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Why are Democrats scared of government reform?

By Ed O'Keefe

Big government has become the big issue on the campaign trail as Republicans look for ways of tying the sluggish economy to the Democrats, longtime government observer Paul Light writes today at On Leadership.

So why aren't Democrats will to take on government reform? Light lists five reasons:

1.) Democrats don't know how to do it. "It is difficult to assemble, hard to explain, and has that 'my-eyes-glaze-over' quality," he concludes.
2.) The staffs at the two key drafting committees in Congress don't have the expertise to design a comprehensive package.
3.) Democrats are scared of the federal and state employee unions. "Democrats should bring the unions in for a tough conversation about next steps," Light says.
4.) Democrats don't want to take on the lobbyists who exploit the byzantine government hierarchy at will.
5.) Democrats don't want to take on their own committees. "Committees love government failure. It makes for good press, big-ticket campaign coverage, and strings of investigatory hearings," he says. (Very true.)

Read Light's full column and leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 26, 2010; 10:10 AM ET
Categories:  Oversight  
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Here is my off-the-top list of reasons why people and groups that claim to be pro-gov't reform, "look other way" at my well-evidenced claims that 31 years of lawbreaking as U.S. office of Special Counsel and u.S. Merit Systems Protection Board (see for a summary) instead of expending the political capital to have my concerns substantiated or dispelled:

1) not invented here - the Gov't Reform/Watchdog discounts me for not being one of them

2) it would not reflect well on "name" Gov't reform/Watchdog people and organizations if my concerns are substantiated - they would come across as dysfunctional as the gov't for not identifying them. That could hurt their fundraising - I must be the devil himself!

3) they exploit the current broken system - it creates a need for them.

4) It reflects Washington at its worst, if my concerns are substantiated - an elite, back-scratching, selfish people who do not give a damn about Country

5) if my concerns are substantiated it would give a black eye to legal profession and its code of ethics for allowing hundreds of gov't lawyers to "look other way" at laws they should have known were not being implemented properly, but who cited "legal ethics" to do nothing about it.

6) If I am right, it would resurrect all the "whistleblowers of christmas past" to haunt Congress and administration, seeking redress.

Joe Carson

Posted by: jpcarson2 | August 26, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

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