If you got caught spending most of your time at work watching porn on your computer, do you think you might get fired? If you owed money to your employer and refused to pay it, would you expect to keep your job?
If you are a federal employee, no worries. Less than one-half of one percent get fired. Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said, “It’s so laborious for managers to address poor performers that sometimes it’s easier for them to ignore the bad employee or give suspension with pay and hope that it corrects itself.”
With the average annual pay for federal jobs approaching $100k, plus fat benefits packages and generous time off, taxpayers should expect top-notch performance. But we all know that, for the most part, federal departments and agencies are the gold standard for ineptitude and inefficiency. Because government employee unions bubble-wrap their members, our government must hire several people for every job that would require only a single worker in the real world.
Unlike jobs in the private sector, where every employee must contribute to profit or hit the highway, nobody other than Congressman Meadows seems to care about the buildings full of bodies accomplishing little or nothing. The agency and department heads are not concerned; it’s not their money! Plus, the measure of success and power in government is not what you accomplish, or how much money you save the taxpayers – it’s how many employees you accumulate.
And the head bureaucrats are as unaccountable as the line employees. When called to task by congressional oversight committees for poor performance, or even illegal acts, they no longer feel compelled to even answer questions. They know that their bread is buttered by the administration, not Congress. Who is in charge? Nobody. The buck stops nowhere.
At a time when our economy can no longer drag the dead weight of bloated government behind it, and our $20 trillion debt keeps rocketing, and there really is serious work that our employees should be doing, can’t somebody – maybe a presidential candidate for instance – at least mention government accountability?
The Heritage Foundation has studied the issue and made recommendations as part of its “Blueprint for Reform – A Comprehensive Policy Agenda for a New Administration in 2017“. Among many important reform policies, this ambitious project addresses the pay and benefits gaps between federal and private sector employees, and suggests some ways to make firing bad employees at least thinkable, if still not easy (see pages 99 – 102).
I’d like to see employee unions either shut down or severely restricted. The federal government is a monopoly, where the elected can spend taxpayer money to get themselves re-elected. Government employees should at least be hired at-will, just as they are in the private sector, so managers can hire, discipline, and fire without facing union intervention or a morass of federal regulations. And department officials must be made accountable to Congress too, or the notion of congressional “oversight” is no more than a shallow joke.
Like any rehab program, the first thing we have to do is admit that we have a problem. Then we have to work on some serious change in accountability.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
A change . . .
Would do you good.
I said a change . . .
Would do you good!
A Change Would Do You Good – Sheryl Crow