Meaningful Government Reorganization

DURING HIS 1976 CAMPAIGN Jimmy Carter repeatedly promised to streamline the federal government, to amalgamate its agencies and to create such new “super agencies” as a Federal Department of Energy. In this, he simply followed the precedents set by every one of his predecessors since Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1936 campaign.

There is indeed need to overhaul the bureaucratic sprawl in Washington. But Mr. Carter’s proposals were unlikely to have any more impact on governmental performance than the proposals of his predecessors. Reshuffling the organization chart will not make a single agency more ...

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