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The Senior Civil Service Oligarchy (SES)


The least accountable part of the federal government is the senior civil service (SCS), also known as the administrative state. The SCS is mostly invisible to the public. It is composed of career public service workers who keep their jobs while administrations come and go.


Since Republican appointees generally tend to move on after a Republican administration, most SCS workers are former Democrat administration political appointees. And when it comes to accountability and job security, civil service laws have made it nearly impossible to remove government bureaucrats from their jobs.


Most people know that a new president gets to name over 4,000 political appointees when they are elected. But as for which president was given a chance to place many political appointments into these secure positions for life, making it difficult for a new president with a different agenda, to enact changes? Well, that was President Barack Obama.


This is political cronyism. Partisan politics at it’s worse, which fills our bloated government with unqualified, ideologically-driven Democrat operatives. President Trump learned that lesson the hard way.


Many Americans think that these are the people that comprise the Deep State. But the Deep State goes even much deeper than that. There is a much more sinister system in place that controls Washington D.C.’s bureaucracies through an actual, organized shadow government.


The Washington D.C. Deep State is a group of approximately 8,156 appointed managers, in 75 federal agencies, that control the executive bureaucracy and get to tell new political appointees what they can and cannot do. Yes, that’s right, the Deep State is an official government program, well-organized, comprehensive, and “in charge.”


Today, Most of these are “Obama Holdouts.” They control the executive branch of government. Obama expanded the existing Deep State managers and appointed over 7,000 of the 8,156 bosses who are called the Senior Executive Service. Some call it the “Shadow Government”, and it is true that this federal cabal works in the shadows.


The administrative state is very real and is easily the most powerful branch of government in terms of weight and longevity and yet, it is nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution. It did not even exist from the Founding period until the late 19th century. It had little or no power until after World War I.


Even today, most Americans know nothing about it, even though its power is everywhere. President Trump attempted to bring some oversight, but was met with serious obstacles and roadblocks everywhere from the Establishment. Trump even authored an Executive Order for SCS for accountability, but that was overridden by Biden on his first the day in office.


The battle over the future of the administrative state—sometimes and rightly called the “Deep State,” for its seeming invisible power and permanence—might be the most important issue in American political life today.


The massive and overweening power of the federal government utterly depends on it. The Democrats, the party of government—after all 97% of Swamp denizens are registered Democrats—rely on its continuation and, to some extent, the Establishment Republicans.


When Trump came to office as president, he naively assumed that he was a kind of CEO in charge. His America First policies would be enacted and his sovereign protocols followed. What he faced instead, was a power he did not anticipate nor understand. The Swamp he wanted to drain was not a swamp at all, but a Hoover Dam, made of concrete and steel, impossible to move.


They came after him, trying to destroy his presidency. Twice they struck out until finally, Covid-19, the result of “game of function” research conveniently appeared and the pandemic ensued forcing President Trump into the odd position of having to listen to the “experts” from inside government, who told him to shut down the whole economy.


Incredibly, and thanks to the persuasion of even people within his own administration, he went along. After that point, the Deep State ran the show while sidelining his administration until Trump was swept out of office.


As to why they are still going after Trump is rather simple. They are afraid that a more politically savvy Trump, who now fully understands the D.C. Swamp, would return.


In any case, many people today are newly aware of this beast that rules the Beltway. Many politicians are running today who swear that they will take it on and dismantle it. There is no way to do that other than to defund it completely via Congress.


One major issue: how can the administrative state be taken on? A neglected and massively important Wall Street Journal investigative report shows the way. This remarkable piece of journalism required the collection and investigation of many thousands of financial reports. To be exact 31,000 financial-disclosure forms of 12,000 senior career employees. The dates go from 2016 to 2021 so this is essentially right now.


They collected data on 850,000 financial assets and 315,000 trades in stocks, bonds, and funds by officials, spouses, and children. The results are hugely newsworthy and utterly shocking.


Thousands of officials across the government’s executive branch reported owning or trading stocks that stood to rise or fall with decisions their agencies made. More than 2,600 officials at agencies from the Commerce Department to the Treasury Department, during both Republican and Democratic administrations, disclosed stock investments in companies while those same companies were lobbying their agencies for favorable policies.


That amounts to more than one in five senior federal employees across 50 federal agencies reviewed by the Journal. More than one in five federal employees have investments in the companies they regulate. This is truly remarkable and much worse than anything we could have imagined.


To put a fine point on it: this is corruption. And it must be more thoroughly investigated. We cannot have rule-making agencies being lobbied by companies where the individuals there with power to make or break whole companies hold a financial position in the outcomes.


It is so common now—the virus of corruption so ubiquitous—that this crowd of bureaucrats probably believe this is entirely normal and expected. This is major third-world-level corruption one would suppose we would never see in a Constitutional Republic. And yet here we are.

Inspired by of Jeffrey A. Tucker for the Epoch Times

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