I've been hearing every politician since Carter promise to battle waste & fraud in washington. Obama even planned on savings from fraud elimination in his budget projections, when he cut medicare to pay for other things. Most of us agree that the corruption, waste & fraud are real problems in the us budget. Every dept from the military to medicare suffers from them.
What can be done? Each party & candidate promises reform, but nothing gets done. Here's a possible plan.
1. Make across the board 10% cuts in every dept. That shouldn't be too hard, & no one will suffer too much. Most taxpayers have had to cut a lot more than that, so it can be done.
2. Use some of those savings to fund an investigative dept.. an efficiency team.. to look for waste, fraud, overlapping jurisdictions, etc. These will have to be mean, surly bean counters who will not flinch with the knife. There will have to be an independent auditor over all, who is not beholden to any sector. They will have to be given the power to shut down departments within departments, fire people, & prosecute criminals.
3. I think we can expect a minimum of 10% savings within a short time of the investigations, & more as they delve deep into the inner workings of the govt. They can make recommendations to congress to eliminate some departments, & congress can eliminate those it should not be in, anyway. So we're at at least a 20% savings now.
We can take a page from our own history. Remember the House Committee on Un-American Activities? The one who blacklisted hollywood types searching for commies? Well, if we transferred our fear of commies into a fear of overspending, we could do it. We can bring every dept head before this committee, trembling as they justify every dime they spend, & under close scrutiny.
"Mr Chairman, those muffins were really good.. they were easily worth $16."
"This committee finds you guilty of waste & fraud. Your job is forfeit, & you will be under house arrest until we determine the level of punishment, either firing squad or community service."
We don't need to raise no stinkin' taxes. We need to cut the spending. Cutting waste, overlap, fraud, & corruption would have the added benefit of encouraging the tax base.. they wouldn't mind paying taxes seeing them used more efficiently. We could more clearly define what our federal govt should & should not be involved in.
We need to see our debt as a danger to our country.. more so than communism in the last century. More than the taliban.
The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand.
I have never seen more senators express discontent with their jobs. ... I think the major cause is that, deep down in our hearts, we have been accomplices to doing something terrible and unforgivable to this wonderful country. Deep down in our hearts, we know that we have bankrupted America and that we have given our children a legacy of bankruptcy. ... We have defrauded our country to get ourselves elected.
John C. Danforth