The headline from the pollster Gallup a few months ago summed it up: “Americans Losing Confidence in All Branches of U.S. Government.”
Even though an astonishing number of things work well, voters and certainly the media tend to focus on what isn’t working. The failure in 2013 of the launch of the president’s health care plan was a perfect example of an unacceptable failure, especially given the $2.1 billion spent to date on the website. This month we learned that the IRS cannot protect Americans’ Social Security numbers and will likely lose $21 billion taxpayer dollars to fraud. Then there’s “the list” that seems to grow every day.
- The scandal at Veterans Affairs
- The NSA spying scandal
- The billions wasted on the failed F-35 by the Pentagon
- A loss of $22 billion on student loan plans
- The IRS hires the incompetent contractor that built the failed Healthcare.gov website
- $104 billion in failing Afghanistan reconstruction
- $100 billion in improper entitlement payments
- $1 billion in “administrative leave” for federal workers
The United States government no longer works the way the American people need it to. Like an old computer trying to run the latest software, its archaic internal systems – from personnel policies to regulatory regimes to the budgeting process – are ill suited to a fast-moving 21st Century world. Something has to change if Washington is to help the single largest economy on the planet continue to function smoothly while keeping its people safe and prosperous.
The United States needs a Reboot.
Starting today, The Fiscal Times launches the “Reboot America” project, a year-long conversation that will bring together some of the smartest minds from around the country to explore ways to reshape the U.S. government into the set of systems and institutions its citizens need to endure and thrive.
With insights from people who have been in the trenches of the U.S. government, as well as ideas from our readers who will be invited to participate in a special forum to share their solutions for improving government, “Reboot America” offers cutting-edge and practical solutions to the myriad problems facing the U.S. government today.
America's 21st Century Challenge: Restoring Faith in Government – Eric Pianin and Rob Garver, The Fiscal Times
How the Federal Budget Process Mutated from a Civil Process to a Political Weapon - Robert D. Reischauer, former Congressional Budget Office director.
How Many Agencies Does It Take to Change A Lightbulb? - Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK).
Competition v. Complacency – Let the Best Team Win - Eric Schnurer, president of Public Works.
6 Ways to Recruit and Retain a Top Federal Workforce - Rob Garver, The Fiscal Times’ national correspondent.
When Dark Money Buys Votes - Bruce F. Freed and Karl Sandstrom of the Center For Political Accountability.
The Federal Tech Mess Is Costing Taxpayers Billions - David Francis, staff writer, Foreign Policy Magazine
How to Make Government Regulation Less Burdensome - by Eric Schnurer, president of Public Works.
Federal Waste, Fraud and Abuse: No One Pays the Price - Brianna Ehley, The Fiscal Times’ Washington Correspondent.
How Stupid, Redundant, Obsolete Laws Are Paralyzing Us - Philip K. Howard, founder of Common Good and author, The Rule of Nobody.
The aim of the “Reboot America” project is to start a conversation about preserving what works in the federal government, and fixing what’s broken. The articles that launch today are only the first step in a long journey that, we hope, will lead to a smarter, more efficient United States government—one ready to help the nation meet and exceed the expectation of a public that has become too cynical about our democracy.
America is an innovative society—couple that with smart management and an unwavering respect for the electorate and the U.S. will meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.