Settlement money

Government Employee To Fed: Defund My Agency, Save Yourselves Some Money

One government employee doesn’t seem to think that the taxpayers are getting anything out of his agency. Mike Marsh wrote to Congress over the summer with a highly unusual request: Save yourselves some money and fire me along with everyone I work with.

“I have concluded that (my agency) is a congressional experiment that hasn’t worked out in practice,” wrote Marsh. “I recommend that Congress put its money elsewhere.”

Marsh is the inspector general for the Denali Commission, an economic-development agency based in Alaska, reports The Washington Post.

There have been only two other attempts by federal workers to get their agencies defunded, and believe it or not, both failed (meaning they kept their jobs). Marsh is likely to fail as well, but not before creating a hostile work environment over at Denali.

When the Post called for comment, no one seemed to know that Marsh had written Congress and asked them to pull funding. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during that phone call.

In any case, Marsh’s letter has been praised by some observers. Reason’s blog called him a “hero.” Even the Washington Post was oddly supportive of the call to fold Denali, citing its history as a “channel for a great river of pork,” what with $150 million in earmark spending flowing through the agency back in 2006.

It was a “pet project” of Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska when it started, but after he lost re-election in 2008 (he died two years later), Denali’s appropriation has shrunk to just over $10 million, and even that’s too much, Marsh argues.

For his part, he thinks that Denali could maintain and even thrive if it makes the shift to non-profit status, but when it comes to what the taxpayers are getting out of the agency for their money, well, there just isn’t much to brag about.

You can check out a more in-depth study of the war over the Denali Commission here, or read Marsh’s incredibly interesting and persuasive letter for why he should be fired, complete with graphs and charts, here.

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