In 1996 President Bill Clinton announced, “The era of Big Government is over.” He balanced a budget by eliminating waste and inefficiency.
With all the talk of fiscal cliff, sequestration, the continuing resolution, and raising the debt ceiling (again); I’ve yet to hear any politician on either side of the aisle focus on government waste.
I know some of my progressive friends will try to tell me Obama has mentioned efficiency, but we’ve yet to see a single proposal that addresses real waste. Nope, it’s just more hot air.
And then my conservative friends will say, “Hey, that’s what our party is all about.” Oh really? DHS? Wasting money on wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan? Never actually passing any of those entitlement cuts the GOP are always raving about.
The answer should be obvious to everyone; it’s both parties’ fault. This isn’t about “investment”, aka raising taxes; this isn’t about cutting spending, which never means cutting actual spending but rather means cutting a percentage of the automatic yearly increase. No, this is about the fact that both parties so egregiously waste money that they come to blows and hurt family paychecks when they could be looking at ways to save that would benefit everyone.
We have programs that are double, even triple funded to do the same thing. Why? Because some Congressman or Senator wants there name on a legacy project. I’ve talked to administrators that have begged Congressional staff to dissuade the passage of such redundant bills. They get told that the bill will be passed anyway because the Senator wants to tell his constituents that he did something about some cause or another. The result produces zero impact on the cause du jour and more millions down the toilet.
And then we have the much-ballyhooed “Congressional Squatters.” These are Congressmen that refuse to use the housing stipend they receive to rent a place in the DC area and instead pocket the money and sleep in their offices. They usually claim it’s to keep them in the mindset of serving the people, but what is does is show a penny wise and pound-foolish attitude. Due to these misers, Capitol Hill is forced to keep the heating, cooling, and electricity running 24/7 costing us taxpayers millions a year. They save themselves a few thousand by refusing to rent a crash pad with several other congressmen and cost the nation literally millions.