Thursday, February 28, 2013

Al's Back Reinventing Government

Government Executive reports Al Gore will speak at a 20th anniversary event of his "Reinventing Government".   Though I voted for the guy, 3 times actually, I didn't and don't think much of his initiative. Why?
  • one big thing was government procurement credit cards.  A fine idea, except someone forgot to include oversight functions to catch fraud, abuse, and screwups.  Those had to be added later, after news reports which gave bureaucrats a bad name.
  • another big thing was flattening the bureaucracy, reducing the number of layers. I'd like to see a GAO analysis comparing now with 20 years ago.  My bet is there's been no real change.
  • a small thing--getting rid of agricultural programs.  As I remember, he got the honey loan program and the wool/mohair incentive programs.  Last I checked, Congress had replaced both. 
More generally, I thought he was too conservative in his approach, just adopting a few ideas which might be good, but didn't really reinvent government


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