The Tail is Wagging the Dog!

It occurs to me, given the current Internal Revenue Service fiasco targeting conservative organizations and the Department of Veteran Affairs hospital agency allowing veterans to die while awaiting treatment, the burgeoning federal bureaucracy may be totally out of the control of management. Furthermore, it appears the IRS and VA mismanagement may only be the tip of the iceberg, with many other agencies remaining to be found out.

There were 2.65 million federal employees as of 2010.

It is clear to me the Congress cannot provide the oversight necessary, notwithstanding most members are busy working hard to maintain their individual power and prestige, rather than take care of the people’s business in a judicious manner. It is symptomatic of the Washington Beltway. The House, controlled by the Republicans, have passed a number of bills. The Senate, controlled by the Democrats, refuse to give even cursory recognition to those bills. Thus the partisan operation of the Congress has resulted in nothing of consequence to be adopted or approved since the November 2010 mid-year elections.

The log-jammed business of the people in the vast bureaucracy existing today has not occurred overnight, or even in the last couple of decades.

The results of this mind-boggling morass of federal offices, departments and sub-departments and divisions is inherently wasteful. Consider those nasty little earmarks politicians enter every character of bill in order to garner favor from their constituents. Example 1: Thousands of dollars earmarked for a by-pass route around Columbus, Indiana, continues unused after many years. Why. The earmark cited the wrong highway! Example 2: A $50,000 needed earmark for a Chapman Lakes, Indiana, wetlands levee renewal project goes unused more than 6 years later because the earmark named the Corps of Engineers the recipient. The Corps could not figure out how to transfer the funds to the State of Indiana Department of Natural Resources! [ Indiana figured out how to do the project internally with its own funds and completed the work. ] The earmarked funds languishing in the federal coffers totals in the millions. Go ahead, look it up!

I cite the above incompetence to demonstrate just how out of control the burgeoning federal bureaucracy has become.

Have you ever paid attention to the “titles” in an agency or division? There are directors, assistant directors of every kind and character. Look it up, friends. There are project divisions, budget divisions, future planning divisions, long range planning divisions, and assistant divisions to those divisions. In looking at bureaucratic structure, it appears, at least to me, all these layers of departmentalization serve only one purpose: Providing a higher tier of wages for those who populate the offices.

The following table [ ] shows the number of government employees, total population and the GE/P Ratio. It essentially takes a snapshot at the end of each presidents term and compares it to the point when they took office.

End of Term


# Government Employees (GE)

Population (P)

GE/P Ratio


Dec. 2012




GW Bush

Dec. 2008





Dec. 2000




GHW Bush

Dec. 1992





Dec. 1988





“Notice how the GE/P Ratio held steady for Obama’s predecessors, hovering around 7.3%. However, by the end of Obama’s first term, the ratio fell to 6.9%, a decrease of 7% from the end of the Bush era. To glean the full picture, we’ll need to look at the percentage increase for the population and for the number of government employees. If the population increases by a rate similar to the increase in government employment, that would be expected. From 1980 to 2008, the percentage increase in total government employees at the end of each of their terms (compared to when they took office), was between 6.4% and 10.2%. This is relatively close to the percentage increase in the population over the same period (5.0% to 9.8%). However, during Obama’s first term, the population increased by 3.0% while the number of government employees fell by 7%. This is the reason for the decline in the GE/P Ratio shown above.” (emphasis added)– [ Mike Patton, ]

You needn’t resort to statistics to know the bureaucracy is out of control. Call a major department of the federal government with a simple question. Keep track of to how many people/offices you were transferred, and how long was your call? It’s a simple exercise, try it!

If you count the red and blue states, Democrats vs. Republicans, it is worth your while to search the comparative “number of federal employees by state”. Get the message?

Mark Twain said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” I submit to you Mark Twain was correct in that figures and statistics are used by every bureaucratic agency to confound Congress and the taxpayers in order to pad its own departmental size and budget.

It seems to me those Tea Party folks had it right when they said, “Reduce the size of the government.” It is likely why so many politicians dislike the Tea Party groups. After all, federal employees make up a substantial voting block, and their unions have plenty of money to spread around. — D. C. “Dan” Lee, Citizen-Taxpayer. Do YOU have your taxpayer T-shirt?