Yesterday I talked about how big the federal government has grown. It is an order of magnitude larger than the largest Fortune 500 companies. But there is a second problem that makes this first problem even worse. Many of the people who are supposed to manage this organization have never been confirmed and placed in those positions.
The US Senate has confirmed less than half of the positions in four federal government cabinets. Those would be the Justice Department, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency. But that’s not all. Barely half of the positions in four other government cabinets haven’t been confirmed. Those would be the State Department, the Labor Department, the Treasury Department, and Housing and Urban Development.
Employees in these departments are placeholders waiting to be replaced by qualified individuals who have yet to be confirmed by the Senate. In some cases, some have left and there is an empty desk or office waiting to be filled.
By the way, I think this story provides a good illustration of media bias. I suspect most of you are hearing about this for the first time. Imagine how much media coverage would be given if, after nearly two years in the Obama administration, half of the positions in major departments were still not filled!
Of course, we also have to add to this list the fact that President Trump lacks a chief of staff, an Attorney General, and a Secretary of Defense. Again, there are placeholders, but no one in the job with full authority. You can feel free to point fingers at Democrats, at Republicans, at congressional leaders, and at the president.
Guests on my radio program have said the current situation is unacceptable. That is true, but it isn’t all that unusual. We have a government that is too big, often poorly managed, and with many positions waiting to be filled. This is no way to run a government.