Lawmakers want to restructure Detroit’s auto industry—but Congress could use a little makeover, too, writes Philip K. Howard in the Wall Street Journal. He offers a prescription to streamline the government as one would a corporation:
- Dump “legacy obligations.” Like Detroit, Congress must ditch old promises it can't keep. Start by scrapping the no-longer-useful farm bill.
- Cut out the middle-man. Successful companies have five layers of management. Some federal agencies have 32.
- Get competitive. The "legal infrastructure" on which our economy operates “is a huge, internally inconsistent mess.”
- Boost accountability. Congress should check the rear-view mirror on old legislation; it shouldn’t abandon responsibility once a law’s passed.
- Create outside competition. Detroit has to stand up to Toyota and Honda; the US should have “an outside movement to overhaul Washington, perhaps organized as a nonpartisan shadow government.”