Scott Walker: ‘Plenty’ of Federal Agencies Have 'Lived Past Their Usefulness'

The build up of government jobs around Washington, D.C., has led to six of the 10 wealthiest counties in America being in the city’s metropolitan area, said Republican presidential contender Scott Walker. The build up of government jobs around Washington, D.C., has led to six of the 10 wealthiest counties in America being in the city’s metropolitan area, said Republican presidential contender Scott Walker. Nati Harnik/AP

Wisconsin governor and 2016 Republican presidential contender Scott Walker is steadfast in his desire to downsize the federal government, though so far his plan to do so is light on details.

Asked by the Washington Examiner if he wanted to eliminate the Internal Revenue Service, Walker said it was something he would look at.

“I think [the IRS], and plenty of other fellow agencies, have lived past their usefulness,” Walker said. He added he would be “laying out in the coming months” his specific reform proposals.

His administration, he said, would focus on shifting power away from the federal government.

Many federal responsibilities “could be done in a way that is much more effective and efficient and definitely more accountable at the state and the local level,” Walker said. “That's one of the things that I am going to try to push for in the first 100 days: the particulars, that kind of a fundamental reform shift.”

In another part of the interview, Walker said the federal government must cut jobs, but the net total of public sector positions would not decrease dramatically because state and local governments would absorb the federal losses. He said the buildup of government jobs around Washington, D.C., has led to six of the 10 wealthiest counties in America being in the city’s metropolitan area.

“I think the president and people like Hillary Clinton think you grow the economy by growing Washington,” Walker told the Examiner. When faced with such a criticism, federal advocates often note that 85 percent of the federal workforce lives outside the D.C. area.

Walker added that by putting money and resources “back in the hands of the American people,” the resulting investments would create jobs that offset the federal job losses his administration would oversee.

The second-term governor is likely to continue using the federal workforce as a target as the campaign heats up. Walker -- who rose to fame after his right-to-work fights -- has made no secret of his desire to streamline the bureaucracy at the expense of public sector workers.

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