'Epic Failure' of Democrats: Paralyzed Governments

David Brooks: Bloated bureaucracies hamstrung by union demands
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 12, 2010 1:32 PM CDT
'Epic Failure' of Democrats: Paralyzed Governments
A New Jersey state parks worker joins a rally against Republican Gov. Chris Christie's proposed budget cuts in this file photo outside the Statehouse.   (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Chris Christie's decision to scrap (for now) the Jersey-Manhattan tunnel raises a larger problem for David Brooks. Governments need big projects like these to prosper, but they can't afford them anymore—because the governments themselves are too big and bloated. Cities and states are hamstrung by the salaries and pensions of cops, prison guards, and other civil servants, and they're unable to fend off the "excessive demands of public employee unions," he writes in the New York Times.

Instead of "nimble" governments, we have "sclerotic" ones, and Brooks calls this "the Democratic Party's epic failure." It wants a hands-on government, it's been "captured by the unions," and "liberal activism has become paralyzed by its own special interests. ... Someday there will be a political movement that is willing to make choices, that is willing to say 'this but not that.' Someday." (More big government stories.)

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