The Washington Post

Imagine a world with no lines …

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Another set of Clinton administration records were released Friday by the Clinton Presidential Library and we scoured the thousands of pages of internal memos and speech rewrites for you. Among the various interesting tidbits, the Loop found this (lofty) proposed policy initiative particularly amusing.

Bruce Reed, a top White House domestic policy adviser, suggested that in President Clinton’s 1996 State of the Union address, Clinton propose streamlining public interaction with the federal government. In Reed’s estimation, “by the year 2000, no American should ever have to set foot in a government office: We can and should make every government service available by computer, telephone, or ATM card.”

Reed went on to say that doing so could result in closing many government offices (a Democrat calling for smaller government?) and could be a project for the government to work on in conjunction with the private sector.

But best of all, Reed said, “no one will ever have to stand in line again.”

Nearly 20 years later, tell that to people in the waiting area at the Social Security Administration office …

And, as illustrated by this graph, if there was an effort to shrink the size of the government the reverse occurred:

 

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

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