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June 24th, 2014
10:40 AM ET

Can government bureaucracy be effective?

Is government bureaucracy too large and unwieldy to be effective? S.E. Cupp explains.


FULL TRANSCRIPT

S.E. Cupp: The IRS, the NSA, DOJ, it’s just, are there any initials left for the government to defend?

Where exactly is big government bureaucracy actually working? In the past five years we’ve seen tremendous failures at the ATF, the Department of Energy, the IRS, the NSA, the DOJ, Health and Human Services, the State Department, and now the VA.

Democrats will tell us that the system works, and it’s just low level bureaucrats or rogue contractors that are the problem.

Well yeah isn’t that exactly the point? That when the system is so big, so unwieldy, so out of control, it’s impossible to manage all of those elements, and something’s going to fall through the cracks.

And now it’s not just costing American taxpayers, it’s costing American lives.

So if Republicans are smart, they’ll make Democrats in 2014 and 2016 answer not only to individual scandals, but to the larger question of “Where is your big government bureaucracy actually servicing the American people?” And I think Democrats are going to have a very tough time defending against that.

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Filed under: Reloaded • S.E. Cupp
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Mission impossible

    The Federal government and just about any enterprise that it controls, is inherently inefficient and ineffective. It's strange there is even a debate, but let Democrats run on ObamaCare/ACA

    The Federal government lacks any incentives or mechanisms to improve, that true free-markets have: competition, profit-motivation, ease of moving capital, merit-based pay, firing of the incompetent, limited funding (no printing of money).

    June 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm | Reply
    • kurt

      Again, fine in theory but it just doesn't follow reality.

      The reason insurers were so against the public option was that they didn't want to have to compete with the US government on insurance. The US government IS inefficient... but so is the free market when the competitors work in concert.

      And the reality is that's how most major industries work. Yes, your local restraunt maket is competitive and that does create efficiency. But the insurance and banking industries certainly aren't (the two I've been most directly involved with in my professional career). There are few competitors, the decision makers all know each other and they work in cahoots. What do you think the "professional conferences" are about? They talk about "standards" and "best practices"... but the reality is that's just code so that everyone knows what page they are supposed to be on and they can follow the same script for pricing and service provisions.

      Blue Cross, Cigna, Aetna... they aren't really competing against each other... not on prices at least. Nobody is dropping prices to try to take market share... because that's not in their best interest. They don't want to cause a price war that lowers EVERYONE's profits.

      And when you have a small number of competitors who refuse to compete on price.... then the inefficient government can actually perform better. That's why they fought the public option. If they were really so efficient they wouldn't need to... they'd just have a cheaper product. But the fact is they wouldn't... because their profit taking is GREATER then the inefficiency the government bureaucracy adds.

      July 7, 2014 at 8:44 am | Reply
  2. kurt

    The government bureaucracy is always inefficient.

    What people fail to realize is that sometimes the inefficiency is still better then the alternative. There is a reason the insurance companies fought so hard for the "public option" on the ACA exchanges. The reason is that inefficiency of the public option would still probably end up being cheaper then the private options. Why? Because the amount of PROFIT they take on top of their expenses makes their overall cost more expensive.

    Despite being more efficient in costs, their costs + profits total up to more then the inefficient government costs.

    And that's kind of sad... when the big inefficient government still comes out ahead of the private industry... due to greed. I would like a public option for EVERYTHING. Not because I think it would be better or cheaper... but because it would force private industry to come in below the "government inefficiency" cost. Right now the competition is all based on every company keeping a certain profit level in most industries... and in many case that "acceptable" profit level drives the price of that industry WAY higher then what it should be... even higher then what the inefficient government could do.

    June 25, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • kurt

      And when I said "for the public option"... I meant "against the public option". Oops.

