Ramaswamy plans to ‘instantly’ fire half of federal workers at random

‘If your SSN ends in an odd number, you’re fired,’ GOP presidential candidate tells government employees

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 13 November 2023 17:38 GMT
Related video: Vivek Ramaswamy launches debate rant blasting GOP ‘losers’

Vivek Ramaswamy has pledged to fire half of all federal workers on his first day in the Oval Office if he’s elected president.

The biotech entrepreneur wrote on X on Sunday that he would “instantly fire 50 per cent of federal bureaucrats” on “day one”.

“Here’s how: if your SSN ends in an odd number, you’re fired,” he added. “That downsizes government by half. Absolutely *nothing* will break as a result.”

“It doesn’t violate civil service rules because mass layoffs are exempt. SHUT IT DOWN,” he wrote.

“This avoids civil service protections: no bureaucrat can claim their firings were politically motivated. Further firings can be executed with a chisel, but step one needs to be an unrestrained chainsaw or else it just won’t happen,” he claimed.

The anti-woke author faced instant mockery, with Vanity Fair special correspondent Molly Jong-Fast simply writing: “You okay?”

Podcaster Keith Olbermann added: “Really: check yourself into a psychiatric facility.”

YouTuber and author Hank Green wrote: “I’m going to do this but with my poops. If it’s an odd day, I simply will not poop. Think of the time I will save!”

Condé Nast Legal Affairs Editor Luke Zaleski wrote: “Vivek is a hedgefund guy who wants you to believe he is interested in public service so he can eliminate government from public life and in effect mount a private sector takeover of the country. He can’t say that. So he swaddles his ambition in talking points that pander to you.”

The chair of the New York Council finance committee, Justin Brennan, asked: “What if we did it by zodiac signs?”

There are more than two million civilians working for the federal government, excluding uniformed military staff and federal contractors, according to the Congressional Research Service.

About 6.5 million Americans are currently unemployed.

Mr Ramaswamy said in a position paper in September that “the administrative state” is an “unconstitutional, fourth branch of government”.

“We will use executive authority to shut down the deep state,” he said in a speech that month.

“Legal experts are dubious of his interpretation,” PolitiFact wrote on 26 September. “They said sweeping cuts need to be approved by Congress, not accomplished by presidential action alone.”

Mr Ramaswamy has said that he would cut the workforce by half within his first year in power and by three-quarters by the end of his first term.

He has also said that he would close down the FBI, the Education Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Food and Nutrition Service, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

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