In yet another study that points to increased government growth under Bush, the Brookings Institution’s Paul Light finds: “There have never been more layers at the top of government, nor more occupants at each layer.” Take support titles: Light compiled an inventory of managers supporting secretaries, deputy secretaries, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and administrators at each of the Cabinet departments. Such leadership support positions included chief of staff to the secretary, deputy chief of staff to the secretary, chief of staff to the undersecretary and deputy assistant secretary. In 2004, there were 64 different support titles across the government. Six years ago, there were 51; in 1992, there were 33. A survey completed in 1960 found just 17. … The breadth of the bureaucracy has also increased, Light found. In 2004, 2,592 employees held senior government positions, almost a 9 percent increase over 1998, when there were 2,385. Once again for those who think the president has any intentions of restraining government: “Despite the president’s promise to bring businesslike thinking to the federal government, the Bush administration has overseen, or at the very least permitted, a significant expansion in the both the height and width of the federal hierarchy.”
Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.