      June 25, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Reply
      • Timmy Suckle "The Medical Cartel Puppet"

        I kissed my way up to CEO at a health insurance company. Now I take over $1,000,000 of your health care dollars for NO VALUE ADDED to your health care. And that’s just me. Now think about how many other CEOs, VPs, Directors, Managers, etc. are at my company alone. Now multiply that by thousands of others at hundreds of other health insurance companies. From 10 to 25% of your health care dollars go towards administration that adds NO VALUE to your health care. But my company’s PAC dollars will continue to fool you little people into thinking that a single payer system will be bad. Little people like you are so easy to fool. Little people also don’t realize that a single payer system is the ONLY system that would allow little people (as an entire country) to negotiate better health care prices. Little people don’t realize that the Medical Cartels already know that. And that is the reason why the Medical Cartels spend so much PAC money from the hospitals and doctors lobbying against a single payer system. Some little people say that a single payer system would cost you little people more. But if that were true, then wouldn’t the hospitals and doctors WANT that extra money? Yes they would. So why do the Medical Cartels lobby against a single payer system? It’s because the Medical Cartels know it would allow little people to negotiate better health care prices. And that’s what the Medical Cartels are afraid of. Period.
        But us big wigs at insurance companies, hospitals, and pharmacy companies don’t ever need to worry about health care no matter what it costs. We get our health care paid for one way or another by you little people. And we get the little people that work at our companies to contribute to our PACs. And us big wigs say it’s to protect the little peoples’ jobs. But in reality it would be in the little peoples’ best interest to NOT contribute to the PAC. Again, little people are so easily fooled. I won’t ever have to worry about losing my job with so many little people being brain washed by the Medical Cartels’ PAC money. Not only that, the Medical Cartels’ PAC money is used to elect so many republicans that will never allow a single payer system. Republicans have always fought against any meaningful health care reform. But that’s what our Medical Cartels’ PACs pay them for. Politicians can be bought so easily.
        Pretty soon the only people that will be able to afford health care is us big wigs. And that’s the way it should be. We don’t want you little people using up the resources when we need them. And once again, I thank you little people for capping my SS tax at the $117,000 level. Now I only pay 1.17% SS tax and you little people pay 6.2%. Also, thank you for extending my tax breaks. I’m using the extra money on my vacation houses.

        June 25, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • southerngent

      "And that's kind of sad... when the big inefficient government still comes out ahead of the private industry."

      Will never happen. Example given: ACA,, aka Obamacare. Private industry insurance = private overhead + multiple options = variable rates. Big government insurance = private overhead + limited options + unnecessary options + government mandates + government bureaucracy = private cost + inflated cost = inefficient cost, or in layman's term OUCH!

      July 6, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  3. CALIFORNIA

    Not when government literally breaks their own laws on a regular basis like they are now.

    June 25, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  4. Hector Slagg

    Sorely needed. A Huge Processing Center in Central America where we can transport all the illegals flooding our southern border. There they can be sent back to their country of origin. Now! Then deport all other illegals. Now!

    June 25, 2014 at 10:16 am | Reply
    • More people

      More people have been deported under Obama than Bush. What's your point?

      June 26, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
      • jsmoulder

        More people have entered the country illegally under obama than while Bush was in office. What;s your point?

        June 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
  5. David

    Government bureaucracy has always been a problem with free market types like myself. I like everyone else think it should be run better, but I also know that everything about the way it goes about it's business of selecting people violates free market principles so I should expect it to fail. There is no creative destruction. It is incredibly difficult to hire someone and virtually impossible to fire someone. They don't pay market rates for any senior level position or highly technical position (I am sure S.E. Cupp makes more money than anyone in government expect maybe the President) so if I believe in an economic rational person (which you have to to believe in free markets) I don't expect the government to get the caliber of people the private sector gets. Then even if they find enough people who give up pay to put service first they incentivize them all wrong. Bonuses are tiny compared to even low level managers in the private sector and they are always based on individual achievement not organizational ones. The reward for doing more with less is not a reward it is just less. You want to see a better bureacracy you need to massively reform the way civil servants are hired, fired, compensated and incentivized. Only truly expecational administrators can make a difference without that reform and nearly all of those are making $1 million plus a year in the private sector and are unlikely to take the pay cut to $174,000 just to be dragged in front of Congress about something that happenned before they got there. Fundamental change is needed and it isn't going to be popular (some people are going to make more money working for the government). Anything less is just smoke and mirrors trying to get a politician elected or the ramblings of someone who believes the prinicples of the free market can be violated and an organization still be successful. I don't believe in either.

