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Tenured Partisans: The promise of employment for life has bred corruption in the civil service
National Review ^ | 07/21/2014 | Richard Samuelson

Posted on 07/21/2014 7:33:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

Something has gone wrong in our civil service. Consider some recent developments. The IRS was forced to pay the National Organization for Marriage $50,000 for leaking the group’s donor list. Tea-party organizations and donors were much more likely than others to be audited by the IRS. This misbehavior was not the work of a few rogue employees in Cincinnati. In general, the IRS stalled tea-party applications for status as 501(c)(4) groups.

Meanwhile, April Sands, an employee of the FEC, recently pleaded guilty to violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from campaigning at the office. Ms. Sands, who worked in the office charged with enforcing our election laws, recently said, “I just don’t understand how anyone but straight white men can vote Republican.” What business does such a person have in that office in the first place? Somehow the FEC managed to wipe her computer clean, weakening the case against her. Perhaps that answers our question. These cases reflect a larger pattern. Our civil service is putting a thumb on the scale of justice.

Thomas Jefferson described the ideal this way in 1776: “Let mercy be the character of the lawgiver, but let the judge be a mere machine.” Justice is blind. The law applies equally to all, regardless of their religious or political beliefs, their wealth or poverty, or their race. Moreover, it applies to government and the governed equally. Judges make this clear in their oath to “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich.” That principle applies across government. Jefferson continued: “The mercies of the law will be dispensed equally & impartially to every description of men; those of the judge, or of the executive power, will be the eccentric impulses of whimsical, capricious designing man.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: civilservice; corruption; tenure

1 posted on 07/21/2014 7:33:02 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

I kinda disagree with this guys premise. What happened with the IRS isn’t the result of some employees getting comfortable enough with their protected positions that they felt safe in taking partisan action.

What happened with the IRS was deliberate infiltration, over many years, by partisan ideologues/zealots. Who, upon reaching hiring manager positions made sure that people who believed as they did were hired and advanced/promoted.


2 posted on 07/21/2014 7:38:39 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: SeekAndFind

Term limits for public sector jobs.

Even most of our military men leave the service after 10 or 20 years


3 posted on 07/21/2014 7:39:31 AM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: SeekAndFind
I noticed the fedgov has been running commercials trying to improve the image of civil servants. Something along the lines of 'we work for you'.

Makes me chuckle every time.

Someone has figured out people don't like bureaucrats very much.

4 posted on 07/21/2014 7:40:37 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: tanknetter

your right, he’s wrong

If anyone has any doubt, just look at the colleges and universities.

Dems have always been pro-government. This has endured them with your rank and file government worker.


5 posted on 07/21/2014 7:42:03 AM PDT by dila813
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To: SeekAndFind

The only cure: Get the public sector unions out of government.

This will not be easy because the democrats DEPEND upon these unions to fund them.

When are we going to stop the unions’ tyrannical rule over our local, county, state and federal governments ..??


6 posted on 07/21/2014 7:42:59 AM PDT by CyberAnt (True the Vote: " MY AMERICA, ... I'm terrified it's slipping away.")
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To: tanknetter

Antonio Gramsci’s long march through the institutions, in action.


7 posted on 07/21/2014 7:44:12 AM PDT by 17th Miss Regt
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To: tanknetter

Yes, but they have infiltrated these departments because of the backing of the UNIONS .. and the UNIONS don’t allow anybody to be fired.

It’s a permanent job .. because when you get caught doing something you shouldn’t, you are just moved to another dept. How’s that for job security ..??

And .. this is the same scheme that is used in our schools. When a bad teacher is exposed, they are just moved to another school. But ..... these people are “for the children” ..????????


8 posted on 07/21/2014 7:46:27 AM PDT by CyberAnt (True the Vote: " MY AMERICA, ... I'm terrified it's slipping away.")
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To: skeeter
NO ONE who works for me would get a raise on demand (regardless of merit) and JUST because he/she felt like they were entitled to one!!

Not the plumber, the carpenter, the electrician or the lawn maintenance guy, etc.! AND THEY KNOW IT!

9 posted on 07/21/2014 7:47:48 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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Supporting FR Shouldn't Be Like This


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10 posted on 07/21/2014 7:48:42 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: skeeter

“I noticed the fedgov has been running commercials trying to improve the image of civil servants. Something along the lines of ‘we work for you’.”

TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS! TERM LIMITS! Why are we allowing the same people to stay for the length of their working lives at our expense? If we limit the upper class in government, then we would have more people of both classes in the lower jobs.


11 posted on 07/21/2014 7:52:08 AM PDT by kitkat (STORM HEAVEN WITH PRAYERS FOR OUR COUNTRY)
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To: SeekAndFind

The point has been raised that civil service is a job
for life, and as a former civil servant, the premise
is TRUE.

If your performance reports are 3 out of a 5, your
supervisor has no merits to explain for a higher
rating, nor demerits for a lower rating, just
write, “I concur”, sign and date it. You, then, may
accumulate a series of these, and are truly,
untouchable, by virtue of not an occasional
uptick or downtick, to raise an eyebrow!

Now, since the federal union representatives are
part of the performance appraisal loop, along
with your supervisor, do you really think that
you may ever see a demerit performance
rating???? The union reps have their golden boys,
too.

So, yes, your civil servants, are going to occupy
that desk, until they are carried out, feet first, as
did happen, in my office.


