EDITORIAL WRITERS and politicans have been complaining about "big government" for years, but a few members of President Carter's staff have finally done something about it. They have put it down in black and white, and here it is.
"We have met the enemy," Walt Kelly's Pogo said, "and he is us." The same thought must have crossed the minds of the people working on "The President's Reorganization Project" when they finished compiling this list of departments, agencies, commissions, boards, committees and "other organizational units" in the federal government.
They aren't even sure they found it all. The official introduction to this list - written in prose Pogo would recognize - includes this caveat: "It is important to emphasize that this categorization of organizational elements does not constitute an exhaustive accounting of the whole Federal Government."
"We were unable to obtain any single document containing a complete and current listing of government units which are part of the federal government," the compilers of this list admitted. Nobody knows the whole truth.
Where do we go from here? In the campaign last fall Jimmy Carter promised to reorganize, rationalize and reform. He has already proposed a new Department of Energy - an addition to the list, but one that would wipe out several other "units" listed here.
Next, Carter promises, he will reorganize his own executive office of the President. Harrison Wellford, once one of Ralph Nader's "Raiders" and now an employee in the Office of Management and Budget in charge of reorganization admitted to a group of reporters the other day that this target was picked partly because it looked relatively easy.
But Wellford hadn't bargained on the friends of the Office of Telecommunications Policy, for one. And if he's having trouble in the backyard of the President who came to office promising reorganization, what will happen when he gets to the Interagency Committee for Underground Electric Power Transmission?