Obama's letters to civil servants
This is good news; restoring reason to the treatment of civil servants was always perhaps the strongest reason to vote Democrat; stronger, in my mind, than SCOTUS. WaPo:
Obama wrote to employees in the departments of Labor, Defense, Housing and Urban Development, and Veterans Affairs, along with the TSA, the EPA and the Social Security Administration. Defense was the only area in which he did not make promises requiring additional spending, the letters show.
Obama repeatedly echoed in his correspondence the longstanding lament of federal workers -- that the Bush administration starved their agencies of staff and money to the point where they could not do their jobs.
In his letter to Labor Department employees, Obama said Bush appointees had thwarted the agency's mission of keeping workers safe, especially in mines. "Our mine safety program will have the staffing . . . needed to get the job done," he wrote.
Obama lamented to EPA staffers that Americans' health and the planet have been "jeopardized outright" because of "inadequate funding" and "the failed leadership of the past eight years, despite the strong and ongoing commitment of the career individuals throughout this agency."
Obama also took aim at the Bush administration's focus on privatization, with contractors hired to perform government jobs -- often at princely sums. He complained that a $1.2 billion contract to provide TSA with human resources support unfairly blocked federal employees from competing to do that work.
"We plan specifically to look at work that is being contracted out to ensure that it is fiscally responsible and effective," he told HUD workers. "It is dishonest to claim real savings by reducing the number of HUD employees overseeing a program but increase the real cost of the program by transferring oversight to contracts. I pledge to reverse this poor management practice."
Good news. Sure, it's pandering too, but it's nice to be pandered to with an offer of rational policy.