Here’s why Republican presidents have a hard time managing the bureaucracy

Thursday, March 17, 2016 by

( If you want to know why neither political party does much to tame or shrink the federal bureaucracy, recently published campaign donation figures made to presidential candidates by federal employees provides a revealing answer.

As reported by Bloomberg News, for the past three presidential election cycles federal employees, by a 3-to-1 margin, have donated to Democratic candidates, and they are on pace to increase that share during the current presidential cycle.

“Twelve years of data show more than $435,000 in donations from Fed staffers, which skewed heavily to Democrats well before this election cycle, have shifted even more firmly in that direction in the 2016 campaign. While the amount of money from Fed employees is down compared with the same point in the 2012 race, contributions to Republicans have dropped to $6,500 from $23,151,” Bloomberg News reported.

“Since the 2004 presidential election, when Republican George W. Bush was reelected, individuals listing the Fed as their employer have made legally capped donations totaling $436,555 to federal candidates, parties and partisan political action committees. Of that, $343,916, or 79 percent, went to Democrats.”

So what, you might say. People are free to donate to whomever they choose.

That’s true and no one here is denying that. But what this trend – which has been years in the making, long before the past three election cycles – really demonstrates is that there is a clear political bias among the civil service employees of the federal government who are supposed to serve all Americans.

And this bias has manifested itself in a number of high-profile cases of late, including Lois Lerner’s thwarting of Tea Party and conservative political action groups at IRS, followed by the actions of John Koskinen, the agency’s boss, who thwarted congressional committees investigating Lerner’s actions by destroyed hard drives and other evidence.

It’s how guys like former Attorney General Eric Holder can get away with running guns into Mexico and how the State Department’s staffers can impede an FBI investigation into a former Democratic secretary of state’s improper use of a private, unsecure email server to send and receive classified information.

It’s how the EPA can impose restrictive new rules on the power industry, resulting in plant closures and higher electricity rates; it’s how the FDA can suddenly decide that it needs to regulate tanning beds; it’s how a thousand other regulations are dreamt up by busybody bureaucrats each and every year.

But that happens in Republican administrations as well, right? Yes, it does – which is more to the point. These processes are the machinations of a self-perpetuating entity, a “fourth branch” of government if you will that is run not by Congress or an administration, per se, but by careerists who are mostly of a singular political ideology – one that savors bigger and more intrusive government. In a very real sense the federal bureaucracy is a perpetual, permanent governing instrument of the Democratic Party, a massive entity that GOP presidents may occasionally control but seldom shrink or rein in. When small-government Republicans are in the White House (admittedly, there hasn’t been one since Reagan, and even he had difficulty trimming the fat), the bureaucracy continues to percolate under the surface, lying dormant until another like-minded chief executive takes the reins.

The moral of the story: Democrat presidents don’t shrink the bureaucracy because they generally love big government and nanny-state regulations. Republican presidents have a difficult time because even if they believe in smaller government, the vast majority of the federal bureaucracy is infested with liberals who will do whatever they can to protect their turf and thwart any policies that diminish their power or, Heaven forbid, reduce their staffs.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this seemingly endless cycle.

First, it will take a president, regardless of political party, who is genuinely interested in devolving federal power back to the states and the people; dedicated to trimming the roles and responsibilities of the federal leviathan; and committed to ending nanny state government that seeks to control every aspect of every life, from cradle to grave.

Next, that chief executive will need the assistance of a Congress dominated by like-minded men and women who want to reassert their legislative authority by taking control of the bureaucracy. That will mean rewriting laws, reformulating policies and setting parameters for the various agencies, thereby prohibiting them from interpreting their roles and responsibilities themselves.

Can it be done? Time will tell, of course, but two things are certain: The order is tall, and time is short.

See also:

Bloomberg News is part of the USA Features Media network of sites.


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