Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Reforms for Good Government

David Brooks argues effectively today about the decline of liberalism in a country and at a time when the forces should be gaining strength. The problem, of course, is that as much as Americans are outraged at Wall Street excess and the rise of oligarchy, they don't trust government solve the problem. Despite favorable opinions of many parts of government - such as Medicare, Social Security, Public Safety and Health - Americans don't see it as a force for positive change in society. In essence, Brooks argues:

There is no Steve Jobs figure in American liberalism insisting that the designers keep government simple, elegant and user-friendly. Sailors scrub their ships. Farmers clear weeds. Democrats have not spent a lot of time scraping barnacles off the state.

However, there are some voices in the wilderness. And one who could provide this leadership is currently the governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper. The Denver Post reports today that Hickenlooper is trying to do just that with a plan to remove a lot of the red tape that bogs down job growth in the state. This is just good policy, as the Post reported when Hickenlooper was asked about supporting a tax increase for the strapped budget:

"Before you turn around and put your hands out to voters and say you want more resources," the governor said recently, "you better be able to demonstrate that you're running your ship as efficiently as it can be run."
Hickenlooper for months has said citizens have to believe government is operating as efficiently as possible before that could happen.

So, hopefully there are some leaders on the horizon who can preserve the value of government without exercising the unnecessary vitriol unleashed in the GOP primaries.

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