The Obama years have seen the rise of the federal bureaucracy to new heights of power over our lives.

So it should not come as a surprise that in issuing a veto threat last night to the VA Accountability Act, the president is siding with the bureaucrats?

The bill, authored by Florida Republican Rep. Jeff Miller would make it easier to fire corrupt or incompetent employees at the Department of Veterans Affairs.  A previous bill made it easier to fire higher officials. This one would make it easier to give a pink slip to lower-ranking VA bureaucrats.

Can't have a government worker held responsible, now can we?

James Freeman writes in today's Wall Street Journal ("Obama Backs the Bureaucrats"):

But government-employee unions don’t like the new Miller bill, and perhaps the President has decided that the scandal has faded far enough in the public memory that he can now safely oppose reform. When the scandal was generating headlines last year, the President talked about accountability, his intolerance for VA misconduct and the public’s desire for a “swift reckoning.” But now apparently he reckons that the VA can function just fine while leaving most of its workforce untouched.

Mr. Miller is, to say the least, not satisfied that there has even been a full accounting of problems at the VA, never mind fixing all of them or firing all the rotten apples in the department’s workforce. Earlier this month the Associated Press noted that an “internal report by the agency’s Health Eligibility Center says about 238,000 of the 847,000 veterans with pending applications for VA health care are likely deceased. The applications go back nearly two decades and some applicants may have died years ago, although there is no way to tell for sure when or why the person died, the VA said.”

It’s hard to think of a more appalling government failure than the tragedy of veterans dying while federal workers review their applications for care. Still, the White House argues that the Miller bill would “dramatically impair VA’s ability to recruit top talent.”

So let me try to understand: is it "top talent" types who have created the fiasco at the VA, a mess that denies life-saving treatments to men and women who have put their lives on the line for our country?

Freeman concludes:

This suggests a fundamental management problem that goes beyond even the VA. Perhaps the next Miller bill should instruct the executive branch that potential employees put off by the idea that they might be fired for letting a patient die while they process his paperwork are not “top talent.”

This also reveals the pro-federal bureaucrat bias of an administration that governs through promulgating regulations through bureaucracies that their friends in the bureaucracy relentlessly enforce. Bureaucrats are loyal to the administration and the administration is loyal to them, even incompetent ones. It's a win-win for everybody but the American citizen.