Joe Biden's Department of No-Show Jobs?
It's amazing what kind of answers you can rat out about how the Biden administration works just by asking the most basic of questions.
Which brings us to a Senate hearing on ending remote work in the U.S. government as COVID subsidies, same as the private sector is doing.
According to the Daily Caller:
Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra was unable to say during a Wednesday hearing how many workers in the department actually show up to work in federal buildings.
“Can you give a breakdown of how many full time employees are at their desk in one of these buildings every day?” Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana asked Becerra during a Senate Committee on Health Education Labor & Pensions hearing.
“When you take a look at the workforce at HHS, and we’re close to 90,000 throughout the country, and working in various parts of the country,” Becerra said.
“How many are at their desk as opposed to being at home, or someplace else, the coffee shop or whatever?” Cassidy asked Becerra, after the cabinet secretary said that the department’s employees were working full time.
“What we make sure we care about is that they’re performing and they’re delivering,” Becerra said.
The exchange is here:
Cassidy flashed his big photo of a gargantuan empty parking lot of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services headquarters, taken at 10:40 a.m. on a weekday, and said there were other empty parking lots at HHS, too. He asked how many employees getting cost-of-living increases were at their desks working at all, Becerra evaded the question, claiming that the employees were all performing well. but it became pretty obvious that virtually none of them were showing up to work. Not the CDC, which is one of the regulated agencies which must have representation at that agency. Not the FDA, which is another. Not the National Institutes for Health, which is yet another. There are 11 of them.
As for what production they were producing, Becerra didn't have much to say on that, either. Cassidy asked for VPN data proving the employees were working and Becerra deferred on that, too. We know they aren't up on the matter of supplying health care to illegal border crossers or to displaced residents of a chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio. We know they aren't doing much to "safeguard public health and provide essential services to Americans" given the shambles of the COVID response. But they've got 90,000 employees, all doing the bunny-slipper commute, and all performing optimally, as Becerra assures.
What the heck do they do over there and why aren't they going back to the office? We know that many allied groups, such as teachers, rebelled mightily at having to re-enter the classroom as COVID subsided, preferring that bunny-slipper commute and those Zoom classrooms to the actual work of going to school and teaching children.
Would federal agencies really be any different? The claim that they are performing normally and optimally is questionable, given the experience with the teachers and for that matter, the private sector, so Becerra was claiming that government workers were somehow different.
More likely, they don't do anything at all at their offices and one can just as easily do nothing at home and take an inflated beltway paycheck as do nothing at the office.
That Becerra doesn't know how many show up to work, and hasn't bothered to bring them back to work because everything is the same either way, highlights that he's probably as lazy and unproductive as the rest of them, another Pete Buttigieg living his best life, or is a hands-off manager who doesn't know what's going on with the 11 agencies he manages.
More to the point, it suggests that maybe government has gotten a little too bloated to sustain any significant workload or produce anything for the public. With that the case, this isn't about remote work, it's about a government badly in need of downsizing, if not just to match the productivity of the workers, but the federal deficit.
Why are we paying for all these do-nothing workers in the age of federal overspending and high inflation, and why aren't these departments being cut back immediately?
Image: Screen shot from Forbes Breaking News, via YouTube video.