12 Days of Solutions, Day 12: Streamlining the federal government
Typically, when budget debates get serious in Washington, politicians retreat into talking points. Democrats talk about raising taxes while Republicans talk about eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse in federal spending. As Tea Party activists across the country know, raising taxes will do little for the federal budget, and most Republican efforts to diminish inefficiencies in the federal budget are woefully inadequate.
However, one organization has made streamlining the federal government its primary goal. According to Strong America Now, 25% of the federal government’s spending is wasted. And using the private-sector organizational streamlining process known as Lean Six Sigma Strong America Now has a plan to balance the budget without raising taxes. From their website:
- 25% of discretionary and entitlement spending is waste
- We can eliminate $500 billion per year of waste spending by 2017
- Together with portions of either the Deficit Commission plan or the Ryan plan, the budget will be balanced in 2017 with no new taxes
- Obamacare must be repealed and replaced
Strong America Now’s estimate of 25% of spending being waste is not unreasonable. Consider what Tea Party Patriots found without much effort. Between duplication, improper payments, fraud, and costly congressional mandates for certain federal contractors, there is much change needed in how the federal government spends your tax dollars.
One critical part of Strong America Now’s budget plan is its Medicare reforms. Essentially, this section of the site looks at reforming the entire system of inefficient payments and overtreatments that have plagued the Medicare system for years. Hospital administrators are brought into the process, communication is improved, and the kinds of payment and care processes that have made the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Foundation renowned organizations are implemented.
In the long run, it will take more than streamlining federal spending in order to prevent a fiscal collapse of the nation. Social Security and interest payments, for example, will continue to skyrocket, though the Lean Six Sigma changes to Medicare and the Defense Department – among other agencies and programs – would help a great deal. However, a federal system as large and complex as ours will never be able to really root out all efficiencies, and so the government itself must continue to shrink its role in the lives of citizens as well as its cost.