May 21, 2013 •
Knowing People in High Places
They say it is good to know people in high places.
In 2009 my twin brother Ted and I decided to make a trip to Washington, DC and to take our dad, who had never visited the city before. Ted and I have visited numerous times and so we got busy making up a list of our favorite places to visit and things that Dad really should see. Dad mentioned to some church friends all of us have known for many years that he was taking this trip with us. They offered to connect us with their son-in-law, an employee of the Office of Management and Budget, who might be able to take us on a tour of the White House.
It turns out that particular day the White House had already arranged for public tours of the grounds, so we could not tour the mansion itself. Our friends’ son-in-law graciously agreed to escort us around the grounds. At the appointed time the three of us, along with former State and Federal Communications, Inc. temporary employee Andrew Houk, who was completing a Master’s Degree at George Washington University at the time, met at the corner of 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue and began our tour. Our guide’s credentials enabled us to not wait in the extremely long line of people.
Our guide proved to be not only knowledgeable, but friendly, down-to-earth, and an all around great guy. In our conversation I found him very bright, engaging, articulate, ambitious, and hard working. He was awaiting Senate confirmation to the position of Comptroller of the Office of Management and Budget. In short, I was very impressed.
Earlier this year he was named the point person at OMB to coordinate the agency spending cuts that are part of the federal sequestration. Not an enviable position. Today I read that he was appointed by President Obama to be the interim director of the Internal Revenue Service. Perhaps a less enviable position.
I have every confidence that Danny Werfel will do an outstanding job in his new role, and I plan to do some more name dropping as I engage in the many lively political debates that seem to go hand-in-hand with our business. And… I will triple check next year’s federal income tax return!
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