Broken Government?


The Center for Public Integrity thinks so. It published a new report today citing what it says are more than 125 systemic federal government failures during the Bush administration.

The stories highlighted in the report have been well publicized. Among them:

  • The failure of the government to regulate Wall Street.
  • FEMA’s failure to assist state and local governments following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.
  • Several aspects of the execution of the Iraq War and Global War on Terror, such as intelligence gathering, detainee torture, caring for vets and managing contracts.
  • Cronyism at the Minerals Management Service, Justice Department, HUD and other agencies.
  • Failures to inspect imported products and food.
  • Poor oversight of federal contracts.
  • The shortage of government staff to carry out the government’s mission.
  • The lack of information sharing between intelligence agencies

The report notes:

Some of these problems were in place well before George W. Bush’s inauguration, but were exacerbated by his policies or worsened by his administration’s actions (or inactions). Many of the failings are tied to Bush appointees who appear to have been selected primarily on the basis of ideology and loyalty, rather than competence.

The report goes on to say:

The administration has also displayed what’s at best a lukewarm interest in independent oversight, often siding with business over consumers and special interests over the public.


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