Welfare and Civil Service Reform

Welfare and Civil Service Reform


(dramatic music) – In the Gettysburg Address of 1863, President Abraham Lincoln stated that government of the
people, by the people, for the people, shall not
perish from the Earth. However, many would argue that that notion is not what it used to be. So what’s happening? What can we do about it as believers and where do we go from here? Right, our guest today
can help us sort this out. She is a political
writer, a cabinet member with future female
leaders, a speaking coach and becoming one of the
most respected voices for conservative women,
please welcome Natalia Castro. Welcome Natalia. – Thank you so much, I’m happy to be here. – Now I think one of
the most shocking things to our viewers first off, is
they’re looking at their screen going, well this looks a very young woman. So Natalia you are a senior
at George Mason University. Is that correct? – Yes, George Mason. I’m studying political science, it’s been a really great experience. – So what got you interested
in the organization you’re currently involved with which is Americans For Limited Government. Tell us about that. – Well through my college career, I participated in
competitive public speaking which is basically like
another way of saying, I was on the debate team and I focused on a lot of domestic policy
issues in my research and in my speech and it
was a couple of years into George Mason University where I had the opportunity to intern with Americans For
Limited Government, or ALG and I was blessed enough
that they chose to keep me on full time and
continue my work here, working on promoting limited government and conservative principles. – Now how long have you
been interested in this? Is it since you were a
child or just got interested later in life, what spurred all of this? – My mother will tell
you that I thought about running for office when
I was in middle school but it wasn’t until
really the 2008 election, it become a really strong point for me because it was the first
time where I saw you know, a lot of especially conservative women rising up into prominence. We saw, like Sarah Palin
and I was really inspired by this idea of women in politics and it kind of caught the bug for me. So I definitely became a lot more involved and ever since then I’ve
really been interested in public discourse and
understanding policy. – Now I know you and Annie
Reed are going to get into that more in a future episode
all about women in politics and women’s roles and that type of thing. So that’s gonna be a
very encouraging thing for people to see I think that just to, because you’re a woman,
doesn’t mean you have to be on the liberal side of things does it? – No, absolutely not and
there is a large group of conservative women
who are really rising up and so I’m very excited to
talk to Annie more about it as it’s been a huge
inspiration for me in politics and I hope it can be an inspiration to many other young people. – Well speaking of inspiring people, let’s inspire some people with some hope. We often know that you
know, if someone loses a job or something, you have
some short-term help, that’s one thing but welfare is another and you know, what once
started as a good idea has not turned out to be such a good idea. So let’s talk about that a little bit. A welfare reform, what did
welfare initially start out to be, what was the
original intent behind it? – Well welfare came around
in the great war on poverty and the idea was that if we
wanna cut back on poverty, we need people to have a safety net and most people whether
you’re on the far left or the far right agree, there needs to be some
form of a safety net for when life happens and
unexpected things come. But over the last, almost 60 years now, we’ve seen that safety net kind of grow into its own class of employment
where individuals get paid for not having a job. And its grown drastically
over the last 60 years and its become an incentive against work rather than an incentive to find work. – So how does welfare
encourage that dependency instead of working? – So for one, many
families, they’ll receive, so once they begin applying for jobs and they actually find a job, they’ll lose most of
their welfare benefits which makes sense until you realize that a lot of individuals will get a job that’s
a very low income job and they’ll end up making less than what they received on welfare. So there becomes an
incentive to not work anymore and one of the my, the
stories that I was told that really kind of put
this in perspective for me was my father grew up in
low-income New York City and my father ended up
becoming a police officer but he had a very good
friend of his who grew up in low-income housing on welfare and received welfare
benefits for most of his life and ended up going to the police academy and deciding he wanted
to be a police officer but the welfare that he received, actually started dropping every year once he went to the police
academy, became a detective, and he started receiving
less and less welfare but it wasn’t enough for him
to move out of his projects. The income that he was making. So he was kinda stuck
in the middle you know. He was receiving a little bit of welfare, a little bit of a paycheck but not a lot to leave his projects. Meanwhile his neighbor, who
was selling drugs at the time was receiving so much money in welfare because he didn’t have a job and wasn’t trying to better
his life that his neighbor was actually able to move
out of his project community into a different community and
I remember hearing that story and just being shocked that someone who’s
becoming a police officer, who’s trying to better their
life still isn’t able to earn enough money to leave
a negative circumstance when someone who’s receiving
welfare and living off these benefits is. So that just kind of demonstrates how its, you know, the person who’s
working hard and becoming a police officer can almost say, why am I doing this if
