Bureaucracy: President Trump's reigning metaphor of "draining the swamp" is very descriptive. And yet, a new report suggests it may not go far enough. The government Swamp's a lot bigger and deeper than you know.
The nonprofit watchdog group Open The Books has put out a new report, "Mapping The Swamp," that seeks to flesh out what has, until now, merely been a metaphor. What it found is eye-opening, and shows the size of the challenge that lies before President Trump as he seeks to drain it.
"We found small and large agencies across the federal government gaming the system for personal gain — and it's expensive for the taxpayer," said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com. "Congress should hold hearings to bring transparency to all the information we're still missing, including performance bonuses and pension payouts. It's time to squeeze out waste from compensation and stop abusive payroll practices."
It's hard to get your arms around just how big our government is — and how wasteful. But "Mapping The Swamp" does a good job of it in just 35 pages.
Start with the cost. The work force that the government directly employs costs just over $1 million per minute, or more than half a billion dollars a day. And that doesn't include the more than two million people employed by the Defense Department or on active duty.
All told, in 2016, no doubt a peak year for the swamp, there were 1.97 million people on the federal payroll with a total compensation cost of $136.8 billion a year.
When you tote it all up, including the military, it's a huge sum: nearly four million employees with a total annual cost of $221 billion a year.