Project 2025 Lays Out a Plan to Dismantle the Deep State Under a Conservative President

Article author: 
Tyler O'Neil
Article publisher: 
Daily Signal
Article date: 
17 April 2023
Article category: 
Our American Future
Article Body: 

... The Heritage Foundation helped launch the 2025 Presidential Transition Project (also known as Project 2025) to avoid the pitfalls Trump faced in 2017...

While the Constitution makes it “abundantly clear” that the executive power of the U.S. government “is not vested in departments or agencies” but in the president himself, Vought warns that “a president today assumes office to find a sprawling federal bureaucracy that all too often is carrying out its own policy plans and preferences—or, worse yet, the policy plans and preferences of a radical, supposedly ‘woke’ faction of the country.”..

Dans, Devine and Kirk urge a future conservative president to reinstate many of Trump’s executive orders and issue new ones...

1. Streamline the firing process

Firing bad employees requires a herculean effort, the authors note. They recommend restructuring the process of disciplining and terminating federal workers.

Trump signed an executive order in 2018 requiring agencies to speed up the process of correcting, disciplining, or firing employees who underperform... Joe Biden overturned that order. The report encourages reinstating it...

2. Curb union power

Public-sector unions help explain how the bureaucracy has become so entrenched, the report claims....

3. Market-based pay and improving efficiency

Federal employees receive wages 22% higher than wages for similar private-sector workers, according to a 2016 Heritage Foundation study. With the value of employee benefits factored in, that ratio rises to between 30% and 40%. An American Enterprise Institute study found a 14% pay premium and a 61% total compensation premium. They receive more vacation and paid sick leave, retire earlier (normally at age 55 after 30 years), enjoy richer pension annuities, and receive automatic cost-of-living adjustments based on where they retire.

The Project 2025 report encourages moving “closer to a market model for federal pay and benefits.”...

4. Schedule F

Any conservative president must counter the influence of leftist bureaucrats who have entrenched themselves as career civil servants, the report warns. The president, not career civil servants, has the duty to enforce the law, and therefore “career civil servants by themselves should not lead major policy changes and reforms.”

In October 2020, Trump created a new category of federal employee: Schedule F. His executive order directed agency heads to prepare a list of federal employees in “positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character that are not normally subject to change as a result of a Presidential transition.” The order created exceptions from civil service rules when careerists hold such positions, allowing agency heads to transfer them and make them functionally at-will employees, much easier to fire.

The report encourages a future president to reestablish Trump’s Schedule F order, which Biden reversed...