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The notion that the US Federal Government is overwhelmingly inefficient and stupid is popular wisdom. However, outside the fat-and-happy military, which is eagerly overfunded beyond even its own desires by a Congress looking to make war jobs in their districts, there is an astounding lack of evidence for the proposition.

400 million dollar websites that don't work?

Compare to, for instance, Microsoft Bob.

The high-profile failure of one project (particularly when so much of it was carried out by private contracting, a process known to be more corrupt and wasteful than just using federal employees) is not, in and of itself, evidence that the federal civil service is abnormally wasteful or corrupt when compared to other organizations of similar size or scope, or when compared to combinations of organizations forming an interlocked unit of similar size and scope.

Basically, the federal government can trivially be labelled suboptimal, but calling it abnormally bad requires evidence that you can do better. Overwhelmingly, this is not what we see people bringing forth. The claims we see made are, "This organization is suboptimal for the job it currently does, therefore we should destroy large parts of it entirely. The important jobs done by those parts don't need to be done, because we say so."

It's amazing what the complete inability to fire anyone will do to an organization over time. All government projects have cost and time overruns, just some are worse than others.

You should click that foseti link a few comments up.

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