Opportunities to Simplify Government in the New Year

The new year offers several signs that Common Good’s message of simplifying government will resonate in 2018.

Later this month, the Administration is expected to issue an infrastructure plan, including details on its goal to streamline the federal permitting process to two years. Gary Cohn, Director of the White House National Economic Council, recently noted that the “biggest single thing we can do for infrastructure in this country is we can shorten and improve the approval process.”

The New York Times has published several articles detailing bureaucratic ineptitude, overbearing regulation, and uncaring VA decisions driven by metrics.

  • Each new mile of New York City subway track costs seven times the average elsewhere in the world and is staffed by as many as four times more workers.
  • Layers of federal regulation imposed on produce growers exceed their capacity to comply. As one apple grower explained, it’s not about de-regulation, it’s about applying regulations intelligently.
  • Veteran’s hospitals turned away high-risk patients and admitted only the lowest-risk ones in order to improve their metrics used by the VA to grade hospitals.

All of these problems, from infrastructure to healthcare, result from the same governing impulse to focus on mindless compliance.

Originally published in the January 9th,, 2018 edition of the Common Good Newsletter – sign up here to receive these updates straight to your inbox

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