I’m never going to able to have the stable income that evidently people receive on welfare? So, there is a big dynamic there where people are encouraged to not work so that they can
continually receive benefits and we also see it breaking
apart our family life because a single parent
receives far more benefits than a married household will. So there’s an encouragement to not be in a stable family household where you’re actually
actively seeking a job because you’ll receive more benefits if you don’t have that job, if
you don’t have that husband, so it becomes a really big problem and it really encourages
unproductive activity. – And that’s, that’s a
generational thing isn’t it because when the kids grow up in that. I mean, I’ve seen that, I’m from Canada and we saw that a lot in
the poorer neighborhoods where it’d just become
a generational thing where you know, after
two, three generations the kids didn’t even
think of getting a job because it wasn’t normal to get a job. It was just normal for the
government to send a check and this is what life was. – Exactly and when that’s normalized it removes all of the dignity
that comes with having a job. All of the integrity and
independence that comes from being a hardworking
individual is gone as soon as you decide, actually I, it is more beneficial for me to be lazy and you know we, I hate to say, I never wanna say that
anyone is just being lazy because that’s not it. You know, no one wants to have no money but when you’re receiving welfare benefits without having to work, then it, you know, it fuels that
system and just like you said, when your parents didn’t have to work, when it comes a generational thing, then you know, this has
been happening now since, for over 60 years. So it’s really embedded that culture into a lot of low-income communities. – So now, is this a
nationwide thing or you know, do each state have their own say in this or how does all that work
in the welfare world? – It definitely varies by state. Recently we saw a big change in Maine. In 2016 I believe, Maine decided to
institute work for welfare and it was part of their
welfare reform effort where they basically
said, if you can prove that you are either in
a work training program, or you are, have some form of a job, then we’ll give you additional food stamps but you have to basically
be searching for a job. You have to actively
be trying to get a job. And, or in a training program of some sort and they actually saw their
number of welfare recipients drop dramatically at the same time, their economy grew significantly. So it wasn’t like these people just stopped receiving welfare and started sitting around
at home with no money. We actually saw the opposite. We saw more people leaving
welfare because they were getting higher income jobs, they were you know, starting low working their way up and not having to be on welfare anymore. So there are some states where you know, you have that story and its incredible. But then you have other
places like in Illinois where unfortunately they’re,
in Chicago for example there have you know, they’ve
had Democratic Legislatures for almost 50, 60 years now and they have expanded welfare benefits without work requirements and you have stagnation
within their economy. You have violence that has been broken out in a lot of areas of Chicago and it’s become a really
dangerous and poor city because of the social programs
that they’ve instituted. So it’s definitely
varies by city and state but there is a lot more of
that poor welfare system that isn’t reformed, that doesn’t institute work requirements, then what we are seeing in Maine. Maine is definitely an anomaly
for most of the country. – So in a place like Chicago, you know, where they’re having such problems. You know, they’ve gotten
so deep now with the, the situation they have, how
do you think they should, they dig out of that? I mean, how do they even start? – I think the first step
is restoring the dignity that comes from work. I recently read about a
charity in New York City that, it’s called The Doe Fund
foundation and what they do, is for people who are
just coming out of prison or homeless individuals what they, this group does is, they give ’em a job that’s, it’s called pushing the bucket and basically what they do is just a job that’s very low income, but
they just clean the streets. Just a simple job of cleaning the streets and what they found was
that starting someone at a low level basic job that gives them some form of income, encourages them and gives
them a new sense of dignity and integrity in their
work, that encourages them to go find a better, a next step. That encourages them to go into a vocational training program
or something you know, to learn to be a plumber, to learn to be, some other type of handyworker and eventually even a high-skilled worker. So I think the first step
needs to be encouraging, even if it’s a low level of work, a basic job that gives individuals dignity and that comes from you know, here there is a work requirement. You have to at least
be searching for a job or going through some
form of a training program and that gives people
that first step to say, okay, I can do something,
I will do something. And then from there, a lot of times people take it on their own
because they realize oh, this is good, I can do better
and that’s a big part of this. Is restoring that hope within individuals, that they don’t need to be
sitting around to make money but instead they can
actually do something small that goes a long way
and then tying welfare or food stamps requirements
to that activity to help encourage them to work. – I find the same thing with health. I encourage a lot of people
about health and you know, when people well I haven’t
exercised for six years, how do I even start? And you know, you begin
to be a couch potato and you don’t want to get up, you don’t want to do
anything and it just takes that first kick to say,
well you can do something and as soon as you start exercising, going to the gym et cetera,
then all of a sudden you feel better about yourself and now a friend of mine even
showed me an app the other day that gave you rewards
