We mentioned this idea a couple of weeks ago, but now it appears a step closer to actually happening, as House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz introduces a resolution to accomplish just that..
A Department of Agriculture relocated to Kansas could, for example, pay lower salaries to its employees without lowering their standard of living. They might have a 5,000 square foot house with a pool instead of a studio apartment in D.C., and with less congestion to boot.
And federal regulators would be more likely to see and experience the impact of their actions, much as members of Congress spend time in their home districts and listen to their constituents. In the Department of Agriculture example, officials living and working in Kansas might understand farming better than those in urban Washington, D.C.
The newly-relocated jobs would provide an economic boost in areas that actually need them. Federal taxes would more likely be spent in communities from which they are collected. The D.C. metro area has a median household income of $93,000 and an average commute of 35 minutes, according to the Census Bureau. The median household income in the U.S. is $56,000, and lower in many areas.
“Housing federal agencies in a city with one of the highest median incomes in the United States is not only expensive, but keeps federal bureaucrats in an economic and political bubble that offers a distorted view of the realities facing this country,” Chaffetz said.
President-elect Donald Trump said he wants to reduce federal spending. Compensation is a major expense of any workforce, so Chaffetz’s plan is a way to achieve that goal. The resolution directs agency heads “to recommend appropriate alternate locations throughout the United States to which their respective agency or military department can be relocated.”
Agencies could be relocated to decaying inner-cities and jobs-scarce rural areas. Republicans could get behind the savings, while lawmakers from both parties could take credit for the resulting economic development that benefits their constituents.
Washington, D.C., residents might benefit from more affordable housing as demand decreases.
The government would probably have to issue earmuffs to every citizen to block the pitiful howls issuing from Washington as the lampreys are told that they'll be relocating to Topeka, but I'm sure The Donald can persuade an American manufacturer to give us a good deal on a bulk purchase.