    June 25, 2014 at 9:29 am | Reply
  6. Hector Slagg

    Huh?,
    Is Government Bureaucracy working. That would be Federal Bureaucracy? After an 18 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt you have to ask? It looks like the 1930's are again up to bat. Our Liberal counterparts think it is working fine, as long as they can fool the people. The Cold Hard facts say Something Else.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:27 am | Reply
    • O'drama ya Mama

      The cold hard facts actually show that no matter what Republicans say they are just as responsible for growing the federal government as Democrats are.

      June 24, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Reply
      • kurt

        Moreso in some ways.

        What's interesting is looking at some programs and seeing where the cost comes from. Look at Medicare. The two parts that are MOST socialist of Medicare are parts A and B. They had little GOP input... and are actually the parts of Medicare that are in the black. The two LEAST socialist parts of Medicare are parts C (some call "medicare advantage") and D (prescription drugs). They involve using government money to pay for PRIVATE insurances. They hemorage money and are causing pretty much all of the financial issues with medicare. Both of those had heavy GOP input.

        Again... not saying the bureaucracy is efficient... it's not. But it's odd that it's still MORE efficient then private industry doing the same thing. Says more about the greed of private businesses then anything.

        June 26, 2014 at 9:36 am |
      • southerngent

        kurt
        What does the government do efficiently? Government waste, inefficiencies, and fraud is rampant in every program. Eg. VA, SS, MEDICARE, Ebt, ect.

        July 6, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
  7. ProtectAmericanJobs

    The problem in trying to elect good leaders for The United States of America has nothing to do with the color or gender of our politicians. It's our politician's, from both parties, lack of honesty and the lack of willingness to do right by the US citizens that they're elected by and should be representing.

    Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great American and his march accomplished great things, but now it may be time for a new more all-inclusive march on Washington.

    Almost all of our political leaders' talk is just cheap and meaningless! – When will these people finally wake up and step up with real ideas and real action, instead of just meaningless talk and tokenism? – These idiots have been avoiding action for 2-3 decades.

    As far as I'm concerned this is the bottom line: The ONLY REAL FIX for our great country is to RAISE REVENUE, by Bringing Back Businesses and Jobs to TAX-PAYING AMERICAN CITIZENS.

    This is the only way that Americans are going to be able to "Get a Raise" and sustain it. The more jobs and businesses that we bring back to tax-paying Americans citizens, the healthier our real economy will be and the more likely it will be for the American people to keep up and possibly even start to move forward again.

    Unfortunately most of our politicians are a joke – Only it's not so funny, because over the past several decades, all they've been doing is screwing the American people, by stalling, spending, removing protections and allowing illegal aliens to continue to pour in and American jobs and industry to pour out, and all while collecting their American tax-payer funded pay checks, benefits and whatever else they get on the side from their various lobbyist friends.

    It seems to me that over the last 2-3 decades that both parties were always able to distract and polarize voters with insignificant peripheral social issues like gay marriage and abortion, which got most voters so caught up in the BS that they'd always lose sight of the bigger picture. If more people would have listened to Ross Perot back in 1992, America wouldn't be in this mess. I and many other people, who were able to see through all of the left vs right BS, did vote for Perot, because he was straight forward and just used common sense. He cared about his country and the American people.

    We'd really all be better off by just cutting through the BS and all the my team vs your team name calling nonsense and really focus on America and improving the future of the American people.

    Once they're elected, our leaders should be working together for the good of our country and our citizens by using combinations of the best ideas from both sides. – Instead of just trying to make the other side look bad so that they'll lose the next election. – How's that nonsense been working out for the American People and the Real American Economy?

    All the nonsense just allows the puppet-masters to continue to do what's best for them at the expense of the American people while we're polarized and distracted.

    But, let's face it – Neither party is actually running our country – Powerful puppet-masters play both sides to make sure that they get what they want. Unfortunately what they want is not usually in the best interest of the majority of the American people. (American citizens)

    The so called "Global Market Place" is not a level playing field. Companies may have made higher profits by "outsourcing", but they've been putting middle class Americans who are a good part of the world's customer base out of work.