for taking your vitamins and doing the exercise
you’re supposed to do. – It has to start with those small steps that teach people that there is hope again because like you said,
this generational idea that well, my parents got
welfare without working, I’m gonna get welfare without working and that idea that you can go through life just kind of getting the minimum. And that shouldn’t be, I mean this is the land of opportunity. No one should feel like they
can just go through life with the minimum and
well, I’ll be born poor, I’ll die poor. That’s not what America was, that is not the foundation
of this country. The foundation of this country is, if you’re willing to put in
the work, you’ll come out with something on the other end. So those little steps that just get people to have that hope of a job
again, they go a long way. – And you know, it’s a biblical
principle too isn’t it? I mean, the Bible even says
that if you don’t work, you won’t eat, period. That’s the way it works. So now there’s an interesting
way to look at it. So to me it looks like,
and I want your opinion on this too that you know, welfare and the way it’s
structured in this country is not even really biblical is it. – No, not at all. I think its, it like I said. The idea of having a safety net, the idea of being able to
support people when they’re down. That, it very much comes
from a biblical principle but it has turned into that system that doesn’t encourage
work, that doesn’t try to lift people up. It just tries to you know, help
people get by on the bottom. And what is truly the biblical, the Christian thing to do
is to not just let people get by on the bottom. But to help them rise
and that is the principle that we need to get back
to if we want our country to you know, follow that moral compass. – So a help up rather
than a hand out really. – Exactly yes, definite. – So now in, you live in Virginia correct? – Yeah, just outside DC. – Okay, so now have any
changes in this regard come to your state? – No, unfortunately Virginia
has been very stagnant with our welfare reform. I’m originally from Florida which has done a little bit better in trying to institute, Florida
tried to do drug testing. At one point that was
a big issue in Congress and later on they’ve been, at least there’s been a push for welfare to work requirements. On the state level, but
it’s been very difficult to get this legislation passed. Largely because of you know, Democrats who really don’t want
to push this forward. And unfortunately, even
a lot of Republicans. On the federal level, we’ve
seen a lot of Republicans who talk about welfare reform,
but have not been willing to enact meaningful reform. Though I think one of the first steps is getting our own party all
on board to make this change. – It’s interesting you say
that because I you know, I saw something recently
where we have to be careful not to equate if you are Christian, you must be Republican. – Yes, absolutely.
– You know, not to politicize our faith but from what you’re saying, you know, faith is sort of waning from both sides of the fence when it comes to welfare reform. – Yeah, it’s very
interesting and you know, I’m actually glad you say that
because the last major push for welfare reform did come under the Clinton administration. It was backed by Bill Clinton,
he wanted welfare to work to be instituted. That was part of his
agenda and it was you know, hard to say Bill Clinton
is the most Christian man but it was definitely
something that he believed in and that he believed was the
morally right thing to do. So the idea that work should have dignity. That Christian idea that
we should help people work and not just give them a hand
out exists on both sides. It’s just, I think over the last 20 years, this issue has become very politicized as you know, a lot of people will accuse people who advocate for
welfare to work standards of you know, not caring about the poor and only viewing the poor as lazy people. And that’s not it at all. It’s that we need to
restore that hope to people. Like I said, people don’t
wanna be lazy and sit around, it’s just they’ve lost that hope. So we need to restore
that hope and I think that is where the real
Christian message comes from. Not just you know, calling
people lazy and stuff like that. – So now if someone is watching this and they’re on welfare for awhile and they’re hearing what
you’re saying Natalia and they’re saying, you
know what she’s right. I need to just get doing something again and start feeling good about myself. Are there you know, are
there some subsidy programs for education or what’s out there for someone who wants to
get out of this situation and start going to school? – Well in this economy you
have the best opportunity that you have had in over a decade. For the first time in a very long time, we have more people looking for jobs than we have jobs available. So we have so many companies
that are really trying to, they’re really trying to find
any employee who’s willing to come in and say, I wanna
work and that’s really special because we have so many
individuals who were, have been low income who are
now having the opportunity to have a real living wage. So honestly, it is time to,
it is time to go out and apply and it’s time to renew that hope and we’re actually seeing
that more than ever. So in the most recent jobs numbers that came out from the
Trump Administration we saw labor force
participation grow significantly and what that means is
it’s the number of people between the ages of 16 and 64 who are actively applying for jobs. And we have not had
more than I believe, 64% of the population
actively looking for jobs, meaning in the labor force since the 70s. But now that number is
finally on the rise again because of some of the economic policies that this administration
has put into place. So if you’re sitting around on welfare and are finally making the decision, now is the time for me to work, then you’re joining millions of Americans who are also finally
realizing now is the time for me to look for a job
