Survey: D.C. bureaucrats think ‘public are idiots’

From:,  by Garth Kant,  on Oct 6, 2016


WASHINGTON – “These are ungrateful ignoramuses. Never has the term ‘public servant’ been rendered more devoid of meaning.”

That was the succinct but scathing reaction of former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to the findings in a survey in a Washington Post article titled, “Washington’s ‘governing elite’ think Americans are morons.”



Michelle Bachmann

The survey found most of the bureaucrats and Capitol Hill staffers who run the federal government think public opinion should be largely ignored on policy decisions.

The Johns Hopkins University political scientists who did the survey found, “Many civil servants expressed utter contempt for the citizens they served.”

The Post called the results “eye-popping,” adding, “On a wide range of issues, bureaucrats believe that Americans are ignorant.”

Bachmann told WND, “Only people in secure, insulated, well-paid jobs with generous pensions and healthcare benefits can afford to look down their noses at the people who provide for them a lifestyle they could never acquire for themselves in the private marketplace.”

It’s not just contempt for the public. It’s contempt for Congress, too, according to someone who should know.

Former Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, had an eye-opening and in-person experience with that, telling WND, “In the ’90s, I was not recognized as a congressman a lot of the time. And I’d go out with staffers and socialize all the time.”

“I’d say, ‘How’s your boss?’ They’d say, ‘Oh man is he a jerk,’ never realizing I was a congressman.”


Steve Stockman

Stockman described a particular time he was socializing with a group of staffers for a prominent conservative congressman who is still in office.

“They sat there telling me how their congressman was an idiot about education, as he was trying to reform education. They were going to make sure the education budget was increased, which ran totally counter to the congressman’s philosophy. And yet, they prevailed, not the congressman.”

“This happens again and again and again. It’s unbelievable. I was shocked,” he marveled.

Sometimes the contempt wasn’t even hidden; it was out in the open.

“I had one staffer, now in a lobbying firm, actually come out and tell me, ‘You are not the congressman. I am.’”

“I fired him,” Stockman continued. “And when he left, I found all my constituents’ letters in boxes everywhere. He wasn’t even responding. He didn’t even understand the correlation between getting elected and making your constituents happy.”

“Meanwhile,” he added, “congressmen are focused on fundraising and getting re-elected while staff and a lot of people behind the scenes are busy making powerful decisions against the wishes of the constituents.”

And those staffers and bureaucrats have real power. In a way, much more power than the elected representatives of the people.


Mike Lee

That was illustrated during an interview last year with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who told WND, “For every one page of law we pass, they pass 100.”

He described how regulations are written by unelected bureaucrats with little, if any, input from the people’s elected representatives in Congress.

Lee offered an even more graphic illustration, on display in the reception area of his D.C. office.

A small stack of 800 pages, comprising the bills passed in 2013, was dwarfed by a cabinet full of the 80,000 pages of proposed regulations those bills generated.

The 800 pages of laws were only a few inches tall. The 80,000 pages of regulations, when stacked end to end, were about 10 feet tall.


800 pages of bills on the floor in front of the 80,000 pages of regulations those bills generated

Empowering unelected lawmakers is not the only problem. Not having to answer to voters, bureaucrats can spend freely.

Lee observed that to comply with the hundreds-of-thousands of pages of regulations in existence, it costs the American economy $2 trillion a year.

That’s another reason why, Stockman told WND, “We should sunset all administrative law.”

He was referring to “sunset” laws that would automatically terminate regulations by a certain date unless they were renewed.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has proposed an even more sweeping solution.

As WND reported in August, during a speech detailing how to “Make America Great Again,” Trump proposed drastic reductions in regulations, along with tax cuts, to revive the economy.

Trump said he would cut regulations “massively.” He also called for a temporary moratorium on new federal regulations. The candidate shared the belief of many conservatives that the enormous number of existing regulations are a crushing burden on small businesses and have stunted the country’s economic growth.