    Foreign Lobbyists here in the US promote sending US jobs to countries like China, India and Mexico where they work for slave wages, no benefits, no OSHA safety standards or no real environment regulations. It also doesn't help us compete when these company's factories are subsidized by China's communist government. Just check out the current Chinese extreme pollution issues – We all live in the same world, but not every country plays by the same rules.

    The American people need American leaders who will start putting some sensible measures in place to stem the tide or this is going to continue to have a devastating effect on the United States of America and the American people.

    Aren't there at least a handful of these powerful puppet-masters that are fellow Americans with enough of a conscience, guts and loyalty to America and their fellow Americans to start trying to turn this trend around?

    If there aren't any, we're screwed.

    The bottom line is that "Our Government" has to protect American jobs and domestic industry – If they do that, the rest will take care of itself.

    Bringing manufacturing back to the US not only gives jobs to the US citizens who would be working in those manufacturing facilities, but to the people that would be working in the businesses that would spring up all around them. This should also include the safe harvesting, production and distribution of our own natural energy here in the USA, rather than paying for fuel from countries where they hate us. Let's keep that money and those jobs here in the US.

    The “Global Market Place” is not a level playing field! The whole idea of the tariffs is so we can pay our factory workers a decent wage and not be blown out by these other countries where they don’t play by the same rules. We may have to pay a bit more for products made here in the USA by US citizens, but at least we'll still have jobs and a future for our children.

    The lack of businesses and good jobs in the USA is what's really going to rob us, our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of the potential of a prosperous or even decent future.

    It's all happened because, over the last 25-years, our government has allowed our country's industries to get sucked out to countries like Communist China, India, Mexico, etc and allowed illegal aliens and H-1B foreigners to come into our country and take away tax-paying Americans jobs and drive down wages.

    It has all happened way too fast – Our government leaders should have put measures in place to make it slower, so that it wouldn't devastate our country, which has no chance when competing with other countries that don't play by the same rules or have pay scales that are even remotely close.

    That's where our government leaders have to step up and put some sensible measures and incentives in place to keep jobs here in the USA or the real economy and infrastructure of the country we love will be destroyed along with the future of the American people.

    Nowadays it's obviously not about being either lazy or uneducated as many try to profess, but about wages, expenses and regulations that are not even remotely close to the wages, expenses and regulations in our country.

    If more people would have listened to Ross Perot back in 1992, America wouldn't be in this mess.

    Regardless of what the Free-Traitors keep trying to sell us, we can see what's real. The American People need to just trust their own instincts, common sense and what they've seen actually going on all around them versus all of the nonsense that the Free-Traitors are still trying to sell us.

    The American people will need good jobs with health-care benefits in order to be able to pay for the services of those educated doctors, lawyers, college professors, etc. – It can't all be chiefs and no Indians. There is an equally important place for both of them in America.

    The American People need Our Leaders to start remembering that they are elected by the Citizens of the United States of America to represent the interests of those citizens and the country itself and that They're NOT Elected By or To Represent the Global Market Place, Lobbyist, Foreign citizens or Illegal Aliens.

    June 24, 2014 at 11:04 am | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs

      Wouldn't we be better off if Our Elected Leaders Started Working Together as AMERICANS for AMERICANS and AMERICA, instead of just bickering, stalling and posturing for the next election as democrats and republicans/tea-whatevers! The American People have had it with this unproductive BS! The way that both parties having been operating for years just stinks! Neither party has really been looking out for the best interests of the US Citizens who elect them and who they're supposed to represent.

      It shouldn't be all about Democrats or Republicans! It should be about Americans, especially our elected officials, doing the right thing for our country and its citizens. All the single-minded, left versus right, ideological one dimensional bull has got to go!

      Once they're elected, our leaders should be working together for the good of the our country and our citizens by using combinations of the best ideas from both sides. -Instead of just trying to make the other side look bad so that they'll lose the next election. – How's that been working out for the American People and the Real American Economy?

      The Citizens of the United States of America need our elected leaders from both parties to start working together to actually start trying to fix the real problems in our country like "outsourcing", illegal immigration, the out of control costs of health care insurance and our reliance on foreign fuel.

      Fix them together as Americans! – Because united we'll stand, but divided we'll fall.

