Governor Butch Otter is proposing to eliminate 2 departments of Idaho State government by moving their functions to other departments.
So let’s see here. Functions performed by the eliminated departments would be assigned to other departments, so no essential task is neglected. Fewer state workers would need offices, easing the space crunch the government apparently feels, and in the future fewer government buildings may need to be rented or built. Government would be smaller, freeing dollars for more important government duties, and/or saving taxpayer money.
Somebody help me – WHERE’S THE DOWNSIDE?
The only objections you should be hearing are from those who are invested somehow in bigger government or job security, or both.
First come outcries from democrats and other statist types in the legislature. Many of them are elected largely by government employees, and derive their power by promising higher salaries and more benefits to them.
Certainly, all employees in these two departments will feel distressed. Even if individuals keep their jobs, their work day will be different in various ways. Directors and managers will be demoted or fired. There will also be changes in the departments accepting the tasks and employees.
How do we console these individuals? We can remember that we’ve just been told in unmistakable terms that the State of Idaho pays only a percentage of the salaries offered by private entities for the same tasks. Perhaps these displaced state workers would do well to see this experience as an opportunity to better their situation. (“Ah”, they will say, “but the retirement and other benefits in the private sector are not nearly as good.” True – just more savings for the taxpayer.)
It is a fact that the directors and employees of the Departments of Administration and Human Resources are, by definition, bureaucrats. In my observation, whatever else bureaucrats do, they are expert at justifying their own positions, and expanding their little spheres of power at every opportunity. That’s good for them, bad for the taxpayer.
(Generally they do this by keeping everything and everyone around them in a constant state of upheaval by implementing one new program after another to prove they are indispensable. This kind of inevitable activity prevents true efficiency and possibly even the function for which the department was created. Thus, not only are they not part of the “solution”, they are part of the “problem”!)
Not every government employee is out to rob the taxpayer, but there are at least a few in every office who are. If you’ve had the opportunity to observe any level of government at work, you know this is true.
A little “trimming of the fat” of government every now and then is both healthy and wise to eliminate positions that perform no useful function (except for the position holder who takes home the paycheck with “State of Idaho” stamped on it).
All who adhere to the principle of smaller government (which should include every Republican in the state) should be rejoicing at Butch’s proposals, and cheering him on to more cutting in subsequent years. If you haven’t read it lately, skim the Idaho Republican Party platform. It’s inspiring.