It’s Called “Governing”

While approximately 23% of the American public and roughly half of the political elite is hell-bent on dismantling and destroying the government that our founders and our predecessors have bequeathed unto us, using methods and theories that bear an uncanny resemblance to medieval bloodletting, I think it’s worth remembering that tens of thousands of people are working hard at the nuts-and-bolts, everyday business of governing well.

That includes, among other things, looking at what we’ve done in the past, whether it still makes sense, and changing or removing practices and policies that … don’t. From the OMB:

In January 2011, the President issued a historic Executive Order, setting forth new cost-saving, burden-reducing requirements for federal regulations, and requiring an ambitious government-wide “lookback” at existing regulations. In response to that requirement, over two dozen agencies identified more than 500 reforms. Agencies have already proposed or finalized more than 100 of them. …

  • On May 21, the Department of Agriculture streamlined its meat and poultry labeling approval process, creating a new, web-based electronic alternative to paper applications, making the process faster, cheaper, and more accurate.
  •  The Federal Railroad Administration plans to eliminate unjustified regulations imposed on the railroad industry, streamlining and simplifying existing requirements and saving hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is finalizing today a rule eliminating a reporting requirement imposed on truck drivers, doing away with roughly thirty-eight million reports annually – an amount that represents over $50 million in annual paperwork savings.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to eliminate burdensome and unnecessary requirements for mortgage insurance, thus enhancing consumer choice, reducing administrative and paperwork burdens on HUD and the borrowers, and producing savings for prospective borrowers.

I don’t know anything about these particular issues. I do know that the hysteria about zombie regulations is not solved by…getting hysterical about zombie regulations. It’s solved by nitty-gritty, in-the-trenches, hard work. (Something that “conservatives” should admire, no?)

This isn’t about childishly simplistic notions of magic-bullet revenue cuts causing miraculously sensible spending cuts. It’s about doing the real work of making government work.

Government is not the problem.

Bad government is the problem.

Good government is the solution.