Government Bureaucrats’ Contempt for the American Public

Originally posted by David L. Goetsch for

Perhaps you have heard the joke about how many people work in government. The punch line is, “I don’t know how many people work in government, but I can tell you how many are employed by the government.” Federal, state, and local governments employ a lot of people, whether they work or not is another question. But one thing is certain: once employed by the government, too many people forget that their real employer is the American taxpayer. In fact, once employed by the government, a lot of bureaucrats develop an attitude of contempt for the American taxpayers they are employed to serve and who pay their salaries.

This contempt reveals itself in a variety of ways—ways that anyone who has to do business with the federal has experienced. For example, have you ever walked into a government office and been treated like an unwelcome annoyance—an unpleasant interruption to some bureaucrat’s day? Have you ever dealt with a government office that required so much bureaucratic red tape you just gave up and said “never mind”? Have you ever called a government office for assistance on some issue only to be treated like an insignificant drone? Have you ever needed medical treatment at a V.A. clinic and had to wait for months or even years to get it? Have you ever compared the intent of a piece of legislation passed by elected officials to how it is actually implemented by government bureaucrats?

Anyone who has dealt with the government knows what it feels like to be treated dismissively, but recently even those who are fortunate enough to avoid dealing with the government got an inside look at how bureaucrats view the American public. Thanks to either the unusual honesty or condescending snobbery of Jonathan Gruber, the American public got a taste of how contemptuous government bureaucrats can be toward those of us whose taxes pay their salaries or, in the case of quasi-bureaucrats like Gruber, their absurdly exorbitant consulting fees.

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