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Disperse the federal government
It's time to get federal agencies out of the Washington bubble and closer to the people.
The federal behemoth consumes American’s tax money at a prodigious rate and far too much of it is wasted. Right now, the government is wasting billions of dollars on unneeded and unused office space. It’s insane. Even after reducing office space by 45 million square feet over the past ten years, it still owns 511 million square feet of office space at a cost of billions each year.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, one-third of federal employees work remotely and 60 percent are working a hybrid schedule, showing up at the office one or two days a week and working the rest of the time remotely.
To add to the insanity, the federal government spent $3.3 billion dollars on office furniture since the beginning of the pandemic, according to watchdog OpenTheBooks.com. A 2023 Government Accounting Office (GSA) report found that 17 out of 24 agencies were using 25 percent or less of their available office space and none of them were using more than 49%.
In addition, none of the agencies the GAO surveyed have returned to pre-Covid staffing levels. According to the Federal News Network, the Government Services Administration (GSA), which manages government buildings, complains there is not enough money to repair or maintain government properties to even prep them for possible sale. This deferred maintenance means missed opportunities to consolidate office space, reduce maintenance and fees, and reduce traffic.
This situation is rife throughout the government’s 24 agencies, but there is a solution…disperse the agencies throughout the United States. This would relocate employees to areas outside of the Washington bubble, with cheaper office space and lower costs of housing, and force them to actually live and work among the people they supposedly “serve.”
Some possible scenarios:
Department of Defense to Omaha
Federal Reserve to Kansas City
Department of Agriculture to Iowa
Department of Interior to Colorado
The possibilities are endless.
Imagine the culture shock when the denizens of the Deep State find themselves posted to flyover country surrounded by the deplorables they loathe, forced to eat in Billy Bob’s Diner rather than a swank restaurant in Georgetown, surrounded by square miles of corn, and their pay reduced commensurate with the cost of living in their new surrounds. Many of them might choose to leave federal service, reducing staffing with its concomitant savings, and weakening the power of government unions that are a major source of inefficiencies.
In the age of Zoom conferences and remote work, there’s no reason not to take advantage of the efficiencies offered by non-office-based employees, reduce traffic congestion for the residents of Washington, DC, and save money for the taxpayers.
I know, that’s something the government is loathe to do but we can dream.