President Trump’s interview with Forbes magazine gave the public a good deal of information to consume. First, he offered to compare the size of his IQ with Tillerson and boldly claimed that “He knew who would win.” And then Trump told Forbes that the size of some federal agencies is “unnecessary.” He offered this as an explanation of why so many positions requiring a presidential appointment are still vacant.
“I’m generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be — because you don’t need them,” Trump said. “I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it’s totally unnecessary. They have hundreds of thousands of people.”
Trump has submitted to the Senate for nomination just 165 of more than 600 key positions, according to The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service, leaving 289 without even a nominee. The 600 positions being monitored make up roughly half of the 1,200 government jobs that require Senate confirmation. 142 of the 165 that have been nominated by the president have been confirmed by the Senate. Trump has announced six more nominations but has not yet formally submitted them to the Senate.
The White House has consistently maintained that Trump’s slow process represents his intentional effort to downsize the federal government. They offer this as a defense of criticism that he has left key offices understaffed.
So where do you stand on this issue? Is the president failing to do his job and undermining the role of government? Or is he faithfully doing what he promised to shrink unnecessary government spending?