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Obama Woos the Feds

A number of our federal employee Readers Who Comment were pleased to learn this morning that President-elect Barack Obama wrote letters to workers at seven federal agencies describing programs he wishes to strengthen with more of their help and less from contractors.

A number of other readers wonder if this is a good thing and a few want to know why we didn't tell them about Obama's letter-writing campaign before the election.

What we have here is another chapter in the long-running national debate about who can do a better job: the private sector or public employees. Of course, whenever there is a crisis, the public expects government to effectively solve the problem. It doesn't always happen. Some comments express hope that things will get better; others express doubts, and several comments come from federal employees who feel their agencies could do a much better job given the right tools by the White House -- more people and more money.

We'll start with MikeMcNally, who wrote, "It must be a big relief for federal employees who were not allowed to function under the Bush regime. The republican agenda of trying to prove government doesn't work by not allowing it to work has come to an end..."

But wilsonj1 said, "Just one more indication of how quickly Obama will drive our country into third world status. Where is he going to get the money? He already promised to not tax anyone but the wealthy & industry further driving jobs overseas..."

Small_Town_Boredom wrote, "i'm here trying to believe its a commitment and not just a pledge, what i don't like about some of these socialist ideas is that in the act of trying to put into action a more equal society, you make government workers a class of workers that see themselves above ordinary people"

bdunn1, who wrote, "I have hope that once again our government will work for the people instead of for the lobbyists and corporations.
Republicans hate government and don't want it work for the common good."

But brigitte_sanz asked, "Who else did he bribe?"

And SteveSailer said, "Shouldn't the Washington Post have reported Obama's expensive promises to bureaucrats _before_ the election?"

rkinneypa wrote, "Pretty funny, considering that the federal budget grew by 40% under George Bush. Somehow I don't think our country's problems will be solved by growing it another 40%."

And kbPost replied, "rkinneypa -- because that money went to private contractors who started doing jobs that federal employees used to do..."

LNevitt23 wrote, "I am a bit disappointed that nothing was mentioned about energizing the SBA. Small Business is hurting right now and we need our fair share..."

maggieww said, "...The past administration has been terrible for science and, assuming that if McCain/Palin won many scientists would just leave the country, it was good for researchers to feel that Obama did mean to make a change for the better."

denisesail wrote, "Hopefully he will put some muscle back into the IRS. There is a lot of federal tax dollars left sitting on the table from small business operators who grossly under report income. This wage slave would like to see some of the tax cheats experience an onsite audit..."

coqui44 responded, asking, "why do you focus on 'small business operators'? How about the taxes that big business operators DO NOT HAVE TO PAY?..."

fishingriver said, "I suspect that Obama will keep the promises as best he can because they all serve his policy plans anyway. Cut the pentagons budget by keeping the programs that actually protect us and getting rid of the crap.... which there is a ton of."

reader8288 wrote, "Interesting! Bush used to be rich in money but wanted a smaller government. Obama is poor in money but wants a bigger government."

suegbic said, "The automotive workers led GM, Ford, and Chrysler to disaster. The public employees are leading the country to disaster."

jabailo wrote, "I have called upon Barack Obama to do the one thing that will revitalize this economy -- raise the salaries of Federal Workers... Rather than bailing out the million dollar salaries of CEOs, we need to raise the G1-5 workers...first."

But Dirtdart1980 replied, "...Yeah good luck with that, They're going to get treated like the lower enlisted in the military... crumbs for the enlisted, 10-15% more money for the officers."

We'll close with 173rd, who wrote, "I guess the Republican posters on this article would sooner pay six figure bonuses to corporate employees, fat juicy dividends to stockholders of those companies, and host lavish parties at resorts with our tax dollars. Yeah; why "waste" it on paying for professionals in government . . ."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  November 17, 2008; 7:35 AM ET
Categories:  Federal Employees , Obama , Presidential Politics  | Tags: Federal Employees, Obama  
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Next: Hillary and Bill's State Department

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