Years ago, most Americans assumed that, generally, government employees were capable, but recent events have revealed that many are not just incompetent, they actively pursue ideological agendas.
America is largely governed by a so-called “deep,” or administrative state – bureaucrats entrenched in the executive and intelligence agencies whose power lies in regulation, obstruction and the control of government secrets. Never envisioned by America’s Founders, this permanent administrative state is unaccountable to voters and out of control.
The status quo is unacceptable.
During his first days in office, President Donald Trump proposed saving taxpayers $10 trillion over ten years by freezing the hiring of federal workers and downsizing the bloated federal bureaucracy.
The Associated Press headlined: “Workers Dismayed By President Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze.”
Why? A simple “freeze” threatens nobody’s job.
History provides context:
In 1829, an undisciplined mob of office-seekers promised patronage jobs in President Andrew Jackson’s new administration descended on Washington. Many were rewarded, because Jackson, a founder of the Democratic Party, introduced the “spoils system” in which political appointees replaced career civil servants.
In 1883, the Pendleton Act was passed to eliminate Jacksonian-style patronage. The Act created a merit system to (hopefully) provide efficient, corruption-free government overseen by experts.
If it ever did, “merit” no longer works.
Once, civil servants understood their obligation to take direction from the political appointees who serve as proxies for elected presidents. But, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees actively – and inappropriately – lobbied the Senate to reject a Trump-era EPA nominee, not because he was ethically unfit or lacked qualifications, but because he opposed Obama-era EPA policies.
In recent years, there have been countless examples of ideological bias, obstruction, overreach and illegal leaks at/from the IRS, the Departments of Justice, State, Education, Labor, HUD, Homeland Security and the intelligence agencies.
Only gullible, poorly informed and/or partisan Americans still believe that most of today’s massive bureaucracy is either expert or politically-neutral, or doubt that Americans are ruled by nameless, faceless, unelected, unaccountable, often-ideological mandarins.
A perfect example of the genre is Doctor Anthony Fauci, until recently the highest paid “civil servant” in the federal system. At the beginning of the “global COVID pandemic,” there was no convincing evidence that lockdowns, mask mandates and school closures would protect anyone from the virus, nonetheless, Fauci almost single-handedly convinced the public that those policies were “necessary” based on “the science.”
“15 Days to Slow the Spread” turned into months, then years. The only things Fauci “slowed” were America’s economy, mental health, and public school kids’ academic progress.
Despite its name, the Centers for Disease Control clearly does not know how to control disease or even provide sound scientific guidance concerning public health. In fact, its COVID “science” was primarily “political science” designed to hamstring the agency’s putative boss, a sitting president.
Furthermore, since January, 2021, Homeland Security’s enforcement of immigration law has been wholly inadequate; federal agencies have illegally colluded with Big Tech social media to censor “politically inconvenient” information and opinions; and the Justice Department has been guilty of overbearing authoritarian handling of local school board protests and a general criminalization of political disagreement.
In addition, federal regulations consume roughly a fourth of household incomes annually. The cumulative regulatory costs imposed by unelected, faceless, largely-unaccountable federal bureaucrats built into goods and services, all of which lack constitutional authority or congressional authorization, exceed every item other than housing in most household budgets.
The late Ronald Reagan said, pre-presidency:
“Beginning with… the Great Depression, we…have turned more and more to government for answers that government has neither the right nor the capacity to provide. But government…always tends to increase in size and power, not just this government – any government. […]
“The result is…a vast federal bureaucracy…of enormous power which determines policy to a greater extent than any of us realize, very possibly to a greater extent than our own elected representatives. And it can’t be removed from office by our votes.”
Congressional lawmaking is a constitutional process. Elections permit voters to influence legislation. But administrative and regulatory “law” – neither acts of Congress or the courts – is completely beyond voters’ reach.
Bureaucratic attempts at legislation should remain null and void without congressional review and approval.
If American citizens want their votes to count, they must demand – insist! – on civil service and regulatory reform, and effective congressional oversight.