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Thousands More Threaten to Leave–Not the U.S. But the Bureaucracy

keep-calmThe advent of a new administration in Washington invariably inspires a flurry of pledges from rich and famous partisans vowing to leave the country. The billboard this election cycle included Amy Schumer (Spain), Barbra Streisand (Australia or Canada), Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (New Zealand), Lena Dunham (Canada), and Samuel Jackson (South Africa), among other celebrities. Most have have already broken their campaign pledges.

But Inauguration 2017 has provoked a new wave of potential departures–not from the country, but from the federal bureaucracy. More than one-quarter of federal workers claim they may quit their jobs or retire once Trump takes the oath of office.

According to a new poll conducted by GovExec.com and the independent Government Business Council, 28 percent of federal workers say they are or at least might be “considering leaving the federal service” because of Donald Trump‘s election. This is actually up from 25 percent who said the same in February when asked about the possibility that Trump might be elected.

Fourteen percent said that yes, they are considering it, and the same share said “maybe” they are. Of this combined 28 percent, just over half said they are “eligible for retirement and [might] retire earlier than planned,” meaning they might be serious about this.

No surprise the same poll found that federal bureaucrats supported Hillary Clinton by better than a two-to-one margin over Donald Trump.

A majority of federal employees voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election, according to an independent Government Business Council / GovExec.com poll released on January 18, 2017. 62 percent of respondents chose Clinton compared to 28 percent who voted for the winner, Donald Trump. 60 percent of feds found the election contributed to a more negative public perception of the federal service.

Nor do those on the federal payroll think much of the preview of the new administration’s policies since his shock election.

The President-elect’s transition efforts received low approval ratings from federal employees. 58 percent disapprove or strongly disapprove of his handling of the transition process while 48 percent of respondents believe Trump’s presidency will have a negative impact on their agency. 50 percent expect Trump’s business experience to hinder his management of the federal government and a majority of federal respondents (68%) believe that his business relationships pose a conflict of interest.

Of course, they may simply see the handwriting on the wall. Recent reports indicate the new administration could slash  federal spending by more than $10 trillion in the next decade with dramatic cuts that some reports claim could hit 10 percent for federal agencies and 20 percent of their workforce.

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