In Bring Back the Bureaucrats, John J. DiIulio Jr., one of America’s most respected political scientists and an adviser to presidents in both parties, summons the facts and statistics to show us how America’s big government actually works and why reforms that include adding a million more people to the federal workforce by 2035 might actually help to slow government’s growth while improving its performance.
Starting from the underreported reality that the size of the federal workforce hasn’t increased since the early 1960s even though the federal budget has skyrocketed and the number of federal programs has ballooned, Bring Back the Bureaucrats tells us what our elected leaders won’t: there simply are not enough federal workers to do work that’s critical to our democracy.
Government in America, DiIulio reveals, is Leviathan by Proxy, a grotesque form of debt-financed big government that guarantees bad government:
• Washington relies on state and local governments, for-profit firms, and nonprofit organizations to implement federal policies and programs. Big-city mayors, defense industry contractors, nonprofit executives and other federal proxies lobby incessantly for more federal spending.
• The proxy system chokes on chores as distinct as cleaning up toxic waste sites, caring for hospitalized veterans, collecting taxes, handling plutonium, and policing more than $100 billion a year in “improper payments.”
• The lack of enough competent, well-trained federal civil servants figured in the failed federal response to Hurricane Katrina and in the troubled launch of Obamacare “health exchanges,”
Bring Back the Bureaucrats is further distinguished by the presence of E. J. Dionne Jr. and Charles Murray, two of the most astute voices from the political left and right, respectively, who offer their candid responses to DiIulio at the end of the book.