Toolbars in Washington

At the top of my personal computer screen, there is a toolbar that reads as follows.

At the tops of computer screens in Washington, toolbars probably look like this. 

Ambiguity Tool

This tool converts clarity and simplicity into confusion and complexity by injecting inconsistencies, contradictions, and confusion into a Law.

The Ambiguity tool produces massive spending on accountants, administrators, agents (IRS as well as insurance), bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers, etc., to interpret, implement, reconcile, review, revise, and oversee an ambiguous Law. The Ambiguity Tool also alters rules and regulations increasing the likelihood for error, non-compliance, and fraud needing even more bureaucrats. The Ambiguity button is job security for bureaucrats and politicians.  

Complexity Tool

As described in The Cancer in Healthcare, there are two kinds of complexity in any system: natural and/or artificial. The human body is inherently complex in design and action, but simple to use. When you decide to walk to the store, you do not consciously tell your muscles when to contract and relax. You just… go.

Only this tool could have generated 10,515 pages of “explanatory” ACA rules and regulations in the Federal Register. The Complexity tool increases the power and reach of the federal bureaucracy.  

I-Accounting Tool

The “I” stands for imaginative, as in fictional statistics like ACA signups, and made-up accounting procedures that fail to follow established FASB guidelines, or even common sense.

The August 2014 CBO Report on Medicare Trust Solvency makes extensive use of the I-Accounting Tool. It counted dollars actually expended as though they were still in the Trust.

The I-Accounting Tool harnesses the power of imagination in the service of the bureaucracy. The only loser is the truth, and us.   

L-Speak Tool

The L-Speak (Legal-Speak) tool takes a simple declarative sentence and turns it into gibberish. The following example was taken verbatim from the application process on healthcare.gov.  

One question asks: “Does your employer offer a health plan that meets the minimum value standard*?" The asterisk clarifies the question. "(*)=An employer-sponsored health plan meets the 'minimum value standard' if the plan's share of the total allowed benefit costs covered by the plan is no less than 60 percent of such costs (Section 36B(c)(2)(C)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986)."

By increasing confusion, the L-Speak tool makes us dependent on bureaucrats to “clarify” legislation. The L-Speak tool makes sure that you cannot understand the Laws that directly affect you, and that you pay for.

M-Logic Tool

Standard logic starts from a framework of proven facts and uses accepted empiric reasoning to reach conclusions. M-Logic starts in Alice’s Wonderland and reaches conclusions based on strength of one’s beliefs. With enough passion and the M-Logic Tool, you can believe anything you want. Nancy Pelosi used this button to optimal effect when she said with unshakeable conviction, “The ACA will save money.”

The M-Logic Tool may be the most powerful item in the bureaucrat’s tool bag. It allows the world to appear as the bureaucrat wishes it to appear.

Mask Tool

The Mask Tool allows politicians and bureaucrats to don whatever guise they choose and to change appearance at will, to shape-change. 

  • Agent of Hope and Change
  • Bearer of the liberal mantle
  • Defender of the downtrodden
  • Father Knows Best
  • Medical provider of last resort
  • Provider of insurance for the uninsured
  • Slayer of Wall Street fat cats
  • Ultimate public servant

Nano-mgmt Tool

Everyone knows what micro-management is: excessive control of details in a process or activity. Nano-management is a thousand times worse than micro-management. This tool was used to create the 10,000+-pages of Rules for ACA Implementation in the Federal Register. The Nano-mgmt Tool allows the bureaucracy to control, well, just about everything.

Stonewall Tool

The Stonewall Tool works in conjunction with tools such as the Complexity, I-Accounting, and L-Speak Tools. When applied, Stonewall tool forms an impenetrable barrier between the public and the truth. Examples of its activation include “lost” IRS emails; Richard Nixon’s famous “missing” eighteen minutes of transcription; and the Benghazi diversion (blaming a video).

Stonewall Tool is used only in desperate straits, as a last resort, employed by both politicians and bureaucrats.

Missing [       ] Tool Button

There is one Tool not present on any computer in Washington – a RELEASE button. This [missing] tool would release people from the shackles of over-regulation; reduce our administrative burden; cut their spending of our money; and increase individual freedom, i.e., decrease a person’s dependence on the government.

The non-existent Release tool would also have a sunset function that would DELETE rules, regulations, Agencies, even whole Departments that fail to demonstrate a positive cost/benefit to We The People. No surprisingly, there is no Release Tool on any computer in the Beltway.  

Use of the Washington Toolbar

Federal politicians and bureaucrats do not work for you or me; for any organization or agency; or even the political party in power. Washington bureaucrats work for a Cancer that has taken over the federal bureaucracy.

A healthy bureaucracy helps all other parts of a system do their jobs. A cancerous bureaucracy grows and grows without regard to how its expansion affects the rest of the system. A cancerous bureaucracy takes all the resources it can find, even if the other system parts starve to death.

The Washington Toolbar offers our cancerous bureaucracy a cornucopia of tools that help it expand.

Dr. Deane Waldman is author of The Cancer In Healthcare; Adjunct Scholar for the Rio Grande Foundation; and member, Board of Directors of New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. Opinions expressed here are solely the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the NM HIX  Board.

