If we were appalled at how evasive IRS officials were during recent hearings before congressional oversight committees, then stunned has to be the adjective of choice after watching the Director of the FBI before the house judiciary committee this past week. Robert Mueller defended the NSA surveillance program, but when grilled by a Texas congressman about why the program seemed not to have worked in identifying the Boston Marathon bombers prior to that terrorist attack, Mueller was circumspect, evasive and even combative. And when grilled by an Ohio congressman on the FBI's investigation into political targeting by the IRS, Mueller did not know who had been assigned as lead investigator in the IRS probe.
Mueller is scheduled to step down in September, but appears to be taking his retirement a bit early.
If what we had in the Clinton years was a "bimbo explosion" then what we see in our federal government now is a far more alarming "leadership implosion." President Obama appears detached and clueless. And worse, the lack of leadership from the White House is being reflected by many in top government positions. Mueller is only the latest example.
What is a country to do?
How about an overall overhaul of the federal bureaucracy. Congress could start the reforms by decertifying work rules imposed by federal employee unions like the American Federation of Government Employees which boasts a membership topping 700,000. Outrageous work rules allowed by past congresses make firing a federal employee nearly impossible. Example: Lois Learner. She was director of exempt organizations, the IRS department which politically targeted Tea Party, pro-Israel and conservative religious groups (nearly a thousand by the latest count) seeking tax exempt status. Whether a member of the AFGE or not, Ms. Learner is still covered by the same work rules bargained by the union and approved by congress. So, when asked to resign, she refused. And to this date remains on paid leave and continues to receive her six-figure salary. We should all be so fortunate when we lose our jobs.
The next step would be to appoint a three to five member committee of top business leaders to do a crash study of government overhaul and present it to the congress by the end of the year. Donald Trump comes to mind. And Mitt Romney might be another sound choice to tap for such a committee. He has a impeccable success record as a business leader and according to his critics was able to streamline many companies and close others that were not profitable - an approach we should demand to trim some of the largesse and waste that is wrapped around the federal bureaucracy like juicy fat ringing a sirloin steak.
American taxpayers deserve better than what the federal government is currently serving up.