When listening to the Republican debates the other night a memory popped into my mind. It took me two days to realize why this memory showed up and what the connection is. It happened right when some of the candidates started to make hey out of a remark that Mitt Romney made. “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me”
When I was in the military I used to work in Civil Engineering. At the time the military didn’t use contractors to provide maintenance or small construction projects; we did the work in house. This had a huge benefit in regards to training opportunities, but had the handicap of having no incentive for cost reductions, speed, quality, or even customer service. If you wanted something built, fixed, or modified you were stuck with the services provided regardless of the quality, time, or materials involved. There was one instance I remember where small offices were being built inside of an unused aircraft hangar. Each office was built and outfitted depending on the request of whoever the occupant was. The higher the rank the larger and more lavish the office had to be. Money was no object because it could always be written off as training. There was also a tremendous turnover of personal so there was no consistency and we were constantly remodeling. If the customer was dissatisfied with the results of the project, all he or she could do is complain and have it done over by the same people. Eventually the hanger had to be abandoned because of all the heat. All heat from lighting and air conditioning never left the hanger; no one foresaw the extent of the problem until it was too late. There was no one to fire and no method to determine who was at fault.
This is how I see a lot of our federal government working right now. I don’t like Mitt Romney much because I personally believe he is “wearing crazy person underwear” (quote by Penn Jellette) and he looks to smarmy to be trusted. However, I don’t think he should defend this statement; I think he should embrace it and use it as a slogan. First he didn’t say he likes firing people, he said that he likes being able to fire someone who provides services. That is a lot better than not having the option of being able to fire someone. I want a president who likes being able to fire people. There are many, many people in the government that should be fired. I don’t know who they are, that’s his job to find out.
I just find it amusing that a republican who campaigns on a platform of smaller government feels that he has to defend himself for saying he wants to option of firing people who supply services to him.