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New GOP Priority: Repeal the Pendleton Act

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Donald Trump has been playing around with this for some time, but his call last night for Congress to pass a bill allowing Cabinet agencies to fire workers they consider disloyal to the current regime is effectively a call to repeal the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883, which ended the Spoils System of government and created a professional civil service that was apolitical for most positions. This was one of the smartest moves ever made by the government (almost certainly the best law to come out of the Gilded Age). It allowed the government to grow by promoting professionalism instead of political hackery. But of course, Trump and the GOP wants to repeal the last century plus of good legislation that limited personal power and wealth. Whether the repeal of Pendleton Act would lead to another presidential assassination, the reason it was passed in the first place, remains to be seen. A sadly appropriate call for the New Gilded Age though.

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