Busted (Tax Dollars At Work)

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By: Amicus Americano

This quirky, nonpolitically correct novel about public policy, a study of the Social Security Administration’s disability program, the nation’s largest, proposes numerous reforms for the bloated bureaucracy. The book traces the main character’s (Tax Dollars’) journey working for the Social Security disability program, during which he becomes more politically conservative. Unforgivably sloppy work, extreme political correctness and pervasive corruption present the question of whether Tax can find an exit before the associated hostile work environment gets him.

Social Security management seems content to have the rank and file act like a character from Greek mythology, Sisyphus, who the gods condemned to push a boulder uphill forever. In contrast, Tax and his colleagues find Social Security management and many of their ideas outdated and peculiar, even to the point of being amusing. Five main areas for reform include public relations, unions, managers, administrative law judges and equal employment opportunity concepts. Proposed keys to reform include placing a greater emphasis on education and training as well as on merit in personnel selections. The book discusses ageism, racism and sexism in the federal workplace, including what appears to be relatively new minority racism and female sexism. It describes Social Security’s childhood disability program as outdated; the substance abuse program, barbaric.

Social Security appears to be running an unofficial affirmative action program and seemingly has engaged in court packing, both under the radar. These observations suggest that upper-level management has some characteristics of the mirage-like phantom known as the deep state. Tax concludes that privatizing the administration of the Social Security disability program would be a better option than continuing without reform. Tax decides that the best opportunity for obtaining significant reform would be to bypass the bloated bureaucracy by communicating directly with the public through a book. Could Tax pull this off while uncharacteristically keeping his mouth shut and avoiding trouble?

Published: 2022
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