Traditional spring cleaning finds many of us going through closets, basements and attics, disposing of things we no longer want or need. Toward the same goal, Romney should lead a "spring cleaning" of government.
Romney might cite the "Congressional Pig Book" published by Citizens Against Government Waste (www.cagw.org). The 2012 edition, as always, contains examples of wasteful spending in many government agencies. This year's "Pig Book" shows that while "the number and cost of earmarks have decreased dramatically since fiscal year 2010," the accurate amount of waste is difficult to figure because "transparency and accountability have regressed immeasurably."
Two recent reports from the Government Accountability Office name 51 areas of duplication, overlapping and fragmented government functions, which, if ended, would save an estimated $400 billion. There's a start to which no one should have an objection.
While President Obama promotes his "Buffett Tax" on millionaires and billionaires, Romney should focus on the government's waste of taxpayer money. If government is such a poor steward of what it now receives, why should it be given more?
That can be a winning issue, not only for Romney but for Republican congressional candidates. The pledge they should be signing is not only the "no new taxes" one from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, but a new one not to support any additional spending until unnecessary expenditures are cut by transferring many government functions to the private sector and retiring those that are not needed.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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