The Sequester continues to capture my attention. I still haven’t seen a lot of catastrophic occurrences but then again they may be just around the corner. But for now the thing we call government continues to rumble forward or wallow as your interpretation may dictate.
During the Doomesday Defense I was particularly taken by the 800,000 citizens who as civilian workers for the Department of Defense would feel the wrath of the sword. 800,000! And that is on top of the actual standing armed force of some 1.5 million active and 850,000 reservists. Holy Shamoley.
Now being of small mind I couldn’t go too deep into that management structure so I decided on a more reasonable target, The Executive Office of the President or EOP. Even this was no small task.
The EOP is everything that goes into the day to day running of the White House. You know the West Wing and all that jazz. What I hope strikes you is that nothing is simple. Also bear in mind that Thomas Jefferson had a secretary and messenger in time of yore. The buildup didn’t really get into high gear until FDR. The New Deal had to put people to work and they did.
Now we start with POTUS. He actually only has 5 directs. But the VEEP has 90. Advisors of all sorts. The First Lady has 24 including those in advance(trip scheduling) and correspondence. Don’t get your knickers in a knot. Laura Bush had 18 and Hilary had 19. I guess Michelle’s war on fat needs more fat.
Now the Chief of Staff needs 110 minions but the deputy Chief needs an additional 60. The press secretary has a staff of 20 but then there is an office of communication that needs 20 more. I would love to hear the justification of that. Wrapping up that crowd is cozy group of 40 that work on travel only.
The Chief Usher is in charge of the house itself and has a group of 90 that vacuum,do windows and serve meals. There are 2300 of our armed forces that make sure Camp David is on the ready or that the Helicopter Squadron is on the pad. There are various officer types that are escorts at state dinners but who is counting. They are all on the Defense budget. Rounding out is a corps of 2300 Secret Service but then again they work for Treasury. And we can’t have White House tours at Spring Break. It would cost too much.
There are policy advisors on everything from National Security to AIDS and of course healthcare. Each one has a boss(Czars) and deputies for this or that. Then they have secretaries,drivers and yadda yadda. You get what I mean. There are 30 players in the office of Counsel to the President. They get to decide if water boarding is legal. Wonder what they get an hour?
There are about 1850 total direct employees and with the 4600 military and bodyguards it takes about 6500 warm bodies to open the doors to the People’s House. There are five hundred volunteers and a group of 100 interns that rotate through every four months. Monica rotated through several times but that’s another story.
Now many of you are shaking your fist and decrying that SOB Obama. Go for it but it really hasn’t changed over the years. If these were the only culpable characters I would feel much better. But this is just one branch. You forgot about those dudes and dudettes at the other end of the mall.
The numbers are as of 2000 which is the last time Congress would fess up and produce a budget in the same year. There is Personal staff of 11,700. Each Representative can hire 14 and the Senate has no limit but the average is 34. Gotta keep in touch with the electorate.
Then the committee staff came in at 2492. They have 20 or so standing or full time committees in each chamber but this can grow into the hundreds depending on what they are investigating. Each member has his own staff for that particular committee. I am not making this stuff up.
Leadership staff of 274 (Speaker etc.). Institutional (Capitol Police, mess etc) number 5034. At last but not least the Congressional Budget Office of 232 and the General Accounting Office of 3500. The first tells where to spend the money and the second says if they did it right. Notice the disparity in numbers. Overall it is just shy of 25,000 human beings to staff Congress. That’s okay that chamber is so productive.
I was going to go into the Pentagon but scotch doesn’t come in fifty gallon drums. Just think about the Secretary of Defense and then the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and then the branches, NATO and on and on. All of these people have to be officed. Those can be palatial or cubicles but they have to be heated, cooled, furnished and cleaned.
It would be comical if it weren’t so sad. Just getting a grasp on the numbers has been mind numbing. Who can even begin to understand this much less manage it. Does it surprise you we have cost overruns and gigantic deficits? Who by any measure of sanity could suggest we need our government to be more involved?
Is there a solution? A whole different Manhattan Project comes to mind but they would investigate me and then lock poor old TTG up. Might be worth it. How about three or four sequesters? Please my friends just contemplate the BS we have gone through over across the board cuts. Think how many fiefdoms are raising the drawbridges over their moats? Not in my house!
I would love to see the press go through just one department. I would pay big time to go through every nook and cranny and expose the waste and corruption. Then multiply that by the number of power centers and we as Americans could not possibly feign ignorance or indifference. I am a little blear eyed but I am also terribly pissed.
Ted The Great
Factoids: You have got to be kidding.