Thursday, June 30, 2016

The dawn of the Treppin' age

TPM is doing a feature series on the "privatization" movement. If you're like me, you might be so old you actually remember some of this stuff.  If not, well, see here. 
Writing in 1997, the Heritage Foundation’s Ron Utt (who had been Reagan’s “privatization czar”) praised Clinton for pursuing “the boldest privatization agenda put forth by any American president to date,” and noted that his proposals were “virtually all drawn from recommendations made in 1988 by President Reagan’s Commission on Privatization.” In 2006 Reason Foundation’s Robert Poole declared that “the Clinton administration’s privatization successes exceeded those of Reagan.”

In the first year of his administration Clinton assigned Vice President Gore to oversee a major initiative to “reinvent” government under the auspices of an intergovernmental task force, the National Performance Review (NPR). Clinton embraced the ideas popularized by David Osborne and Ted Gaebler, in their 1992 bestseller Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit Is Transforming the Public Sector, and later on by a follow-up book by Osborne and Peter Plastrik, Banishing Bureaucracy.

The Gore initiative was about making the federal government more effective, but the idea of privatization was also baked in from the start, as it was in Osborne and Gaebler’s work.
The Clinton years were dark times. (All the times are pretty dark.) The next Clinton age is going to be a real doozy.

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