At the top of my personal computer screen, there is a toolbar that reads as follows.

At the tops of computer screens in Washington, toolbars probably look like this. 

Ambiguity Tool

This tool converts clarity and simplicity into confusion and complexity by injecting inconsistencies, contradictions, and confusion into a Law.

The Ambiguity tool produces massive spending on accountants, administrators, agents (IRS as well as insurance), bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers, etc., to interpret, implement, reconcile, review, revise, and oversee an ambiguous Law. The Ambiguity Tool also alters rules and regulations increasing the likelihood for error, non-compliance, and fraud needing even more bureaucrats. The Ambiguity button is job security for bureaucrats and politicians.  

Complexity Tool

As described in The Cancer in Healthcare, there are two kinds of complexity in any system: natural and/or artificial. The human body is inherently complex in design and action, but simple to use. When you decide to walk to the store, you do not consciously tell your muscles when to contract and relax. You just… go.

Only this tool could have generated 10,515 pages of “explanatory” ACA rules and regulations in the Federal Register. The Complexity tool increases the power and reach of the federal bureaucracy.  

I-Accounting Tool

The “I” stands for imaginative, as in fictional statistics like ACA signups, and made-up accounting procedures that fail to follow established FASB guidelines, or even common sense.

The August 2014 CBO Report on Medicare Trust Solvency makes extensive use of the I-Accounting Tool. It counted dollars actually expended as though they were still in the Trust.

The I-Accounting Tool harnesses the power of imagination in the service of the bureaucracy. The only loser is the truth, and us.   

L-Speak Tool

The L-Speak (Legal-Speak) tool takes a simple declarative sentence and turns it into gibberish. The following example was taken verbatim from the application process on healthcare.gov.  

One question asks: “Does your employer offer a health plan that meets the minimum value standard*?" The asterisk clarifies the question. "(*)=An employer-sponsored health plan meets the 'minimum value standard' if the plan's share of the total allowed benefit costs covered by the plan is no less than 60 percent of such costs (Section 36B(c)(2)(C)(ii) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986)."

By increasing confusion, the L-Speak tool makes us dependent on bureaucrats to “clarify” legislation. The L-Speak tool makes sure that you cannot understand the Laws that directly affect you, and that you pay for.

M-Logic Tool

Standard logic starts from a framework of proven facts and uses accepted empiric reasoning to reach conclusions. M-Logic starts in Alice’s Wonderland and reaches conclusions based on strength of one’s beliefs. With enough passion and the M-Logic Tool, you can believe anything you want. Nancy Pelosi used this button to optimal effect when she said with unshakeable conviction, “The ACA will save money.”

The M-Logic Tool may be the most powerful item in the bureaucrat’s tool bag. It allows the world to appear as the bureaucrat wishes it to appear.

Mask Tool

The Mask Tool allows politicians and bureaucrats to don whatever guise they choose and to change appearance at will, to shape-change. 

  • Agent of Hope and Change
  • Bearer of the liberal mantle
  • Defender of the downtrodden
  • Father Knows Best
  • Medical provider of last resort
  • Provider of insurance for the uninsured
  • Slayer of Wall Street fat cats
  • Ultimate public servant

Nano-mgmt Tool

Everyone knows what micro-management is: excessive control of details in a process or activity. Nano-management is a thousand times worse than micro-management. This tool was used to create the 10,000+-pages of Rules for ACA Implementation in the Federal Register. The Nano-mgmt Tool allows the bureaucracy to control, well, just about everything.

Stonewall Tool

The Stonewall Tool works in conjunction with tools such as the Complexity, I-Accounting, and L-Speak Tools. When applied, Stonewall tool forms an impenetrable barrier between the public and the truth. Examples of its activation include “lost” IRS emails; Richard Nixon’s famous “missing” eighteen minutes of transcription; and the Benghazi diversion (blaming a video).

Stonewall Tool is used only in desperate straits, as a last resort, employed by both politicians and bureaucrats.

Missing [       ] Tool Button

There is one Tool not present on any computer in Washington – a RELEASE button. This [missing] tool would release people from the shackles of over-regulation; reduce our administrative burden; cut their spending of our money; and increase individual freedom, i.e., decrease a person’s dependence on the government.

The non-existent Release tool would also have a sunset function that would DELETE rules, regulations, Agencies, even whole Departments that fail to demonstrate a positive cost/benefit to We The People. No surprisingly, there is no Release Tool on any computer in the Beltway.  

Use of the Washington Toolbar

Federal politicians and bureaucrats do not work for you or me; for any organization or agency; or even the political party in power. Washington bureaucrats work for a Cancer that has taken over the federal bureaucracy.

A healthy bureaucracy helps all other parts of a system do their jobs. A cancerous bureaucracy grows and grows without regard to how its expansion affects the rest of the system. A cancerous bureaucracy takes all the resources it can find, even if the other system parts starve to death.

The Washington Toolbar offers our cancerous bureaucracy a cornucopia of tools that help it expand.

Dr. Deane Waldman is author of The Cancer In Healthcare; Adjunct Scholar for the Rio Grande Foundation; and member, Board of Directors of New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. Opinions expressed here are solely the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of the NM HIX  Board.