- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Brushing aside government scandals from the IRS to the Veterans Administration, President Obama told senior bureaucrats Tuesday that critics often rail against federal employees for the sake of “political opportunism.”

“You work under tough circumstances,” Mr. Obama said, “whether it’s sequestration, pay freeze, shutdown, and more importantly, a political climate where folks too often talk down government for cheap applause.”

He blamed the GOP and the media for much of the administration’s challenges. 

“It’s going to continue to be easy copy for the press to focus on the one thing that goes wrong, instead of the 99 things that go right,” Mr. Obama said. “There’s not going to be a lot of new money flowing. There is going to continue to be ideological battles for those who think that the market is king and there’s no room for any kind of regulatory efforts to make our air and water cleaner or to make our workers be in a safer work environment.”

The administration last month issued a new proposed rule for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by power plants, often called “the most expensive” regulation in U.S. history.

The president started his speech to more than 2,800 government employees at the Washington Hilton by joking that he wished he had arrived “bearing raises and perks, but I can’t.” He didn’t touch on the various government scandals that have touched his administration, but he did say Americans “don’t trust government like we used to.”

“Part of that is a very deliberate strategy of trying to undermine government, part of it is political opportunism,” Mr. Obama said. “But part of it is our need to constantly adapt to the demands of the 21st Century.”



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