Americans are ready for a government that puts competence ahead of cronyism.
In the past seven years, we've seen the president hand out jobs to his friends who were not qualified. Give out no-bid contracts to Halliburton. Fire U.S. attorneys who tried to uphold the law. And then there was Hurricane Katrina -- when a natural disaster became a national disgrace. It's a government of the few, by the few, and for the few -- and good luck to everyone else.
Well, how about this for a new approach? No more cronyism, no more corruption, and no more deception. And here's an old-fashioned idea: let's start appointing qualified people to positions of power again.
Government certainly isn't the answer to all our problems. But good government -- smart government -- can be a partner for progress. It can help solve problems and accomplish things together we could never accomplish alone.
We all know that in order to meet the challenges of our day -- to lift up our middle class and hard working families; to establish universal health care, energy independence, and fiscal responsibility; to end the war in Iraq and restore our leadership around the world -- we need a government that will rise to the occasion. We need a return to transparency and a system of checks and balances, to a president who respects Congress's role of oversight and accountability. We need a 21st century government to meet our 21st century challenges.
Hillary has proposed a comprehensive, 10-point plan to restore Americans' confidence in their government by increasing transparency and cutting waste and corruption. Her plan includes:
* Banning Cabinet officials from lobbying a Hillary Clinton administration.
* Strengthening whistleblower protections.
* Creating a public service academy.
* Ending abuse of no-bid government contracts and posting all contracts online.
* Cutting 500,000 government contractors.
* Restoring the Office of Technology Assessment.
* Publishing budgets for every government agency.
* Implementing Results America Initiative to track government effectiveness.
* Tracking and eliminating corporate welfare.
* Expanding voting access and safeguarding voting machines.
Ready to Lead
In addition to her comprehensive plan for government reform, Hillary has proposed a detailed plan to restore professionalism to the Department of Justice. Under President Bush and his attorneys general, partisanship and cronyism have driven investigations, case selection, and the hiring of new career personnel. We have to believe that justice is blind in America and that our government will effectively and impartially uphold the law. Hillary has a plan to restore that belief. She will:
* Rebuild the Department of Justice's traditional role in defending civil rights and the rule of law, and review charges of improper, politically motivated hiring.
* Help local school districts pursue voluntary integration and reduce racial inequality, in the face of a Supreme Court decision limiting districts' options.
* Strengthen our voting laws so that every citizen can fully exercise his or her constitutional right to vote.
* Combat ongoing racial and sex discrimination in the labor market by improving laws and expanding enforcement.
* Modernize and strengthen the federal hate crimes law.
Hillary has also outlined a set of proposals to end the Bush administration's war on science and to restore scientific integrity to government decision-making. She will:
* Rescind the ban on ethical embryonic stem cell research.
* Ban political appointees from unduly interfering with scientific conclusions and publications.
* Direct department and agency heads to safeguard against political pressure that threatens scientific integrity and to promote transparency in decision-making.
* Appoint an Assistant to the President for Science and Technology Policy and strengthen the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.