12 posted on 07/21/2014 7:52:25 AM PDT by Terry L Smith
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To: SMARTY

You only get raises on demand when the workers and managers belong to the same union.


13 posted on 07/21/2014 7:54:05 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: cripplecreek

What if public “service” jobs were unpaid. You volunteer for your country. Then only those with both decent other incomes and a willingness to work for nothing (else) would do it. I doubt most welfare recipients would want to do so. What I don’t know is how many psychopaths would.


14 posted on 07/21/2014 7:55:54 AM PDT by coloradan (The US has become a banana republic, except without the bananas - or the republic.)
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To: skeeter

I meant that as a private citizen, the only people I actually employ, are the guys who come and do work around the house.... if they felt like raising THEIR prices JUST because they felt they were ‘entitled’ to more BUT have done NOTHING to actually EARN more, then I’d replace them with guys who could do the same work at a reasonable price.


15 posted on 07/21/2014 7:57:09 AM PDT by SMARTY ("When you blame others, you give up your power to change." Robert Anthony)
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To: SMARTY
Of course, thats the way it works in the marketplace where people are accountable for their products and prices are set by what the customers are willing to pay.

But none of that is applicable in the world of the government bureaucrat - they negotiate with each other for salary increases and then demand the taxpayers underwrite their contract.

16 posted on 07/21/2014 8:04:07 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: SeekAndFind

Welcome to the USSA, comrades!

The Perpetual Progress Party demands perpetual apparatchiks!


17 posted on 07/21/2014 8:19:17 AM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: tanknetter
I kinda disagree with this guys premise.

Me too. IBM used to have lifetime job security. It didn't make them corrupt. Liberalism made these government workers corrupt.

18 posted on 07/21/2014 9:02:59 AM PDT by aimhigh (1 John 3:23)
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To: SeekAndFind

The author did an excellent job of identifying the problem, but the solution goes begging.

As a career federal government employee for 36 years (retired), I can vouch for the premise that the majority of government employees lean left politically. Why is that? To me, it is quite obvious. The Democrats are the party of Big Government, ergo most government employees have a vested interest in supporting the Democrats rather than a party that supports smaller, limited government. The Republicans are seen as the enemy.

The Democrats and public employees at all levels of government have a symbiotic relationship. The Democrats support increased benefits for public employees in return for political support including campaign contributions. Public employee unions endorse and fund Democrat politicians who, in turn, provide and protect public employee benefits. Unless we change that relationship I see little hope in fixing a very real problem.

The real danger is a partisan administrative state that has enormous control over the lives of the citizens and will manipulate data to achieve political objectives. Even if the Republicans were able to seize the reins of government, they would be faced with a partisan bureaucracy that will resist change and undermine their efforts thru delay and damning leaks to the media.

The Pendleton Act was supposed to eliminate political patronage in filling government jobs and to go to a merit based system. The Act did not foresee the rise of public employee unions, which have become a substitute for patronage. The first step in addressing a partisan civil service is to eliminate public employee unions.


19 posted on 07/21/2014 9:27:16 AM PDT by kabar
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To: Terry L Smith
So, yes, your civil servants, are going to occupy that desk, until they are carried out, feet first, as did happen, in my office.

Or dragged out kicking and screaming by their victims in the public when they've finally had enough!

20 posted on 07/21/2014 9:48:40 AM PDT by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: kabar

Excellent post, thanks.

Consevatives should really be seeking out and applying to Federal positions. Sure, we’d all like a smaller government, but it makes no sense for that to be any sort of impediment to getting Conservatives into available positions.

There’s an excellent opportunity right now in that the Gvt is giving all sorts of hiring preferences to veterans, who tend to be both more Conservative and less corruptable to begin with.


21 posted on 07/21/2014 10:07:40 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: tanknetter

I doubt that hiring more conservatives would change the inherent bias for Big Government and the Democrats. Anyone who espouses limited, smaller government will find himself a minority within the the public employee community. It is in one’s vested interest to support the Big Government advocates.


22 posted on 07/21/2014 10:37:50 AM PDT by kabar
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To: kabar

I think there’s a window of opportunity to change that, based on two factors.

First is the aging out of the current Federal workforce. Thanks to Reagans hiring freezes the Civil Service is much older than the workforce in general, and the last several years have seen the expected tsunami of Federal retirements start to come to fruition. The 60s and 70s Big Government Liberal Baby Boomers are really starting to check out in numbers.

Second is that, despite Obama’s goal of making government service cool again, the Millenials who are needed to replace the exiting Boomers are really disinclined to see Federal Service as a career path. Not only because Civil Servants and service has a bad rap, but also because with their more laissez fare take on work/life Millennials aren’t tempermentally suited to the constraints and restrictions of a classic government bureaucrat desk job.

The way I see it, there’s a once in a generation, perhaps once in a lifetime opportunity to get Conservatives into government service, where they can refocus from Government doing “good things” (a very subjective thing) to basic good Government (which is much more objective in nature).


23 posted on 07/21/2014 12:03:58 PM PDT by tanknetter
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To: JimRed

Good luck with that! The AFGE is one of the most
populated unions.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. The union reps are
federal employees, doing their union stuff,
instead of their official position, during
the work day, and still getting paid by YOU!


24 posted on 07/21/2014 4:03:57 PM PDT by Terry L Smith
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