Civil servants enjoy a numerous protections. It is nearly impossible to fire a civil servant. These protections stem from the progressive era in an attempt to stop the spoils system, and abolish political machines that existed in every major city and in a few states (at the time these local goverments had a collective cash flow much larger than the federal level. These protections were granted to the federal level as part of the package).
Unfortunately this did not long restrain human nature. This left both parties at the mercy of civil servants who are much more motivated to vote and campaign than people whose jobs don’t directly depend on goverment policy. Perversely the worse they problem becomes that they are to fix, the greater security and oppurtunity for advancement they enjoy. The board was tilted in the direction of goverment growth and away from any possible retrenchment. The Hatch act was passed to limit their power – they are liable to fines if they are caught campaigning directly for a candidate or prop. OTOH, promoting a viewpoint etc is still acceptable.
I see parrallels in this to other protected classes in history-the clergy at the time of the reformation, the samauri class before the Meiji restoration. In both cases sweeping the class away restored the flexibility and drive to society that it needed to progress.
Therefore I float the following proposals:
1.Civil Servants can no longer vote in elections for the goverment they work for. That is federal employees cannot vote in federal elections, state employees in state elections, &c. One thing to be worked out is how employees of goverment dependent organization would be affected for example big defense contractors or employees of state supported universities. Or farm subsidies. Or are national highways a subsidy to car manufactures?
2. The power to fire goverment employees for non-performance be restored, not to politicians cajjing votes, but to the public who is served by them. This might be as simple as via surveys of users that is commonly used to rate employees in the real world. Alternately a jury could be called to ratify use of this power. I am thinking here of the recent VA scandals, and how the system could be made much more responsive to feedback.
Number one is to take away the automatic incentive that the political parties have to expand the bureacracy. Number two is aimed at making them more responsive by creating individual responsibility. These are rough ideas, but the proper functioning of our state requires that some steps be taken.