and the opportunities are out there and the
economy is moving forward. So it’s a great time to be, to be applying and to be looking. – So now in that situation, you told the story of the police officer who just simply couldn’t make
enough as a police officer what does, what does
someone do and of course, on the other side of the fence was somebody who was selling drugs and that’s how they
were making their money. What do you do when all
of a sudden your welfare is making more than your
job is and you’re like, well why even bother. – Well that has been a really big problem and that’s why I actually
brought up that story is because we need to realize
that it’s not just about welfare to work requirements
but it’s also about our economy as a whole. We need wage growth, we need to you know, better compensate our civil servants, our police officers, our
teachers in order for people to not feel like they
have to rely on welfare. And luckily, like I kind of mentioned, the tax cuts that passed through
in our Congress last year took a really big step because what we saw as stagnant wages for much of the 2000s, 2010s, we’re actually seeing wage growth. So it’s not just jobs are available but wages are actually
rising because of a decrease in government regulations
and because of tax cuts that are allowing businesses
to pay their workers more. So that is definitely a
change that is happening but we need to continue
pushing for tax cuts that allow companies to
pay their workers more and offer them more benefits. – So let’s go back to
the school thing again. So are there, avenues that you know of for people to go back to school
and get like a student loan. Like if their credit has been decimated from being on welfare, what
do they do in that situation? Do you know of any ways for them to go to school through that? – I do not know of anything
specific however, I would say that there are a lot of
charitable organizations. Like I brought up The
Doe Fund which is working out of New York City. Particularly in large cities, there are a lot of
charitable organizations that offer work training
and vocational training and things like that that help individuals to be able to to seek out
educational opportunities that aren’t traditionally
available to them. Right now, we actually have a really big gap in our labor force where so many people are going to college that not enough people are
looking for middle-skilled jobs. Like your plumbers, like your handymen and so take, I think
individuals need to look towards those avenues. College isn’t for everyone. I know my brother tried the college thing, ended up going into the
US Army and now that has been a huge benefit for him. It’s actually paying for
portions of his schooling which has you know, allowed him to later seek educational
opportunities after serving in the forces. So opportunities like that do exist and they’re, I know a lot
of of them are in big cities but things like the US
Military go from anywhere and so seeking those opportunities and realizing, it doesn’t
have to be college. It doesn’t have to be the
education that everyone kind of sells nowadays. It can be a vocational opportunity or another opportunity
that gives you the skills you need, without maybe the
education you don’t need. – Exactly, yeah. It’s nothing wrong with a
six-week training program now. You don’t have to go to
school for four years and we’re gonna get more
into that at another time but, what, if you were in
charge of your state, Virginia and you could make any
decision to start the process on something that’s more
of what you saw in Florida, what would you do? What’s a first step you would take? – I think the first step
needs to be welfare to work and what that just, it’s really simple that you just ask people to prove that they are actively seeking for a job or ask people to prove
that they are seeking an educational opportunity. And just doing that,
taking that basic step of just asking people to prove that in order to receive their benefits, allows the state to say, we’re not going to reward you
if you have not done something worth rewarding and I think
that is a small action that takes a big step. And that was supposed to be federal law until in 2012 when President
Obama removed that mandate. So there is a precedent for it. You know, Congress has
come together and agreed that this is something
good but we unfortunately had a President that didn’t agree. So I think if I could just take control of Virginia, that is something I would try to re-institute so that
we can see the benefits and that we can bring
that integrity of work back to our low income workers. – So essentially taking the
short term assistance model and moving it to the long term. – Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I believe the passage
is you can teach a person, you can give a person a fish
and they will eat for a day or you can teach them to fish and they’ll eat for a lifetime
and that’s exactly it. We need to take the time to say, you’re not just a number
on a food stamps roll that gets a monthly check. You’re a person who can work and we will give you
the assistance you need if you prove to us that
you are willing to work because there is no one you
know, with the exception of obviously like
disability accommodations, everyone can work and we
just need to remind people that they have that ability
and restore that hope to them. – And thank you for your
support of this program. We’ve been talking with Natalia
Castro about welfare reform and she had a lot to say about this but our next subject is something that is her favorite subject to discuss and that is civil service reform. Welcome back Natalia Castro. Natalia, why is this your favorite issue? – You know, a lot of people call me crazy but this is one issue
that we don’t realize how much it effects the American public and the average worker and I believe it’s, it’s the heart of limiting
government because, so our civil service is essentially, all of the workers who
work for the government. Whether the federal government, the local, state government, it’s the
