Melania Trump has a penchant for high-class fashion, but is thriftier when it comes to her entourage. FLOTUS Trump’s staff is smaller than former FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s staff and taxpayers should be pleased.
In a demonstration of cutting bloat and waste, the Trump Administration slashed the number of people who are employed to serve the needs and agenda of the first lady to just five.
Now, there are nineteen fewer staffers dedicated to Melania Trump than there were to Michelle Obama in her first year in office, and thirteen fewer than Laura Bush’s staff of 18.
This is consistent with reporting from earlier this year that the Trump Administration planned to take an ax to an office, which swelled above 20 employees. They wanted a staff level consistent with the fewer projects that Melania Trump planned to focus on.
Earlier in the summer, the White House released its annual report to Congress on personnel. The report included the names, status, salary, and position title of all 377 White House employees.
Among the findings: there are 110 fewer White House employees under President Trump than under President Barak Obama at the same point in their presidencies. That translated into $5.1 million in payroll savings.
President Trump has eliminated unexplainable special initiative czars positions that carried five-to-six-figure salaries and expensive “fellowships.” For example, President Obama created a leadership development program with an inaugural class of sixteen. One candidate – Elaine Ho – earned a $158,700 salary to implement Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative.
In addition, a few Trump White House staffers are taking reduced salaries such as Gary Cohn or no salaries including the president himself, his daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner.
A smaller White House payroll presents a counter argument to critics of the White House over spending on security details and (working) trips. Employing too few people – especially in key positions – can become a detriment to the ability for the White House to pursue the president’s agenda. However, it seems that they are functioning fine with a leaner staff than we’ve seen in recent history.
A couple dozen staffers may seem insignificant given the size of the federal workforce, but has tremendous symbolic value as this is a very visible piece of the administration’s larger effort to cut the size of government.
President Trump implemented a hiring freeze for the entire federal government except the military on his first day in office to fulfill a pledge to taxpayers that he would save money.
The President also ordered a soup-to-nuts review of every federal agency to look of duplication and waste in programs, functions, and staffing.
In addition, the President signed an executive order requiring two rules eliminated for every one new proposed rule by federal agencies.
The size of the federal workforce has accelerated over the past decades under both Democratic and Republican leadership without enough consideration of whether growth was needed or whether the same goals could be accomplished with current or fewer people.
Finally, taxpayers can look to an administration in Washington that is attempting to create a leaner government by starting with its own house.