• Current civil service rules make it almost impossible to hire, promote, and fire based on merit. That has to change.
Government today is highly pressured and deals with tough, complicated problems. It needs to be able to recruit and retain first-rate talent; you don’t want a second-rate lawyer negotiating a nuclear arms treaty.
Unless we deal with these problems, failure is baked into the system. The American people have to demand that the President and the Congress not just enact legislation, but also implement and manage government programs effectively and efficiently.
Lee Hamilton is Director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years.