people who work at the VA and take care of veterans or it’s The Department of Interior and
work at your parks department and a lot of these of these
workers experience abuse. And I’ve, and I’ve heard
just unbelievable stories of fraud, of waste and of worker abuse that goes in, that goes on
within our civil service and I believe it was James 5:1 that said, those who become rich by abusing workers have sinned against God and the fact that our federal government has some of the most grotesque
stories of worker abuse, I think is something that everyone, every believer and everyone in our country should be really concerned about and so it’s very important to me. – So you’ve mentioned
that one issue of abuse which I had no idea about. So explain to us some of the major issues plaguing the civil service industry. Tell us about this. – Well I’ll tell you a story
that actually just broke in the last two weeks and
it was dealing with FEMA. So our crisis managers. The people who respond to you know, when there’s raging fires in California, to hurricanes in Florida,
that’s, these are, the FEMA workers are your
feet on the ground people dealing with these issues. And it actually just came
out the head of HR at FEMA, a man named Corey Coleman was, had several inappropriate relationships with women on staff and was hiring friends of his that
were fraternity brothers and was meeting women on dating sites, hiring them and setting them up in regional offices with
his fraternity brothers with explicitly writing in emails that his intention was for those women to sleep with his fraternity brothers And so, it was rampant sexual harassment. Sexual misconduct, a lot of hostility in the work environment and a lot of women coming forward saying,
we don’t feel comfortable in our jobs but because
this man was the head of HR he was doing this for years on end with no oversight and no accountability. – So how in the world do you think this was happening? I mean, what? – So the big problem
within our civil service is there is little to no accountability. Just to put it in some perspective, the termination rate, so
the average firing rate in the private sector is 17%. In the public sector, it’s three percent. And the firing for cause rate is .5%. So you have a 99.5% chance of never being fired for cause if you work in the federal government and there’s a historical reason for that. So when the United States Government was first forming its civil service back in like the 1800s we
passed the Pendleton Act and what the goal of the Pendleton Act was was to ensure that you
couldn’t fire someone for disagreeing with you politically and what happened was they put, the federal government put
so many protections in place to prevent workers from being
fired for political reasons, that they made it impossible
to fire workers at all. So it’s so difficult to get
fired in the federal government or even in you know, say local government that managers, when they have
a problem with an employee, they don’t fire them. They transfer them to
a different department and another story I can give is something that happened at
the EPA actually where you had an employee who was stealing. Was stealing like video cameras and like other technology
equipment from his EPA office and pawning it and selling
it and taking the money and it was known that he was doing this for months, for years on end
but they couldn’t fire him because it’s so difficult
to fire a federal employee that they just transferred
him to different positions and he did the exact same thing at all these different offices. So you know, there’s
this really big problem of it’s so difficult to fire an employee that there ends up being no accountability and oversight and you have
individuals like Corey Coleman who are able to abuse
workers for years on end and experience no repercussions. – You know, that sounds akin
to, not necessarily maybe the sexual or physical
abuse allegations but that sounds a lot like colleges where, a prof is given tenure and
there’s nothing anyone can do to get rid of that prof. I mean maybe the most lousy
prof on the whole campus but nobody can do anything about it and meanwhile all the students
taking his class are failing. – Absolutely it’s very similar. Except the people who
lose out in that situation are the students who
don’t get a good education but every single person in our country is affected by our federal civil service. Because when they’re
not working effectively, they’re not serving the
needs of the American people. When individuals at the
Department of Interior are not you, I mean there are stories from the Department of
Interior, very similar to that of FEMA where you had
rampant sexual exploitation and their workers aren’t helping to deal with park services like
they’re supposed to be. They’re dealing with you know, they’re engaging in sexual misconduct. There are stories from the
Department of Veteran Affairs that are absolutely tragic. Of veterans dying on waitlists because VA employees,
aren’t doing their jobs. And I mean, for our veterans to literally be dying on waitlists because of a lack of action
within the civil service is ridiculous and that’s the real impact of a lack of civil service reform. – You know, I, it sounds very familiar. That whole wait, you know,
dying on the waiting list. I’m from Canada and in Canada we have that problem with
the socialized medicine and quite often people do
die on the waiting list just because there’s, there’s no account, well first of all, the lineups are huge for just several reasons but the nurses are in such demand that they can’t lose and so they can make a ton
of mistakes and not get fired because they’re in such
demand that you know, they’re needed so badly. But it just leads to the
same type of problem. – Yeah, exactly. In fact whenever people talk
to me about socialized medicine in the United States, the VA
is the United States version of socialized medicine for our veterans and they, there’s you know, experiences a lot of the problems that you just said that
