Let’s look at a few things:
First, if there’s anyone that is not aware of the impending mid-term elections, stop reading right now. If you care that little about how the country is run, you really shouldn’t vote…or have any sort of say, after the fact. The problem is that there ARE a lot of people like that, and they truly believe that their vote doesn’t count so they don’t…but they will cry and moan about what happens next! I know some like that, personally, and each time an election comes around they’re “too busy” or “out of town” or “it makes no difference”, and so they sit on their hands while other folks vote. If it was up to me, and you should be glad it isn’t, the voting rolls would be cleared after every election and you’d have to register again. Also, while on the subject of voting…don’t we have the technology to make tamper-proof voting machines? Perhaps we should go back to printed ballots and check-marks, eh?
Do you know Daniel Horowitz? You should, because you paid for his vacation…for THREE YEARS. The managing director, who worked at the small, independent Chemical Safety Board since 2000 was paid his full GS-15 salary of $161,000 per year despite being barred from the agency’s offices pending the resolution of a misconduct investigation. Vanessa Allen Sutherland, the chairwoman who left after three years of a five-year appointment, terminated Horowitz as one of her final acts.
Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, released an array of documents on the case.
” Daniel Horowitz has been a political prisoner these past three years but rather than being released he was executed,” said Ruch, arguing that Sutherland wasted several hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer funds by her fear of acting until she could escape having to face the consequences. “This is among one of the worst cases of personnel management malpractice I have ever seen.” [bold added]
The “punishment”, if you want to call it that, was that Horowitz was able to stay home and get paid, by you. He was “escorted” out of his office by armed police wearing body armor.
President Trump has said, on several occasions that he wanted to streamline the government. To some, myself included, that meant that he was going to combine some agencies and departments into one. A good example of that might be that we have, at last count, 17 different agencies that gather intelligence of one sort or another. Another possibility was that departments/agencies that were not performing at their peak might be able to be privatized.
My first thought when I heard about this possibility was that the US Postal Service could be, and should be, privatized. There is a law that says only the USPS can deliver first-class mail, and if you’ve noticed, the package business has largely shifted to UPS, FedEx, DHL and even smaller, independent courier companies. These outfits stay in business because they deliver, on time, and with a minimum of effort, even from online sellers like eBay or Amazon.
So, why can’t the USPS be considered for privatization? An executive order was signed to begin the process…but, wait, there’s a fly in the ointment. The Office of Personnel Management confirmed the exemption which leaves 600 thousand USPS personnel out of that order. When I order something online, and check on the package, I know that it will be delivered when it says. When something, even a letter, is coming through the USPS it’s a guess as to when, if ever, it will be delivered…could be morning, afternoon or late evening. Ben Franklin would be aghast at this corruption of his postal service. Because the Postal Service has, since 1971 been set up as an independent agency tasked with operating to resemble a private enterprise, it is often exempted from otherwise government-wide provisions.
As “background” for what you just read, June 21st was the day that Trump announced his plan for a sweeping “revision” of government agencies. It was to be a blueprint for a massive overhaul of the federal bureaucracy, one that, if implemented, would touch virtually every agency and the way all Americans receive government services. “This effort, along with the recent executive orders on federal unions, are the biggest pieces so far of our plan to drain the swamp,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney in a statement. “The federal government is bloated, opaque, bureaucratic and inefficient.” Well, gee…who didn’t know that? I digress.
Called “Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century,” the proposal contains many far-reaching recommendations, including: Privatizing the Postal Service (which we know will not happen);
merging the Education and Labor departments; reorganizing safety-net programs into a Department of Health and Public Welfare; creating a government-wide public-private partnership office to improve services to citizens, and stewardship of public resources; relocating more staff and offices outside the National Capital Region; dramatically shrinking the Office of Personnel Management and last, but not least, revamping the Army Corps of Engineers.
Parting shot: This “revamping” of government is long overdue, in my not-so-humble opinion. The fact that any part of it is taking place is, to me, evidence that we should only elect business people, conservatives, and misers, to high public office and then charge them to make every dollar count as five! Listen to people outside the beltway, we have good ideas too.