Today, we nominate Time Magazine columnist Joe Klein for the Now They Tell Us Award.
Klein reports that the Obama administration has been failing at the task of governance. Taxing President Obama with incompetence Klein explains that, under his leadership, the government has failed at implementing programs.
Considering that Barack Obama came to the presidency without any executive experience, this should surprise no one. It would be a better world if media stars had pointed out Obama’s incompetence when we could have done something about it.
Anyway, Klein points out correctly that the Kathleen Sebelius-led Department of Health and Human Services is not up to the job of implementing Obamacare.
Klein reports on its manifest incompetence:
Let me try to understand this: the key incentive for small businesses to support Obamacare was that they would be able to shop for the best deals in health care superstores — called exchanges. The Administration has had three years to set up these exchanges. It has failed to do so.
This is a really bad sign. There will be those who argue that it’s not the Administration’s fault. It’s the fault of the 33 states that have refused to set up their own exchanges. Nonsense. Where was the contingency planning? There certainly are models, after all — the federal government’s own health-benefits plan (FEHBP) operates markets that exist in all 50 states. So does Medicare Advantage. But now, the Obama Administration has announced that it won’t have the exchanges ready in time, that small businesses will be offered one choice for the time being — for a year, at least.
Since Obamacare is the president’s signature accomplishment, making it work must be a top priority. It is altogether possible, as some have suggested, that it will become Obama’s Iraq War.
Since the Republican Party was hurt by its failure to conduct a successful military operation, it makes sense that the big government Democratic Party would be undermined by its failure to run the government.
In Klein’s words:
But, as a Democrat — as someone who believes in activist government — he has a vested interest in seeing that federal programs actually work efficiently. I don’t see much evidence that this is anywhere near the top of his priorities.
It is not just about Obamacare. Klein expands the list:
But we are now seeing weekly examples of this Administration’s inability to govern. Just a few weeks ago, I reported on the failure of the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs to come up with a unified electronic health care records system. There has also been the studied inattention to the myriad ineffective job-training programs scattered through the bureaucracy. There have been the oblique and belated efforts to reform Head Start, a $7 billion program that a study conducted by its own bureaucracy — the Department of Health and Human Services — has found nearly worthless. The list is endless.
Of course, it isn’t news that the Head Start program is worthless. And yet, it is impossible to criticize because it is so easy to demagogue. What politician wants to take a stand against helping young children to learn?
One doubts that Republicans are going to heed his counsel, but Klein's advice makes sense. Instead of trying to shrink the government they should emphasize making it work better. Of course, a government that works better would more easily shed worthless and inefficient programs.