that those players work for the NFL. When they are working, they need to follow the rules.
I was in the 101st Airborne Division Infantry. I went to West Point Military Academy. The Army would have kicked me out in a minute if I ever did anything that disrespectful. Anyone that does something that hurts the company they work for will be disciplined, or perhaps fired.
Certainly, Colin Kaepernick has every right to support a social cause on his own time. But because he refused to respect his country’s national anthem by kneeling when he should have been standing he is out of a job. I don’t care who you work for; you need to follow company rules.
And now, something that maybe you didn’t know. The world is consuming more food, especially meat, every year. Per capita consumption of meat in the U.S. jumped from 193.7 lbs. in 1981 to 214.5 lbs. in 2016. Pork sales have exploded. We sell to 100 nations. Those exports support 110,000 jobs. U.S. farmers and ranchers are the best in the world at producing food. And, if the world population continues to prosper, our market is only going to grow.
John Block was Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1981-1985, where he played a key role in the development of the 1985 Farm Bill. If you would like to review his radio shows going back more than 20 years, visit johnblockreports.com.