You are asking the wrong questions !!!
And that leads to just more problems.
"Give me the top 5 problems and we are going to fix it" WRONG - That's the core problem of our duct tape society - fixing, patching... but nothing gets done.
Yes, we need a better government
But not to fix and patch the most obvious things - instead a better government that can rethink and create a model for a modern society as a whole. It's over with patching!!! 10 years ago the US was the leading nation in the world. The tallest buildings, the most modern air traffic, the best communication system, the best technology... Not a single one of those leadership aspects remained. The tallest building is in Shanghai, the most modern energy producer in India, the best communication systems in Japan, the best transportation systems in Europe, the best education as well, the best health care in Australia...
Here is what a better government needs to do:
1) No more fixing and patching
Understand that fixing a few things here and there is not going to cut it. Given that the government is effectively bankrupt - there are not even funds to do anything.
2) Complexity Management
Organize a team for "Complexity Management" that builds the relations between the top 250 problems of a city, a state and the nation.
3) Holistic Problem Analysis
Organize a team that works on the top 250 individual issues (not just 5 or 10 because math is not somebody's strength)
4) Problem Solving Teams
Organize a team that collaborates on the interrelations between issues. I.e. every micro village has their own transportation but not connected to the rest. Schools could be better but reaching those schools has a multitude of adjacent issues like transportation, district thinking, political influence, tax management...
5) Stop Minority Control
Move away from minority support, because it broke the growth of the majority. The cat in the microwave forced a whole industry to change their product. A guy who hit his head in a police car forced hundreds of thousands of police cars to be changed. You get the idea...
6) Citizen Integration
Embed social media connections into the population in a way that not just listens to sentiments and give people the feel somebody pretends to listen but allow active collaboration and problem solving.
7) Ending the "job creation" lie
The only organization that can "create" NEW jobs are healthy businesses. Everything else is patchwork. Stop the border discussion because no middle class American wants to work the jobs foreign worker are willing to do. Job politics as only one influence: It reduces our global competitiveness. Instead make it attractive to start new companies, make it easy to expand and reduce the enormous amount of compliance requirements and legal ties. It is too cmplicated to build a company other than a software shop or email marketing distributor. Back to complexity management.
8) Macroeconomic Engagement
Invest in macroeconomic thinking. Our nation is a capitalistic world that is not constructed to think in a holistic model. The connection to the rest of the world which is 95% of the world population is key to improve our global position and influence.
9) Risk Mitigation
Recognize the risk that more and more small groups get up in rants and may organize itself - even arm forced with military structures as they do not see any future for themselves. Ensure that everybody stays behind the government - yet it has to ensure it renews itself - United we stand.
10) Advanced Democracy
Understand that capitalism was a great base to start a nation - but capitalism is not much different from communism where a tiny minority influences the political system and controls a huge majority until it is at a point no longer worth controlling. The nation needs a more advanced democratic model that involves mid market business, research & education and community worker in the same way like corporate business is involved today.
In theory that can all be done. In practice - for most even those 10 bullets are too much to even read let alone comprehend. :)