Candidates should recognize change is hard, report states

On important issues such as immigration, health care and government reform, the leading presidential candidates are talking the talk, but they aren’t walking the walk, Government Futures reported today.

The consulting company, which specializes in Web 2.0 technologies and analysis, said the candidates, for the most part, aren’t being realistic about their plans for transforming immigration, health care, veterans' care, government, and energy and environmental policy.

“There is little evidence that they understand what it will take to solve these problems in a time frame that’s acceptable to the American people,” said Bruce McConnell, former chief of information technology policy at the Office of Management and Budget and president of Government Futures.

Government Futures, which based its findings on surveys and interviews, said the candidates are not addressing how they will achieve the changes they are promising.

“We can’t get needs met if we do business as usual,” McConnell said. “We need new ways of working together and making decisions in an agile way.”

McConnell said the findings do not underscore a need for Web 2.0 technologies, but he did not rule out that conclusion. “Why not use social-networking technologies to build political support to make [innovation] move faster?” he asked.

The way Washington approaches challenges such as immigration reform isn’t sufficient for the challenges facing the country, McConnell said. “We’re trying to deliver a message that will shake things up a bit.”

As long as the presidential candidates do not talk about the process they will use to reform immigration and health care policy, McConnell said, “they don’t give us the confidence that they recognize the difficulty of delivering the promises they are making.”

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