Q: Why would there have been no scandal in Columbia if the GSA accompanied the Secret Service?
A: The GSA would have never haggled over $47 for a hooker.
Like most Americans I am outraged but not surprised by what is going on in government when it comes to stewardship of taxpayer (and borrowed from China) dollars. Not surprised because this is our expectation of government, wasteful and inefficient with few controls that amount to more than window dressing, and every administration comes in, Republican and Democrat, promising there is a new sheriff in town and things are going to change, but it doesn’t.
Here are the major issues every candidate and incumbent should address this election season, and not just the Presidential election but at every level down to city councils:
1) Start with the default position that there is enormous waste. Start cutting across the board with an expectation that the bureaucracy itself will eliminate waste as a result of scarce resources.
2) Fire and forget government employees who demonstrate incompetence and poor ethical behaviors. All too often an innocent-until-proven-guilty argument is put forward as if working for the government is different than at-will employment in any other industry. It is not, and if people act with disregard to ethics and resources, fire them… don’t remediate, fire.
3) The idea that workers in the public sector are poorly compensated than the private sector is factually inaccurate as well as laughable on it’s face. Study after study documents in frightening detail how public sector employment is a path to prosperity when total compensation is considered, yet without the risk that private sector employment carries.
4) Congressional benefactors padding legislative acts with unrelated funding for pet projects, aka pork, has declined but not nearly enough. The Porkbusters movement is the precursor to the Tea Party and has successfully decreased the number earmarks attached to bills, but it’s not nearly enough and Republicans in particular are at risk of going back to old habits. Fiscal discipline starts with Congressional appropriations and then flows down to the agencies that consume taxpayer resources.