Leadership requires freedom to take responsibility. Over the years the accretion of programs and entitlements has disconnected our leaders from this indispensable ingredient of all human accomplishment. No official, not even the president, has authority to make needed choices. Responsibility has been suffocated by law. The destruction of responsibility is a progressive disease, dragging the rest of society down with it. Ask any teacher or doctor. They're immersed in law all day long, preventing them from using their common sense to do what they believe is right. The only solution is to dredge the Potomac. Washington must start over, area by area, and simplify law so that officials have a chance of applying it sensibly to meet current needs. Individual responsibility should be the litmus test for all laws and programs.
- Philip K. Howard