Waste and Incompetence Little Barrier for Bureaucrat’s Promotion

When it comes to picking people to serve in his administration, President Biden sets a very low bar for their capability and competence.

Julie Su is the latest beneficiary of the president’s very low standards for public service. Politico‘s Eleanor Mueller and Katy Murphy report:

President Joe Biden has offered Julie Su, who heads California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency, the role of deputy Labor secretary, and she has accepted, two people familiar with the decision told POLITICO.

But the reporters note that Julie Su faces a huge political problem:

Su is likely to face questions in her confirmation hearing about her role in an explosive unemployment fraud story plaguing California; she estimated during a press call last week that the state’s unemployment department, which she oversees, had issued at least $11 billion in fraudulent payments last year. Two state audits released last week about the Employment Development Department pointed to a series of “missteps” last spring that opened the door to fraud, including a decision to shut off a stop-payment safeguard in an effort to speed payments.

As secretary of California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency, which runs California’s pandemic unemployment insurance program, Su is directly responsible for the EDD’s “missteps.”

Worse, although she acknowledged ownership of the agency’s problems in April 2020, she failed to take adequate action to correct them. Her demonstrated failure of leadership made a multi-million dollar problem of waste and fraud a hundred times worse, exploding it into a multi-billion dollar problem.

Despite this dubious track record, Su will soon be elevated to be U.S. Deputy Labor Secretary. It seems proven waste and incompetence is little barrier for a bureaucrat’s career advancement in the Biden administration.

Craig Eyermann is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute.
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