are also similar in Canada. With the, it’s just not possible to deliver the care necessary but that coupled with
the civil service abuse that we see in our federal
government really exacerbates the situation and makes it impossible for the people who need
care to actually get care and there are so many stories of this across the federal government. It happens in every single
agency and the fact that our federal government hasn’t taken action or at least notable
action to instill reforms across the government
is a really big problem. – Now there were some reforms that maybe, this was obviously
a problem for a long time. There were some reforms
enacted 40 years ago and it was called the
Civil Service Reform Act. Why did that come about
and what did it do? – So the Civil Service Reform Act was very similar to the
goal of the Pendleton Act that I discussed earlier. So the Pendleton Act like I said, it was trying to remove partisan firing. The Civil Service Reform Act
took the next step in that where they said, okay we
need to make it easier to fire federal employees but unions which were so strong at the time that the CRA was passed, they made sure that there was a very long
and complex appeal process. So what the Civil Service Reform Act did was it said, you can fire
an employee but first you have to go through the
Merit Systems Protection Board, first you usually have
to go through the EEOCU which is an equal
opportunity employment act that kind of makes it again, another step in firing an employee
and what this reform did is today, it takes on
average over 300 days to remove a federal employee because the Civil Service Reform Act made it such a complex process and such a lengthy and difficult process that it almost discouraged managers from trying to fire anyone at all because it made the process
so much more complex. So while it had the
goal of making it easier to remove federal employees,
it actually made it harder because it added so many additional steps. – Goodness, so it’s almost
like if there was a problem over the course of the year, that person could make it look like, this wasn’t such a big
problem, don’t worry about it. Yeah we’ll rip up the
paperwork and go on with life. – Well and it’s actually
gotten worse since then because now before you can
even begin the firing process unions have ensured that you
need to put the employee on. Okay, so if I’m a manager and
I wanna remove an employee, then the first step I
need to do is put them on a Performance Improvement Plan or a PIP and that’s like a 30 day plan that gives the employee a chance to improve. And then after that’s done, I have to put them on a
Performance Action Plan which is another 30 to 60 day process where I give the employee
a chance to improve and then after that, it’s the Merit Systems Protection Board. So there are so many
steps that have been added to this process that like I said, it’s so lengthy and complex, managers don’t wanna deal with it
and they don’t wanna do it. So instead, they’re just
transferring the employee, moving them somewhere different. – Hmm, wow, now have
you been looking on the, if you’ve ever looked on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website you can find wages of many different jobs out there in the country and they’ll have an
interesting dichotomy here. They’ll have the, what
that wage or that job is worth out in the private sector and then what it’s
worth at the government. If you get that same type
of job with the government and it seems to be a lot higher. Natalia, would you say it’s fair to say that the government overpays employees for the same job that’s
available in the private sector and maybe that’s part of the problem here. – Absolutely, that is a
huge part of the problem. The federal government has
a very rigid structure. So in the private sector,
if I maybe work in IT. I start at my job. If I do really well, then I have the ability for a promotion. If I’m not doing really well, I may be stuck in my position for a long time however it goes. In the federal government,
individuals are, if you come in as a maybe
a first level IT person. You’re a GS5, it’s the General Schedule, it’s how employees are
ranked and you come in and you’re at a low level, let’s say GS5. It is almost, for most federal employees, every year there is either
a raise or a step increase and what individuals will
see in the public sector is because there is no real
accountability and oversight, individuals are able to
rise through the ranks very quickly, even if they
aren’t necessarily qualified to move that quickly. So in the private sector
where it’s much more based on performance, in the public sector, it’s much more based on time and rank. So that creates an incentive
to be there for a long time and since you’re not gonna
get fired, it’s not too hard. As opposed to the private sector where you have to work much
harder to see the increase. – So this seems like the old-school, like you mentioned before, the unions. That seems like a very
much, a union mentality. So now obviously you’d
think that well okay, well with a conservative
government now in power that’s not their deal,
they don’t wanna do that. So what is blocking necessary change here? – Well luckily we are seeing
in the last like two years has been the most action for
reform than we’ve ever seen. So I’ll start with explaining the VA. So the VA, when we heard
those horrible stories that broke out in 2014, 2015 of veterans dying on waitlists, Senator Marco Rubio from Florida made it one of his chief priorities to basically solve this
issue and what he did in 2017 was introduce the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act and what this legislation did was it expedited the timeline for removing poor-performing employees
and it enhanced protection for employees that speak
out against their bosses, called whistleblowers and so that, if a boss like Corey Coleman from FEMA is you know, engaging
in negative activity, an individual worker is
empowered to be able to say, no I can’t allow this and has an appeal process
