Chapter 11 - Former Presidents, America’s Future
The presidency has become too much for one person to handle. Consider how much our nation has changed since George Washington served as our first president over 200 years ago: the size of the country is now 4 times greater, our population is nearly 100 times greater, our national economy is 3,000 times greater, and the federal budget is 400,000 times greater! Consider also the social, technological and economic complexity of today’s political challenges, the dizzying pace of national and world events, and the overwhelming flow of information in today’s digital world. The demands of today’s presidency would push nearly anyone beyond the breaking point.
At the same time, the window of opportunity for the president to effect change has shrunk, as campaigning consumes an increasing share of presidential time. That and the increased polarization of our politics have inhibited the president’s ability to focus on the long-term needs of the nation, at a time when issues such as homeland security, the economy, foreign policy, and immigration call for just such a perspective.
And not only must the president provide a long-term vision for the country and develop the policies to advance that vision, he or she must manage the world’s largest organizational enterprise. The federal budget, now approaching $4 trillion, exceeds that of any other government or corporation in the world, and the U.S. federal workforce, with over four million employees and enlisted personnel, is larger than that of any corporation, and on par with any of the world’s largest governmental workforces. The result of these demands is an office that cannot help but push the capacities of any one person near the breaking point.
Admittedly, today’s presidents are not without help....[Purchase the book here to keep reading]