Imagine a city where everyone thinks the same — where everyone wears the same power suits to work, goes to the same restaurants for lunch and spends their weekends hobnobbing in the same million-dollar townhouses. This city cherishes bureaucracy, elitism and liberal politics, and is obsessed with consolidating power and isolating itself from the rest of the country.

It sounds like a nightmare, but this city is real. It’s Washington D.C. and it’s high time we really drained the swamp. Literally.

That’s why I’m proposing we relocate the headquarters of most government agencies out of D.C. and into real America, where bureaucrats and career government workers can get in touch with the people they’re supposed to be serving.

It’s clear Washington is way, way out of touch with the rest of us. Six of the wealthiest counties in America can be found in the greater Washington area where fat cats and career politicians are cashing in, and we’re paying the price. Americans elected President Donald Trump to disrupt the permanent political class and drain the swamp. But fixing government simply by changing personnel isn’t enough. We need more sweeping change.

The cost savings in real estate alone will more than pay for this large-scale relocation. Part of why we have such terrible policies and regulations coming out of Washington is because the federal government monster is rooted where people get wealthy on the backs of taxpayers. By moving the Department of Agriculture closer to farmers, the Department of Commerce closer to small business owners and the Department of Veterans Affairs closer to veterans, we will improve responsiveness and lead to more efficient policymaking. We’ll shift power away from Washington and finally begin popping the bubble that’s shielded the D.C. elites for too long.

We won’t stop there. Moving bureaucracies into the communities they’re supposed to serve will bring down operational costs, and we can also pay wages in line with a more reasonable cost of living, saving taxpayers millions while improving efficiency and agency know-how.

It’s also time to stand up to the public-sector unions and begin undoing their chokehold on the treasury. That means repealing prevailing wage laws, establishing project labor agreement neutrality and stripping public-sector unions of collective bargaining rights — just as we did in Wisconsin. Prevailing wage laws and PLAs are big government ideas that put union bosses and special interests before the people, and public-sector unions have consistently proven that they put their own welfare above that of the American taxpayer. These issues have grown unsustainable, and we must have the courage to face them — now.

By taking bold steps, we can return power to the people.

Government agencies, government workers and the government itself are supposed to serve the American people. It’s time to flush out the coastal elitism, bad ideas and top-down liberal policies that have corrupted policymakers. Let’s move government into real America and among the people it’s supposed to serve and finally drain the swamp.

[avatar user=”Leah Vukmir” align=”left” /]State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) is a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

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