Letter: The reality is that there really is a ‘deep state.’ I used to be a part of it.

FILE - This April 13, 2014, file photo shows the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) headquarters building in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

I read with interest the recent Tribune article about fringe politics and the participation of the Utah Eagle Forum in some of those activities here in Utah. The article spoke with disdain about the Forum’s emphasis on the “deep state.”

It’s easy to disparage the idea of the “deep state” because, so often, the misinformed insist that it refers to virtually anything they do not like, e.g., liberals. That paints with far too broad a brush, of course, but the reality is that there really is a “deep state.”

I know because I used to be a part of it, and it consists of the federal government civil service bureaucracy. Many of the employees in that bureaucracy, even at fairly low levels in the hierarchy, wield enormous power, and their civil service status largely protects them from being removed — even when serious mistakes are made.

During my early employment with the Office of Chief Counsel for the IRS in Washington, D.C., for example, I had fairly unrestricted discretion to determine which of our losing cases would be appealed to a higher court, and I thus had substantial power to shape tax policies for the entire nation, alas.

There are no doubt serious difficulties with this approach, but I have no good ideas for any solution.

It does seem clear, however, that the deep state will live on.

Thomas N. Thompson, Salt Lake City

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