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Politics

LET THE BUREAUCRATS RUN THINGS

Anybody notice how well the Federal Government functions outside the scope of politics? The Social Security Administration runs as smooth as a baby's butt, collecting FICA taxes, keeping track of hundreds of millions of accounts, sending out millions of checks to retirees like clockwork and almost never screwing up. The IRS is a whiz at collecting taxes, randomly checking tax returns for honesty, and mailing out millions of tax refunds in a timely manner. The National Parks Service is another gem, keeping our national parks pristine and beautiful.

Then there's the food stamp program that distributes almost 30 billion dollars worth of relief to our neediest citizens. Our Medicaid and Medicare programs are well run within the limits of the services they can offer. The Treasury Department prints paper money and mints coins as needed without any glitches to speak of. The General Services Administration handles all kinds of routine public business very well. The U.S. Post Office, for all the jokes made about it, is pretty damned efficient, delivering untold billions of pieces of mail annually to the right address. The FDA inspects our food and sets standards for quality. All sorts of other semi-anonymous federal bureaus and agencies go about their daily business quite efficiently.

The men and women who run them operate completely within the laws and Constitution of the United States. They never seek to break these laws or have them changed to enable them to do their jobs easier. Some of the tasks they perform are incredibly complex and detailed but they get them done properly within the legal and constitutional framework of America. So the question is, why don't we get some clerks to run for office? They are the most efficient part of our government. The politicians are always bitching and moaning about how their hands are tied by bothersome details like laws, checks and balances and that nettlesome concept of right and wrong. The cry rivers when their sweeping "visions" of America run counter to what America was designed to stand for and bellow that they must be granted dictatorial powers in a constitutional democracy.

Which is to say that it's not an easy job to run this country with all the limits on individual power and the built-in checks and balances of our system of government. Why should it be easy? Better to hire a smart and efficient person to do the job rather than a whining visionary who cannot grasp the ground rules of his job. Could Curious George the Younger be any more ill-suited to the job of president of such a nation as the United States of America? So many complicated things happened on his watch, a lot of them very traumatic and dangerous. His response? Break the laws that made us America so we can still be America. Doesn't make any sense, does it?

So what you wind up with with a guy like Bush the Younger is not only an incompetent president but a criminal in the White House. And, lacking the intellect to tackle a challenging job he brought along with him a host of other incompetent criminals, men and women who do not care about what America is designed for, only what they could steal. And steal they did, to the tune of uncounted billions. If the IRS was allowed to audit them, which they are not, you'd see our federal prisons full of former powerful politicians. And if the Justice Department was allowed to investigate them for murder, which they are not, there'd be many of them on Death Row. And if the FBI was conducting the manhunt for Osama bin Laden and not the Bush the Younger Administration, the agent in charge of the investigation would have long since been replaced by someone more capable.

So why not get some of our efficient clerks to run politics. These people are sticklers for rules, and very good at doing their jobs within the constraints of those rules. You'd never see a clerk daring to challenge the Constitution with a bill like the cynically named Patriot Act or seeking to torture POW's or do away with the Bill of Rights. The attacks on America would have been responded to in the most efficient and law-compliant way and an innocent nation would have never been attacked and occupied. Osama bin Laden would be arrested, charged and prosecuted, and all the relevant forms would be filled out in triplicate and carefully filed. Airport security would be conducted under fair and rigorous rules in a way that would not impede the flow of commerce.

Taxation would be a shared burden and the tax codes would never be used to reward the wealthy simply for being wealthy. Clerks would allow the courts to do their jobs, the Congress to do theirs and seek no other power not specifically granted them in the rule book. Indeed, clerks would view extra power as a burden, another job to do on top of the one they are assigned to perform. And clerks by nature are not prone to changing the rules, but instead following them to the letter. And they generally don't like making rules. That's someone else's job and when a rule change is made, clerks follow it without hesitation. So lets get us some good old efficient bureaucrats to run the show and let the lawbreaking politicians step aside and see how it's done within the rules.

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