Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Watch out DC, here comes Barack America!

It'll certainly take superhero powers to succeed with this rescue:
Obama pledged to create a "high-performance team" to evaluate every federal agency and office. After such reviews, he said, "We will fire government managers who aren't getting results, we will cut funding for programs that are wasting your money, and we will use technology and lessons from the private sector to improve efficiency across every level of government -- because we cannot meet 21st century challenges with a 20th century bureaucracy."
Emphasis added for comedic value, although the cause is certainly noble. Team-0 must be proud of themselves for thinking up this gem. Barack needs tax money to pay for his expansive health care bureaucracy but can't get it by shredding the military like Clinton did, especially with the Fed handing out corporate welfare like chiclets. The only place left is the regular government but wait--he also needs the votes of those regular government workers.

True, but not necessarily from government managers.

So the strategy seems to be setting up a special posse to carve out lower and middle level managers (sending them to the federal workers who hand out unemployment checks) while sparing the grunts. The upsides are obvious--the grunts will cheer their boss's impending demise generating even stronger good will for the One come November 4th. The rest of America not employed by Uncle Sam will cheer as well.

Not only that, but middle level managers make much more than the grunts and aren't represented by unions. While they've got the courts, some first line supervisors might not be able to afford a lengthy court fight to save their jobs. And the media will offer them little sympathy. In other words, more bang for the termination buck.

Politically speaking the GOP will hardly be in position to howl about the formation of a small new government program as long as it's mission is to remove other government employees. It's brilliant!

But there are pitfalls. We're talking about the federal government, not Wally World. Both Clinton and Bush undertook massive reviews without much success. Everyone knows it almost takes a murder witnessed by a Civil Service Commissioner to successfully "fire" a government employee, even some managers. Many of these folks will have perfectly stellar performance reviews and may drag things through the courts for wrongful termination, age discrimination and so forth. And what if the managers fired are minorities? What if they're not?

And will the rank and file really applaud as vigorously as hoped as their former colleagues bite the dust?

After all, many of those workers have aspirations to rise into the same positions Obama wants to remove. So while some might take temporary delight in seeing their personal Mr. Potter shown the door they'll also have mixed feelings about not getting that same job, along with the new car and big screen TV that comes with the extra money. So, good luck to Mr. America on that.

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