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Public servants still work for us

If you have been following the news about the death of Prince Philip, you also know how much the royals depend on a vast staff to keep them living in the style to which they have become accustomed.

But if you think that kind of attitude is a relic from across the pond, and something we as Americans have risen above, you aren’t a very close observer of King Bureaucracy. At all levels of government, those who have managed to become public “servants” without actually being elected become institutions. They become part of the way things have always been done. And too many of them let that kind of power go to their heads.

Fortunately, we do live in a country where that sort of thing is frowned upon — once it becomes public.

In the case of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a State Department investigation has determined he and his wife violated federal ethics rules when they asked staff to run personal errands and perform non-official work for them.

The Pompeos had taxpayer-funded employees making restaurant reservations, shopping and taking care of their dog, among other things.

For the record, the Pompeos don’t think they’ve done anything wrong.

It seems as though it should go without saying, but the Pompeos actions have forced the inspector general to remind that “the standards prohibit any use of a subordinate’s time to perform personal activities unless compensation is paid.” These two are not alone, of course, but they serve as an important reminder. Our elected officials and the people they appoint serve us, not the other way around.

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