An Argument for Patronage

James Freeman described Progressive-Democrat President Joe Biden’s move to strengthen bureaucracy’s and bureaucrats’ control over our Federal government. Citing a CNN report, Freeman wrote:

Betsy Klein and Tami Luhby report for CNN:

The Biden administration has finalized a new rule bolstering protections for career federal workers, marking a move to preemptively halt or significantly slow any efforts by former President Donald Trump, should he win in November, to reduce or alter the federal workforce.

No swamp-draining allowed! The new Biden rule from the Office of Personnel Management is intended to impede Mr. Trump if he wins the presidency again and revives an executive order he issued in October of 2020. The Trump order created the option of converting thousands of senior bureaucrats into at-will employees. The CNN team has more:

Trump’s executive order created a new classification of federal employees titled “Schedule F” for employees serving in “confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions” that typically do not change during a presidential transition.

Why shouldn’t a duly elected president have the authority to hire and fire policymakers in his own administration?

Indeed. While it’s certainly true that one administration’s agency or departmental rules or a President’s Executive Orders can be undone by a subsequent administration, Biden is illustrating the need for a return to statutory patronage in the Federal government’s bureaucracy. Statutes, after all, while undoable by a subsequent Congress, are much harder to undo.

With a patronage modification, this: civil servants and bureaucrats are hired on five-year contracts. Those contracts then are renewed, or not, in five-year increments at the sole discretion of the then sitting President or relevant Department/Agency head. And this additional fillip: upon leaving Federal government employ, whether through resignation/retirement/termination or through simple non-renewal, that now ex-employee has his security clearance automatically withdrawn.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *