Step aside, FEMA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is appointing people with no experience to even more sensitive positions.
The Washington Post did some digging and found that HUD Secretary Ben Carson has promoted personal cronies to the highest paid positions at the department and immediately gave them raises.
Furthermore, these people have literally no relevant experience. According to the Post, some of them don't even have college degrees.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded promotions and pay increases to five political operatives with no housing policy experience within their first months on the job, demonstrating what government watchdogs and career staff describe as a premium put on loyalty over expertise.
The raises, documented in a Washington Post analysis of HUD political hires, resulted in annual salaries between $98,000 and $155,000 for the five appointees, all of whom had worked on Donald Trump’s or Ben Carson’s presidential campaigns. Three of them did not list bachelor’s degrees on their résumés.
The political hires were among at least 24 people without evident housing policy experience who were appointed to the best-paying political positions at HUD, an agency charged with serving the poorest Americans. They account for a third of the 70 HUD appointees at the upper ranks of the federal government, with salaries above $94,000, according to the Post review of agency records.
I am not exceptionally educated myself, at least not on paper, and I am generally against education shaming, but these are not ordinary positions. Some of these appointees are in a position to make decisions that affect millions of people.
According to the Post, these inexperienced appointees have been behind some of Carson's worst proposals that were eventually shelved or laughed out of the room by Congress.
For example, Carson's proposal to triple the rent for families receiving HUD subsidies was proposed by a young dipshit from the Heritage Foundation.
The plan was largely driven by Ben Hobbs, a special policy adviser in HUD’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, according to four people with knowledge of Hobbs’s role. Hobbs has no experience as a policymaker but spent three months as a graduate fellow in “welfare studies” at the conservative Heritage Foundation in 2016 and five months as a poverty consultant at the libertarian Charles Koch Institute in 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“As an ideologue, he wanted to institute his grandiose concept,” said a former HUD official. “This policy was dead on arrival because it was rolled out poorly.”
The department responded to the Post's story by saying these appointees were chosen for their diversity of opinion and experience, which is another way of saying they may not be qualified but they did spend a few nights in a Holiday Inn Express.
To be fair, the Post points out the Obama administration also occasionally hired people with unrelated experience, but those people never turned the department into a laughing stock. I think it's reasonable to say that we can accept slightly lower standards when the judgment of those doing the hiring can be relied on. I wouldn't rely on Ben Carson to change a lightbulb in a federal housing unit.