that is kind of protected and ensures that their job is secure. And when that happened, when this, so Senator Rubio pioneered
this legislation, it passed through the House,
it passed through the Senate and President Trump
signed it into law in 2017 and since that law was enacted, firings at the VA rose by 26%. So it clearly worked and the
VA is working better today than it was five years ago. So there is a chance for reform and there is legislation in the House and the Senate right
now called the Merit Act which basically takes
those reforms from the VA and spreads them across the
entire federal government. This has terrified unions. Unions have been fighting
against this very, very hard but thanks to President Trump and some executive orders he enacted which kind of take away
the power that unions have over their workers, over
the Democratic Party, we’ve seen a lot less union strength and for the first time, the
Merit Act has a real chance of passing in the House and the Senate because unions aren’t
able to fight against it like they have previously. So before, where unions
didn’t allow any reforms to be pushed through,
now we’re finally seeing a stage set for you know,
these reforms to come forward. – And we see that even
in immigration don’t we. We’ve heard that now. When you mentioned the Merit, I thought, oh I’ve heard that word before with the merit based immigration for folks who want to come here, improve the country and not you know, feed off of the welfare system, there’s a chance for you here. – Absolutely and that is, and you know, we talked about it a little bit before with welfare reform, that is
the foundation of this country is the idea that you have
the opportunity to succeed if you put in the necessary work and our federal government should work the same way as the private sector in that if you put in the work, you can succeed but if you don’t, you’re not going to succeed and
it should be based on merit. So it is a really important initiative and it’s also important to say, you know we’ve talked a lot
about poor performing employees and firing employees, the majority of our civil servants are good-hearted
Americans who want to work for the federal government
because they believe in improving the country but when you have toxic actors, when you have bosses that are engaging in misconduct, when you have employees, that, I’ve literally read cases of employees, who sit at their desk
and watch porn for hours while working on the government’s dime and have not, and have
done this for years. A story just came out of
California of a DMV employee that sleeps at her desk. Takes a three hour nap every single day for the last four years. Those toxic employees bring
down the good employees and they make it harder
for the good employees to do their jobs. So when we talk about this
merit and this opportunity, it’s not just about
removing the bad actors, it’s about ensuring that the good actors can do their jobs and do them effectively without being weighed down by bad actors. – I have a physician
friend, he’s a dermatologist and he finds the same thing with, not necessarily the government but with the insurance
companies and the drug companies that they’ve made it so cumbersome and I suppose Obamacare
is part of that too but he finds that colleagues
and even fresh doctors out of college, don’t even
wanna be in this system because they see that same scenario where they’re being
dragged down by a system. So, it brings me to my next question. Is it even possible to
overhaul the entire system all at once? And if not, what do we start with? – No, it’s definitely a
process and it’s gonna be a lot of small steps and Congress. Like I discussed that Merit Act I think is the very important first step because all it does is it allows, it empowers managers to be able to remove poor performers which is
at the most basic level the first change that we need to make is give management more power and give whistleblowers more power so that we can at least
identify who the bad actors are and then the next step is going to be further reining in
unions because right now, unions, they engage in long
and costly litigation processes that allow bad employees to stick around and even once you’ve fired them, unions will appeal it and the
bad employee will come back and so I think that second
step is really going to be reining in unions who, I mean these unions were supposed to work for the employee and now, they’re working
more the bad employee than they are the good employees. So first step, is gonna be giving managers that accountability and
oversight over their own staff and then it needs to be reining in unions and it’s just gonna be chipping
away a little bit at a time until we can finally have
a civil service force that works for the people. – Now our Yeshua, Jesus
told us to with the coin, the situation with the coin in the Bible. He said, pay to Caesar what is Caesar’s and pay to God what is God’s and even in some of the epistles we see that we are pray for our leaders. So if we’re to pray for our leaders and pay our taxes, certainly
we don’t want to know that you know, someone is,
well we do want to know, we’re saddened by the fact
that someone can sit at a desk and do that all day. So as believers, what is
some interesting things that maybe believers can
do just on their own. Besides prayer, any
suggestions you might have. – Absolutely, so Americans
For Limited Government is actually leading an initiative to try to get the Merit Act passed. It is called Fire The Swamp. You guys can visit firetheswamp.com and send a letter to your Congressman just bringing this
situation to their attention and urging them to pass
some of the reforms like the Merit Act. The first step really is making sure our representatives are aware that this is an issue
because a lot of times it is our representatives who benefit from a lack of change within the civil service. So we need to kind of let
