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1. Yup, this. The important part of Warren's plan is the cost-sharing Medicare portion. Of course, that's not really about Medicare for All, it's about addressing corruption among providers. My concern over Medicare for All is as follows. The government is broken.
2. When we implemented Medicare in the 1960s, we had a bureaucracy used to doing big things. Building up a massive arms industry with relatively little corruption, going to the moon, building highways. Being in government was a high honor.
3. In my research for Goliath, I spoke with one of Patman's investigators, Curtis Prins. He told me he used to travel around the country with blank subpoenas, but he didn't have to use them because people had so much respect for Congress. He just uncovered scam after scam.
4. Even though the Reagan and Bush I administrations, the government civil service was truly a jewel of performance. American government was amazing. Not perfect, but very good at doing what it sought to do. But then came... Reinventing Government...
5. Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and Newt Gingrich ripped the guts out of our government. They killed Congressional think tanks and committee staff. Wrecked defense procurement agencies. Privatized core functions like IT. Most obvious in the military. theamericanconservative.com/articles/ameri…
6. Neither Bush II nor Obama fixed any of it, and in many cases made it worse. That's why the Boeing 737 Max, flavored vaping crises, no prosecutions on Wall Street, collapse of antitrust enforcement and opioids occurred on both of their watch. Collapse of operational integrity.
7. By 2014, the joke on the right about the Obamacare website disaster was that FDR won World War II faster than it took Obama to set up a website. And that joke was accurate.
8. During the ACA web site fiasco, the contractor setting up some of the websites had a *party* as the fiasco occurred, because they knew they'd be reaping profits for years to fix what they hadn't built well in the first place. So... who is going to do Medicare for All?
9. Government has been McKinsey-ified. And McKinsey is *terrible* at operations, they are suave crooks. We need to recognize that if we are going to have the government *DO* anything it must be rebuilt. Not reinventing government but REBUILDING government.
10. McKinsey-style consultants and economists created an additional problem. They use fake rigor to mask corruption. So what's happened is that a lot of people can no longer tell the difference between doing rigorous work and being corrupt.
11. Obama isn't rigorous or a deep thinker, and his team largely focused on pretending to be wonks instead of doing real work. The Obama years were a reality show, but an Aaron Sorkin-style reality show where the characters played wonks on TV. Liberals still don't get that.
12. There is no perfect candidate because the task before us is varied. It requires a mass movement, but it also requires real operational, legal and bureaucratic rigor. The problem is people associate real legal rigor with the corruption and sloth of the Obama years.
13. Every time an elite lawyer has a plan based on detailed readings of law and rules promising to help people, the net result is your factory goes away, your kid gets addicted to drugs, or Democrats get crushed. But that's a problem of con artistry, not the rule of law!
14. So it becomes easy to toss the term neoliberal at Elizabeth Warren, because she is an elite lawyer who uses rigor and bureaucratic tools. That seems so Obama-like, right? Except she used those tools to fight power, and he faked using those tools so he could serve power.
15. Just to give one example of how awful Obama was as a bureaucratic leader, he fired Ag Dept employee Shirley Sherrod after Andrew Breitbart posted a doctored video clip about something she said. Obama fired her. He did this routinely, firing bureaucrats he found embarrassing.
16. "I don't stand behind aggressive and honest workers" was the message everyone in government received from Obama. That's a clear leadership mandate, to appear to be working rather than to actually work. Because if you actually try to change things, Obama will fire you.
17. Fixing this culture is not an instant process, but it needn't take that long. Sheila Bair fixed the FDIC fairly quickly by demonstrating leadership after years of neglect. FDR constructed an administrative state quite rapidly. Military reformers fixed the Pentagon in the 80s.
18. At any rate, regardless of who the next President is, people need to realize just how hollowed out our government is, and how badly cowed our remaining civil servants are. There's still a lot of excellence there. But bureaucratic hard-charging leaders are essential.
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