Pundits and Officials Call to Restore Accountability to Government

Government at every level can only work if officials have responsibility to act sensibly and are held accountable for results.

  1. In his book, Tailspin, Steven Brill details our nation’s decline over the last half-century into a “land of crumbling roads, galloping income inequality, bitter polarization and dysfunctional government.” Brill also explains that the current political system lacks responsibility and accountability, resulting in hamstrung bureaucracy and widespread frustration and apathy. The story is not all negative, however. Brill concludes by highlighting individuals and groups working for concrete, lasting improvements to our society, including the work of Philip Howard and Common Good. Brill describes Philip as an “unlikely champion . . . for restoring balance to the process of how government fulfills its responsibility to keep the country functioning.”
  2. In May, President Trump issued three executive orders to streamline civil service accountability and reduce some of the power of federal employee unions. Unfortunately, in August, a judge struck down most of the provisions of the orders, finding them in conflict with the 1978 Civil Reform Act. As the Partnership for Public Service has observed, the current civil service system “is a relic of a bygone era;” Common Good has concluded that the current system is unconstitutional and should be completely overhauled. In April, Philip Howard spoke on the issue at The Federalist Society’s Sixth Annual Executive Branch Review Conference. A video of the speech is available here.


Originally published in the May 29th, 2018 edition of the Common Good Newsletter – sign up here to receive these updates straight to your inbox