This quote appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel last month, from a press conference Thompson gave after he announced his resignation.
"Out here, in this department, you get an idea and you have to vet it with all the division heads and the 67,000 employees. . . . then it goes over to the supergod in our society, and the supergod is O.M.B. [Office of Management and Budget.] And they turn you down nine times out of 10, just to show you who the boss is. Then it goes to the young intelligentsia of the White House, who don't believe that anything original or good can come from a cabinet secretary. And if you do get by them, it goes to the president. And if the president does agree with it, it goes on to the Congress, and if Congress ever does pass it, it's time to retire."