PRESIDENT Clinton has had his ups and downs so far this...

salmagundi

September 15, 1993

PRESIDENT Clinton has had his ups and downs so far this year. But preliminary glimpses of his health care proposal indicate that he's as ready as ever to tackle big issues.

The pundits lost no time noting the sheer sweep and ambition of the plan. As Time magazine's Margaret Carlson put it on CNN's (( Capital Gang last week, "His presidency is staked on this. It's the most important thing he has going. His marriage may also be staked on it."

Now that's high-stakes gambling!

* * *

HAVE you been wondering why government bureaucracy has gotten so fat and inefficient? Consider the fact that in 1960, President Kennedy made most of his senior appointments in five layers: (1) secretary, (2) under secretary, (3) assistant secretary, (4) deputy assistant secretary, and (5) associate deputy assistant secretary.

By 1992, President Clinton inherited 13. They included: (1) secretary, (2) chief of staff to the secretary, (3) deputy secretary, (4) under secretary, (5) deputy under secretary, (6) associate deputy under secretary, (7) assistant secretary, (8) principal deputy assistant secretary, (9) deputy assistant secretary, (10) associate deputy assistant secretary, (11) deputy associate deputy assistant secretary, (12) assistant general counsel/inspector general, and (13) deputy assistant general counsel/inspector general.

In addition, six departments of government now have associate deputy secretaries, and five have chiefs of staff to assistant secretaries.

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