With the Tea Parties and wide-spread discontent with government and party politics, what politically transcending changes could be made within our Federal government so it is more supported by the majority of Americans? Here is a summarization of the five things proposed by William A. Galston. What do you think? __ Public policies cannot succeed in democracies without sustainable public support. In order to restore public confidence in government, policymakers must stop the vicious circle in which mistrust breeds inaction and thus exacerbates mistrust. We need to set in motion a virtuous circle of reform. That means adopting measures that make peoples lives better, step by step, without violating their intuitive sense of how much government should try to do and how it should go about doing ­it. The first is to focus on the basics. The people expect the national government to keep the economy on an even keel, exercise a measure of foresight, win the wars it decides to wage, and deal effectively with disasters. In recent years, government has done poorly in all these areas. The new administration and Congress must do ­better. Second, federal officials in every branch of government must be more conscious of the need to align their promises with the limits of feasible performance. While we can reasonably hope to move our transportation system away from fossil fuels during the next generation, energy independence is beyond reach. The constant use of that phrase does nothing to reduce public cynicism. Third, leaders must be more honest about the costs as well as benefits of the measures they support. In the debate over how to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, for example, many elected officials prefer a cap-and-trade strategy rather than a carbon tax because they think the public would rebel against a new tax. But most specialists agree that a cap-and-trade system would drive up consumers costs just as much as the tax, albeit indirectly, and might also invite corruption in the distribution of pollution quotas. The deliberate attempt to obscure the link between a policy decision and its consequences will exacerbate mistrust without improving ­performance. Fourth, pay attention to institutional design. After the end of the Cold War, Washington reduced the effectiveness of our public diplomacy by abolishing the independent U.S. Information Agency and folding its functions into the State Department, where its old mission of promoting American ideas and values conflicted with Foggy Bottoms culture of ­conflict ­avoidance and diplomacy. Incorporating the Federal Emergency Management Agency into the new, behemoth Department of Homeland Security contributed to the federal governments disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. Conversely, as the United States imports increasing quantities of food from countries around the world, the failure to establish a single, unified agency to oversee food safety has been steadily increasing risks, some of which are already becoming realities. ­High-­profile consternation over the adulteration of ­Chinese-­manufactured powdered milk is a warning sign that we should not ­ignore. Fifth, as Elaine Ka­marck, the director of the National Performance Re­view during the Clinton administration, has ar­gued, policies should be designed with effective implementation firmly in mind: Pick the right means to each end. For any particular initiative, policymakers can choose to use reformed bureaucracies, networks, or market mechanisms to accomplish their goals. __ The Right Bite William A. Galston,senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. A former deputy assistant for domestic policy to President Bill Clinton, he is the author most recently of Public Matters: Politics, Policy, and Religion in the 21st Century (2005).