      But let's face it, both parties are just doing the bidding of their masters, while lamely trying to look like they're trying to represent us. Wouldn't it be nice, if some of these puppet masters were conscientious loyal Americans who loved their country and cared about their fellow Americans enough that they would finally start pointing their lap-dog-politicians in the direction of doing right by the American People? Maybe that's delusional on my part – But if this doesn't start happening soon, the American people and the future of the country that we love is doomed.

      The American People need loyal American Leaders who will stop selling us out to countries like Communist China, India and Mexico.

      June 24, 2014 at 11:18 am | Reply
      • l

        Best response I've heard about our economy. We can only hope the American people will wake up. But after primaries in Maryland ... at least this state is still asleep

        June 26, 2014 at 12:36 pm |
  8. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    June 24, 2014 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • ProtectAmericanJobs

      WTH? – Seriously?

      This is nothing but nonsense and only distracts from the real issues facing our country, the American People and the Real American Economy.

      June 24, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Reply
      • Can't handle the truth?

        This is what Rick Perry wants.

        June 25, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
    • Typical Low Information Government For Me

      The Entire DEM Platform In A Single Paragraph The DEM Prayer/Mantra/ Typical Low Information Government For Me The Entire DEM Platform In A Single Paragraph The DEM Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear obama...With your ability to get idiots like me to believe your BS,, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Rich, White, Christian, Female, and Straight people into our slaves. Then, with your weakness and lack of leadership and understanding of government, we will whip them until they are older, sicker, poorer, mixed, atheist, other, and in general like me. Or until they are dead..... All mighty liar in chief...Grant us the continued lack of knowledge so the we may blindly follow your perpetual screw ups and destruction of democracy......and to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed our younguns when America is attacked again because of your stupidity in releasing terrorist.....my saviour and king ...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly lie as good as you, blame Bush, say I didn't know until I heard it on the news, blame it on avideo, not asmiggen of corruption, tell them the can keep (fill in blank), we are not spying on Americans, ........PLEASE TAX THE RICH AND TAKE ALL THEIR MONEY I NEED MORE FREE STUFF!!!..........and screw the middle class because I don't want to be like them i just want what they got.........PLEASE DON'T LET LOW INFORMATION PEOPLE LIKE ME KNOW THEY COULD GET MORE MONEY BY INVESTING INSTEAD OF SS AND PLEASE, PLEASE, DON'T TELL IGNORAMUSES LIKE ME MEDICARE IS LIKE THE VA MESS!!! In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)......uhm!!!!tanks my superbeingyoubemygod...... : Dear obama...With your ability to get idiots like me to believe your BS,, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Rich, White, Christian, Female, and Straight people into our slaves. Then, with your weakness and lack of leadership and understanding of government, we will whip them until they are older, sicker, poorer, mixed, atheist, other, and in general like me. Or until they are dead..... All mighty liar in chief...Grant us the continued lack of knowledge so the we may blindly follow your perpetual screw ups and destruction of democracy......and to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed our younguns when America is attacked again because of your stupidity in releasing terrorist.....my saviour and king ...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly lie as good as you, blame Bush, say I didn't know until I heard it on the news, blame it on avideo, not asmiggen of corruption, tell them the can keep (fill in blank), we are not spying on Americans, ........PLEASE TAX THE RICH AND TAKE ALL THEIR MONEY I NEED MORE FREE STUFF!!!..........and screw the middle class because I don't want to be like them i just want what they got.........PLEASE DON'T LET LOW INFORMATION PEOPLE LIKE ME KNOW THEY COULD GET MORE MONEY BY INVESTING INSTEAD OF SS AND PLEASE, PLEASE, DON'T TELL IGNORAMUSES LIKE ME MEDICARE IS LIKE THE VA MESS!!! In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)......uhm!!!!tanks my superbeingyoubemygod......

      June 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Reply
      • What?

        What institution are you posting from?

        June 26, 2014 at 10:06 am |
      • what institution did you escape from

        What institution did you escape from?

        August 6, 2014 at 10:50 am |
    • l

      Complete idiot

      June 26, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • You can't handle the truth

      You can't handle the truth, whichis what liberals want and you aren't capable of understanding it!

      August 6, 2014 at 10:48 am | Reply

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