@BillMoyersHQ: How Republicans Are Creating a Crisis of Competence in Government

In January of 2001, a blue-ribbon Senate committee headed by Sens. Gary Hart (D-CO) and Warren Rudman (R-NH) released a report that would become famous for its prescient warning that “the persistence of international terrorism will end the relative invulnerability of the US homeland to catastrophic attack.”

But what most people don’t remember is that the Hart-Rudman report also cautioned that “the United States finds itself on the brink of an unprecedented crisis of competence in government” that made such an attack more likely to succeed. Blaming a variety of factors for a “decay” in “the human resources of government,” the committee concluded that Americans’ “declining orientation toward government service” is “deeply troubling.”

In the new issue of The Washington Monthly, Paul Glastris and Haley Sweetland Edwards look at how Republicans have deepened that crisis by gutting congressional staff — the faceless research, oversight and policymaking apparatus that makes the government function. Conservatives, they write, have engineered a “debilitating brain drain” that has “been under way in Congress for the past 25 years.”

Curated from billmoyers.com

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