Rein in the bureaucracy (Whipple)

Former Sen. Ted Kaufman defended the federal bureaucracy in a recent (7/24/17) column. There are some 2 million employees, the lowest number since 1966 – 30% have graduate degrees- and many could earn more in the private sector.  Their specialized contributions (six examples provided) outshine the accomplishments of our political leaders.

Okay, but perceptions of a “bloated” federal government require deeper analysis.  Maybe Agency A has a vital mission, Agency B is overstaffed (office computers being used for personal purposes), and Agency C should be abolished because its mission isn’t worth the cost.    

Federal employees do keep performing their functions despite the “chaos in Washington,” but this is a two-edged sword.  Veterans’ hospitals continue to operate, but widespread abuses have come to light.  Social Security payments are timely, but the program is running in the red.  Federal prosecutors are very busy because so many federal crimes have been created. 

Could federal employees do better in the private sector? Studies indicate their compensation (including benefits) is at least competitive with that of their private sector counterparts, and they enjoy greater job security.

Government costs have consistently grown faster than the economy, which has led to chronic deficits and soaring debt.  This needs to change.

William Whipple III

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