Can you imagine the screams of laughter during the White House meeting that hatched the idea to promote our great big government as more accountable, efficient, and transparent than ever?¹ Someone needs to tell the big brains hanging around the Oval Office that better government does not mean doing whatever you want, creating an environment where the abuse of government can flourish, and then telling Americans all about it in the name of transparency.
Washington is more transparent than we can stand.
There is some truth behind the president’s assurances:
But we’ve made huge swaths of your government more efficient and more transparent, and more accountable than ever before.²
Yes, our government is more transparent. We can see the flaws, faults, and failure with a clarity that is hard to bear. Washington likes to sell these things because they hold open the door to even more big government meddling (see: Government Sells Failure With Lies and Blame), something taxpayers should refuse to buy but many still vote to obtain.
How about government being more accountable?
The hoax of our new, more accountable government.
Getting caught and admitting what you did is not the same thing as being held accountable. Criminals plead guilty every day not because they want to set things right, but because they expect leniency.
Our government has become fearless when it comes to accepting blame, whether over waste and inefficiency, government abuses like spying on citizens, or IRS sloppiness in handling our money. Accountability also implies atonement. We haven’t seen much of that.
How can a new, better managed Washington do this?
Just think of what we have accomplished with better management of bad government. More accountability has brought us gems like the billions in Additional Child Tax Credits paid out to illegal immigrants, a vendetta at the IRS, a Department of Justice turned White House policymaker, and one more that throws the whole accountable, efficient, better managed government paradigm into the toilet. What happened to our new super-efficient, less costly health care system?
Is this an early apology for the failure of Obamacare?
Months before the exchanges were to be up and running and employers were scheduled to be crushed with penalties, charges, and paperwork, the failure of Obamacare is in full swing. As states struggled to get their exchanges online the crucial employer mandate was postponed. Is our bigger, badder health care system treading water while waiting for an overhaul, or is this proof positive that Congressional Democrats tore off a much bigger piece than they can choke down?
Obamacare may turn out to be our best argument yet that more government can never be better, even when it tells us what it is up to.