Monday, November 17, 2008

President Government

During the campaign season, while everyone was busy hyperventilating over the billions of dollars the Federal Government would soon be sending to Wall Street while Mac was busy suspending his campaign (and chances), Obama announced his plan for reinventing government. And just like almost every other Obama plan it was brilliantly conceived and structured to cover both sides of the issue. To wit:
In the plan, Obama pledged to "thin the ranks of Washington middle managers, freeing up resources both for deficit reduction and for increasing the number of frontline workers."
In other words, getting rid of middle managers making GS-12 or 13 pay with more "frontline workers" at much less allowed Obama to have the best of both worlds. He knows middle managers are perhaps the most vulnerable of federal creatures since they aren't protected by unions, don't have any consequential political connections as compared to high level managers and possess only minimal civil service protections if fired or laid off.

And since most of them are directly managing the frontline workers it's likely they aren't on many Christmas card lists nor held in particularly high regard by the taxpayers.

Looks like change is coming for these poor slobs...a change of careers, perhaps.

On the same note the WaPo is reporting today about some letters Obama sent to selected federal workers before the election. Pandermania no doubt, but a common thread runs through them all--Bush was bad but the One will put more stuff in your pocket and keep you employed, promise. When combined with his previous attack on middle managers it's clear his 'spread the wealth' thing will not be confined to just the average Joes.

Here's a sample of some of the wording used in the letter he sent to employees in the Department of Labor:
I am also pleased to see the so-called “pay–for-performance” system advanced by the Bush Administration has finally been withdrawn. While I strongly believe that workers can and should be rewarded for high quality work, any such recognition program must not reward one employee at the expense of another. This is unfair and serves to reduce morale, rather than improve it.
It beggars belief that government workers are actually having money taken away from them to subsidize bonuses for others. More likely the top-ranking employees are getting extra amounts while the others are not, which does tend to foster bad morale. It also tends to foster increased performance through a concept known as competition.

Conversely, when everybody gets the same raise it also tends to lower the morale--of the high performing workers who actually worked more. They tend to leave. Good luck with that, middle level managers. Just remember, the One will not be on your side.

For some reason the departments of Transportation, Commerce, Treasury, Interior, Agriculture, Energy, Education and State didn't get any love notes from Obama as he focused mainly on the 'touchy-feely' branches (with a throw-in to DHS and DoD mainly over labor unions and veterans benefits) who administer the socialism entitlements. Whether that was only a function of getting more bang for his writing buck is not clear, but it very well could be a telegraph to the other federal agencies as to which ones he may use the hatchet on. Gotta get the money somewhere.

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