Unlike some libertarians, I have patriotic feelings for my country. I want the United States to be the best in everything.
So it’s with some chagrin that I realized that the last two honorees selected for the Bureaucrat Hall of Fame came from overseas.
This included the man from India who earned his spot by not showing up for work – ever – for nearly a quarter of a century.
We also selected the woman from France who had a government-provided car and driver but still managed to bill taxpayers for almost $150 of taxi fares per day.
Given my jingoistic feelings, I’m worried that American bureaucrats are losing ground to their foreign counterparts. It would be a national embarrassment, after all, if our pencil pushers got a reputation for being slackers about slacking off.
The Washington Post reports on his truly amazing – and nauseating – scheme to bilk taxpayer to the hilt. Here’s the basic description of what happened.
A senior National Weather Service official helped write the job description and set the salary for his own post-retirement consulting post– then came back to the office doing the same job with a $43,200 raise, the agency’s watchdog found.
Hey, maybe I can do the same thing at Cato. I’ll propose a new position for a Senior Fellow in Recreational Studies. But since I’m modest, I’ll only suggest that this new slot only pay $35,000 more than what I’m now getting. And then I’ll…
Oh, never mind. I momentarily forgot that the Cato Institute isn’t the federal government. Our managers actually care about spending money wisely.
But that’s obviously not the case in Washington, as we can see from these additional excerpts.
The deputy chief financial officer also demanded that he be paid a $50,000 housing allowance near Weather Service headquarters in downtown Silver Spring in violation of government rules for contractors, one of numerous improprieties in a revolving-door deal sealed with full knowledge of senior agency leaders.
Yes, you read correctly. This scheming parasite latched onto the public teat with full knowledge and approval of his superiors.
And in less than two years, he scammed nearly half-a-million dollars from America’s taxpayers.
With his consulting job and housing allowance in place, P. Donald Jiron retired from the Weather Service in early May 2010, then returned to work as a consultant the next day, while collecting his government pension, investigators said. By the time he was fired 21 months later, the government had paid him another $471,875.34.
A taxpayer-provided pension plus a new taxpayer-provided salary. That’s double dipping without even having to get a new desk! Kudos to P. Donald.
But the Inspector General report reveals this is just the tip of a very sordid iceberg.
His procurement of his own post-retirement job appears to be commonplace throughout the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Weather Service’s parent agency.
This story also has a nepotism angle. I guess we can modify the old saying: The family that mooches together, stays together.
Jiron also broke other rules, investigators found. He used his position as a contractor and former senior official to pressure Weather Service staff to give his daughter a job, skirting federal hiring rules that require competition.
Amazingly, he apparently wasn’t successful in his nepotism scheme. Which almost led me to deny him membership.
But the housing allowance he scammed was enough to push him over the top.
So here’s the bottom line. We have government positions that shouldn’t exist. We then pay the people in these positions far more than they could earn in the private sector.
And we have government managers who turn a blind eye (or worse) when these bureaucrats figure out ways to double-dip, triple-dip, and otherwise pillage taxpayers.
Hey, nice work if you can get it.