I wholeheartedly agree that US government is very inefficient. I'm an immigrant in US, and before that I was one in Canada, and dealing with government services in two countries is night and day. Just to give a simple example: in Canada, I was issued a SIN (the local equivalent of SSN) on my second day of arriving to the country, and it was all done in about 2 hours in the local government office. In US, it took almost a month from request to issue, and two trips to the local SSA. And when I asked why, they told me that they needed to send a request to USCIS to confirm my visa validity etc, and that takes over a week - seriously? They actually push papers around, instead of having automated query handling directly against the database? This is a recurring theme, by the way... US seems to have a lot of government organizations, which are very much disjoint in how they operate, and whenever anything needs to cross the boundary between the two, there are copious amounts of red tape (and, I would imagine, the associated expenses).
But I think a big problem with the government in US is that people are kinda expecting it to fail to begin with, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even worse is the "starve the beast" crowd who are basically saying that because it is likely to fail, not only we should let it, but we should actively encourage that.
I think it would be more productive to operate from the assumption that government should be doing certain things, and that it should be doing them well (seeing how other governments are perfectly capable of doing so) - and if it doesn't, then it's the problem with this particular government rather than the general idea of having it do those things, and the fix should therefore be on the government side.