Trump vowed to “ask each and every federal agency to prepare a list of all of the regulations they impose on Americans which are not necessary, do not improve public safety, and which needlessly kill jobs. Those regulations will be eliminated.”

He also called for the removal of bureaucrats and their replacement by “experts who know how to create jobs.”

Stockman told WND that a suggestion in the Post article to put term limits on bureaucrats and Capitol Hill staffers was “brilliant and long overdue.”

The former congressman summed up what he saw as the bottom line.

“The bureaucrats have always thought, and always will think, that the public are idiots.”


Are any of us really surprised by these revelations? It’s been obvious for some time that our government bureaucrats views the public masses (their employers) as idiots. And why shouldn’t they? Most of our citizens are oblivious to what’s going on in D.C. and while they may rant and rave about our do-nothing government, they aren’t engaged enough to consider doing anything about it. It’s why, in another post today, I wrote about us “getting the government we deserve.” As long as America’s citizenry continue to treat the election of our leadership as a name-recognition or popularity contest, we’ll continue to get non-leaders who are content to let the bureaucratic aides run the show and we will continue to justify their opinion of us as idiots.





Categories: Political


7 replies

  1. Who’s the bigger idiot?

    A. The average Joe who doesn’t understand how D.C. really works but re-elects the same old corrupt politicians anyway;


    B. The D.C. staffers and bureaucrats who know exactly how it works but do everything they can to keep it going (apparently they forget they are citizens too).


    • I’d like to see the question rephrased as “which group is more damaging to the country”: A. Average Joes or, B. Staffers and bureaucrats. My choice is B. The Average Joes may be idiots, but at least they aren’t intentionally hurting the country, whereas the staffers and bureaucrats know exactly what they’re doing and are continuing to do it to demonstrate their power and/or to benefit financially.


  2. It seems to me though that I have already made comment replies to other posts stating most of what is said above. I am now somewhat relieved that it is being recognized publicly by Bachman, Stockman, Lee and hopefully others who will also support Trump and press him to keep his words about reforming the ravages of unelected and unnaccountable bureaucrats.
    Freedom isn’t an experiment.
    Freedom is an inherent right established in the DNA of people who are created with the ability to choose between right and wrong, good and evil, and NOT to be confobulated into a choice between the lesser of evils.
    Unless I am convicted of committing violent crimes or posing a fear of harm to persons or property – I am a free man, or a political prisoner or a slave to conditions I have not consented.


    • I know that this article must hit close to home for you, WT considering what you’ve had to endure at the hands of bureaucrats. I too hope that Trump will follow through on his promise, but asking the agencies themselves essentially what would be a “how much money do you need” question is a fantasy if he expects that they will volunteer to cut budgets – for the good of the country. That would mean less power and I don’t believe that any of them would voluntarily reduce their power – or their budgets.


  3. I wouldn’t say the public are idiots, but there are a lot of people who are ignorant of how things work in government. Some intentionally ignore it and others who are watching them are unaware of what goes on behind the scenes. It’s been obvious for many years that we need some major housecleaning to rid ourselves of the overpaid staffers and bureaucrats that think they’re in charge.

    Both Stockman and Lee sound as if they’re almost resigned to the fact that’s how things work, as if they were helpless to change it. They are the lawmakers – what are they waiting for?


    • I disagree, Kathy. I DO believe that a sizeable percentage of the public ARE idiots. It’s of their own choosing – they are “too busy” to get even superficially engaged even with a presidential election looming, but they’ll reserve the right to bitch when their choice flushes the country down the crapper.

      I can see where the congress-critters may find themselves between a rock and a hard place. It must be impossible for a rep or senator to read, follow all of the references, check the legalities, and arrive at an intelligent conclusion for each and every bill that is presented – they have to rely on staff. That said, it certainly does behoove each rep and senator to populate their staff with loyal, qualified individuals. I can’t understand how Stockman could have allowed that staff member to be part of his support group up until he was fired – Stockman must not have known what was going on within his own staff. That’s got to be on him.


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