17 September 2009

Congress Redux

One other comment while we're talking about Congress.

Representatives and Senators are elected to represent and protect the interests of their constituencies. That's their job, and we should not complain and object when they do what they were elected to do. The problems in military acquisitions are not Congress' fault.

See, when we deliberately spread out development of a project across 44 states and several hundred congressional districts, we are making a cynical move that's designed to ensure the project can't be cancelled. We can't then turn around and object that those doggone people in Congress are forcing us to do something. If we built smaller, more focused projects, we'd get a lot less Congressional involvement.

Similarly, when we launch a hugely expensive project, it is entirely appropriate for Congress to insist on performing oversight. It's a lot of money, and they owe it to their constituencies to make sure it's spent appropriately. If we spent less money, we'd get less Congressional involvement.

The FIST approach is a good way to reduce intrusive oversight without denying legislators the right and ability to perform their legitimate, constitutionally appointed roles.

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