Thursday, October 10, 2013

Looking for Unicorns

It's a fundamental tenet of conservative thought that government is rarely able to do anything efficiently and is usually unable to do it well. In fact, the very fact that it does what it does with other people's money and the fact that individuals who prove themselves incompetent are rarely held accountable virtually guarantees that any large government undertaking will be a bureaucratic nightmare.

If anyone scoffs at this claim all one need do to silence the scoffer is to point to the Obamacare rollout as a case in point.

It turns out that the software to enroll people on the exchanges was not only poorly designed, it was designed by different teams at different ends of the system, and, worst of all, despite having had almost four years to get it right, it was apparently never thoroughly tested. As a result, trying to find someone who successfully enrolled on the federal website a week after it opened is, the Washington Post drolly observes, like looking for a unicorn.

The administration's lame excuse that demand was unexpectedly high got this riposte from the editors at USA Today:
[Todd] Park [the administration's chief tech advisor] said the administration expected 50,000 to 60,000 simultaneous users. It got 250,000. Compare that with the similarly rocky debut seven years ago of exchanges to obtain Medicare drug coverage. The Bush administration projected 20,000 simultaneous users and built capacity for 150,000. That's the difference between competence and incompetence.
The Obama administration has been a laboratory in which the premise that liberal/socialist big government will usher in something approximating the millenial kingdom has actually been tested. Unfortunately for government enthusiasts the most liberal administration ever to accede to power in the U.S. has manifestly failed the test. Not only has the current bunch in the White House revealed itself to be arguably one of the most dishonest, most corrupt, and most lawless administrations in our nation's history, it has also demonstrated itself to be among the most inept.

Maybe there's no connection between liberalism and the embarrassing shortcomings we see on display in Washington. The bungled rollout, the repeated scandals, the incessant falsehoods, the President's dictatorial and alarmingly unconstitutional revisions to the AFA (as well as his refusal to enforce other laws passed by the people's representatives)- maybe they're all, in the end, really George Bush's fault.