American Elephants


Obama Announced A New Agenda: “Smart Government!” by The Elephant's Child

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President Obama presented a new management agenda to distract whoever is still thinking about the NSA, various kinds of government surveillance, or paying attention to the outrage of France’s President Hollande who is shocked, shocked that the Unites States would sink so low as to engage in spying. The President wants his administration to be brimming over with new technology. He said when he first came to the White House he had a hard time keeping his Blackberry. Blackberry?

He has appointed the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer, Steve VanRoekel, who is working briskly “to innovate and apply the best technology to help solve some of our biggest challenges — from creating jobs to reducing health care costs to keeping our nation secure.”Well, there you go. A little technology will surely fix those challenges right up.

The American people, who apparently can’t be bothered to read the Bill of Rights, can now search through 75,000 data sets at Data.gov — “data on everything from what different hospitals charge for different procedures, to credit card complaints, to weather and climate measurements.”

You can even download from HHS data about health care providers that will help you find the closest doctors and hospitals. Your phone book might be out-of-date.

If there is one thing that governments aren’t good at, it is smart management. There is a long, long history. They are not good at innovation. They are not good about writing big important laws —Lord knows we have enough evidence of that. The reason our Constitution is so successful and has lasted so long, is because it gave the government only a few tasks to mess up. And the more they mess up one policy or program  the more need they feel to take on more.

Public Resource.org revealed this week that the IRS, yes that IRS, which is soon to take on the task of managing all of our medical records, has inadvertently exposed the Social Security numbers of as many as 100,000 taxpayers on a government website.

Just gives you all sorts of confidence, doesn’t it?

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