them know we’re watching and that we want this change to happen and by writing letters you know, calling your representatives, it really forces them to acknowledge that this is an issue. – And your organization, now you write a lot of articles on this. Do you have any favorite articles that you’ve written recently about this that you believe our readers
or our viewers should read. Some of the blogs you’ve
written on this subject. – Absolutely, I recently
wrote for thedailytorch.com. You guys can catch an
article where I outline everything that happened at FEMA and how it could’ve been prevented with proper civil service reforms and that
is my most recent article. But if you also search
civil service reform, or civil service scandals
is more than just the VA, that’s another piece I
wrote for the Daily Torch where I actually went by agency and addressed some of the
biggest abuse scandals and some of the issues that we’ve seen within the civil service
and so think that’s kind of, that’s one that I always
look back on and read through because I hear these
stories and I mean sometimes it’s just unbelievable
for me to even read these and to hear these stories. I have people call my office all the time and tell me you know, this is the kind of
abuse that I experienced and there’s a lot more of
it than even we know about. So, by you know, those two articles really help outline I
think, a lot of the abuse that’s going on and I
encourage people to read them so that they can be more
aware of what’s going on. – So some of the things you’ve said today are quite shocking. All of these stories that come forth and I’m thinking, as you’re, as you’re saying them, you know I haven’t heard of
these stories on national media. You said that people call
you with these stories. So they’re coming to you
from person to person, why do you think we’re not
hearing this stuff on the media? – Well, I, the civil service
has worked really hard to protect itself. So one of the big issues is once an individual engages in litigation against their department. So for example, I’ve spoken with someone who actually sued the
Department of Veteran Affairs because of the workplace abuse that they experienced and the department kept them in litigation for years. Years on end until
eventually that individual could no longer pay the legal fees and just had to make a settlement and what the federal government
does in these settlements is they require individuals to sign non-disclosure agreements which basically means,
I won’t go to the press and say everything that I’ve experienced and that can really
fearful or fear-inducing for a lot of employees who are scared that if they ss something,
they’ll never get a job again. So what I have done is a really deep dive into congressional hearings
and records that I’ve read in order to shed light
onto some of these stories while maintaining the anonymity of the people reporting them and I think that is a
reason that a lot of people have reached out to me directly because they realize that
I will report on this while keeping their identity secure but I know a lot of people are very scared to take on the federal government and so they don’t wanna go to news outlets and kind of tell their story
which is very unfortunate because these are stories
that need to be heard. – Well at least you’re telling them. So I would encourage
anyone who’s watching this and knows of any of these abuses or maybe you work with the government and you’re experiencing this kind of thing and you don’t know your way out, Natalia is your way out. Call Natalia, tell her the story, she’ll get it out there. So, well we wanna thank
you for watching today. We thank you very much
for joining us Natalia and we’re gonna have
another episode next week. And we have, like I
said, two more episodes with Natalia Castro. In the next episode we’ll
actually talk more about why college today is not worth it. In fact, some would even call it a scam. Even college students
themselves are saying this. We’ll also talk about gun ownership plus in the final episode Annie Reed will be sitting in this
chair talking with Natalia about issues facing conservative women and how environmental
protection affects your freedom. So we’ll see you next time. (speaks foreign language),
have a good week. (calm music)

13 thoughts on “Welfare and Civil Service Reform

  1. What if you did work, & got injured on the job? The injury got. So bad your Dr say's you cannot work & put you on permanant disability! The Dr was your company Dr. For the co you did work for.

  2. The trouble is when well fair becomes generational. Kid's grow up with parents who don't work and play the lottery. Drink and do drug's. Children are programmed and kicked out in the street's if disobedience to the law of Lust. The New Street kid's. Baby's in hand. God bless allπŸ’πŸ’πŸ’

  3. I work , but I have no water, no place to live in car. I do not make that much.to get a place to live. I work 40 hr.46hr week get pay ever two weeks.

  4. My job the cut worker now .lest worker they want people to five people work, like this three worker have to do everything truck filling Dell, meat truck. And full the floor produce save things ,truck culling filling the floor , we're at one time there was 14 worker, now three four worker more work on us four worker to much work on less worker it very stressful I did love my job , now I hate it., cap team . You can not move up unless you someone vip. Team cap team one , I work very hard go to work and sleep. There no way out of being poor.

  5. Illinois is the test state for the NWO. The welfare system is used to make captive voters you vote democratic so you don't loose your benefits.Nationally they have been able to influence presidential elections because you can use 34% of voters to win all the electoral votes of the state.All the evidence is there on how it works in the last elections. look where Hilary got all of her votes!

  6. we could bring her here let her run for the GOP house of Representative in the 9th District of Southwestern Virginia , the 1 person we have is getting pretty old , i think she could win here , sometime down the road ? Only God Knows .

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