I receive breaking news from Politico.com (great website, btw). Yesterday I got the following alert:
Addressing the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack from Hawaii, President Obama acknowledged failures in gathering intelligence that could have prevented it. “When our government has information on a known extremist and that information is not shared and acted on as it should have been,” Obama said, “a systemic failure has occurred, and I consider that unacceptable.” The president blamed the incident on “a mix of human and systemic failures.”
I’ll go out on a limb and predict the following… the left will blame Bush, the right will blame government in general and/or Obama. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s have a real discussion…
Government is a necessary element to a free and stable society. Whether protecting the population from terrorist attacks or regulating the banking system, government needs to work. The most amazing thing is that despite the billions of dollars spent on agencies including Homeland Security and regulatory agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, we continue to see examples in which these bodies fail in their primary mission.
It strikes me that the tired old argument of more government vs. less government is just a red herring that needs to stop. The real discussion that our leaders should be how do we make our existing government work?
This is not politically sexy and can’t be solved by political zingers or by just throwing money at the problem. In fact, most of the changes that will need to be made will come from the agencies themselves and from dedicated career government workers who are trying to get a job done, but need to deal with a regular shifting of people and priorities that are politically decided when a new president is elected.
Bureaucracy has been demonized as a word and therefore becomes a political weapon against any politician that gets serious about government reform.
Idiotic and politically charged statements such as “government death panels” galvanize an already leery segment of the population that sees government as an overarching radical entity that is out to get the individual. This environment makes it tough to tackle real reform that is desperately needed.
Government is here to stay. It is necessary. The size and scope is debatable. However, it’s time for both sides of the political spectrum to come together and demand a common goal… government that is both efficient and effective.
Just my humble opinion – Glenn