What John DiIulio Said

I think this is too good to excerpt just read
“Want better, smaller government? Hire another million federal bureaucrats.”

by John DiIulio. He argues that the obsession with keeping the number of Federal civilian employees low has reduced efficiency and created powerful concentrated interests represented by powerful lobbies. The fact that he was “the first director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives”under W and assigned the task of replacing “bureaucrats” with non-profits makes his current argument more striking.

I have only one objection to the article. DiIulio argues that the too small workforce lead to poor performance by the Veterans’ Adminstration “And the recent scandal at Veterans Affairs hospitals, whose “contract officer’s representatives” are too few to properly monitor what the small armies of contractors at VA medical centers do.”

There are two problems with this example. Neither DiIulio nor anyone else has presented evidence that the VA provides other than the best health care in the USA. The scandal is what the VA did compared to VA standards not compared to other US health care providers.

Also if the example were valid (which it isn’t) it would tend to undermine DiIulio’s argument. The VA relies much more on public sector employees to perform services directly than the rest of the US system does. If it provided worse care than Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, out of pocket or charity, the case for public provision of services would be weakened.

The two errors cancel. the case of the VA provides strong support for DiIulio’s proposal (as does the case of Medicare Advantage and Fannie & Freddie state owned vs privatized and … way too many examples to list).