An unnamed “senior official in the Trump administration” wrote in an anonymous Daily Caller op-ed Monday that the record-breaking 24-day partial government shutdown “is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good.”
While it’s unclear how “senior” this administration official is — many senior Trump officials are still being paid, while the author claims to be “one of the senior officials working without a paycheck” — the op-ed could offer a window into another goal of this shutdown, in addition to using federal workers’ paychecks as leverage in an attempt to extract border wall funds from Congress: starving the government.
The op-ed’s author wrote that “many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce” and that “we do not want most employees to return, because we are working better without them.”
Roughly 800,000 federal employees are currently going without pay, and millions of Americans who rely on the agencies those employees usually run — everything from the Food and Drug Administration to the Department of the Interior to the Department of Homeland Security — are going without services, except for those provided by workers deemed essential to national security or public safety.
“Now that we are shut down, not only are we identifying and eliminating much of the sabotage and waste, but we are finally working on the president’s agenda,” the official wrote, adding in conclusion: “Wasteful government agencies are fighting for relevance but they will lose. Now is the time to deliver historic change by cutting them down forever.”
The Daily Caller said the author’s “career would be jeopardized” if their name were to be made public. “We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers,” the publication added.