A Moment of Clarity.
"Washington is having one of its odd debates as to whether the Obama administration’s rollout of HealthCare.gov was worse than the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina. But whatever the answer, if there is one, the real story is that both are examples of a major, and depressing, trend: the declining competence of the federal government. Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve, has been saying for years that most Americans believe their government can no longer act effectively and that this erosion of competence, and hence confidence, is a profound problem.
...Over the past decade, the federal government has had several major challenges: Iraq, Afghanistan, a new homeland security system, Katrina and Obamacare. In almost every case, its performance has been plagued with mismanagement, massive cost overruns and long delays. This was not always so. In the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, federal agencies were often lean, well managed and surprisingly effective. Paul Hoffman, the administrator of the Marshall Plan, pointed out that his monumental project came in on time and under budget.
...Some worry that if government works too well, we’ll want more of it. Instead, they simply want to starve the beast. But so much of what government is doing badly cannot be outsourced, privatized or abolished. National security, after all, is the core province of the federal government. , If you add in private contract and grant jobs, about 15 million people are executing the laws, mandates and functions of the federal government. Perhaps that number can be trimmed. But surely the more urgent and important task is to make sure that they are working as effectively and efficiently as they possibly can."
THE WASHINGTON POST: Why Americans hate their government