Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s new plan to slim down federal bureaucracy on the basis of their Social Security Number has left bemused critics scratching their heads.
Ramaswamy wrote that if he won the 2024 election he’d “instantly” fire 50% of federal bureaucrats on his first day in office — by simply picking workers whose Social Security numbers end in an odd number.
“That downsizes government by half. Absolutely *nothing* will break as a result,” he claimed on X, formerly Twitter. “It doesn’t violate civil service rules because mass layoffs are exempt.”
In a second post, Ramaswamy claimed it “avoids civil service protections” because people can’t claim “their firings were politically motivated.”
“Further firings can be executed with a chisel, but Step 1 needs to be an unrestrained chainsaw or else it just won’t happen.”
Critics were left puzzled by the plan from Ramaswamy, who is currently polling fourth in the Republican race with around 5% support from likely Republican primary voters, according to polling averages from 538. Former President Donald Trump remains the clear front-runner with nearly 57%.
“This is literally the dumbest thing I’ve heard in a very long time,” wrote Republicans against Trump@RpsAgainstTrump. “The fact that this clown has 5% in the polls is a disgrace.”
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Oleg Kostour “thought this was a joke. Lol. Someone take the power stone away from Vivek.”
“You’re not even going to filter by some sort of meritocratic heuristic to keep high performers? Of course something will break,” he wrote.
“No, it’s arbitrary and capricious. You would spend the entirety of your term in court fighting wrongful termination lawsuits, which you would lose,” wrote Rory Arnold.
D. A. Browne@don5025 called it a ”Bad idea. So random. Some agencies are understaffed. Wiping out half the VA for example would be fatal to a failing agency and would impact vets disproportionately.”
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“Vivek’s gonna instafire half of America’s border patrol agents and then wonder why his approval rating is 10% among Texas Republicans,” suggested Swann Marcus@SwannMarcus89.
Meanwhile, in a move to jolt his presidential campaign back to life, Ramaswamy is abandoning his suburban Ohio headquarters and dispatching his 40-person staff to Iowa and New Hampshire, according to Politico.
In an interview with Politico, Ramaswamy senior adviser Tricia McLaughlin described the decision for a “bifurcated headquarters” as a “gritty move that will only carry that momentum through to the caucuses and first primary.”
With just two months before the Republican primary’s first nominating contest, Ramaswamy is also shopping for apartments in New Hampshire, adding to his newly acquired lease in Iowa. The biotech entrepreneur’s wife, Apoorva, a laryngologist, plans to join him on the weekends with their two young children, Politico said.
Ramaswamy is currently polling in fifth place in both Iowa and New Hampshire, at about 4% and 6%, respectively.