Former president Harry Truman was famous for insisting that anything that went wrong in federal government was his responsibility. "The buck stops here," he realized.
But nowadays, the buck doesn't seem to stop anywhere.
Consider the fiasco that was the rollout of the Obamacare system.
Though a few hundred thousand customers finally have been able to fight their way through glitches in the program's website, it continues to be plagued by serious shortcomings - weeks after it was supposed to have been ready for use.
Yet no one has been held accountable. From Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on down in her department, there has been no word of anyone being fired or disciplined in any way for the fiasco.
There is no penalty to deter lackluster performance or even total failure.
No wonder the federal government is dysfunctional.