“Raising taxes is not the answer. Cutting spending is the answer. We can start by reforming Social Security and Medicare and then establishing a commission that would make every government agency and program periodically justify its existence.”
Cal Thomas in April 22, 2008 Commentary
Sounds like a start. Frankly, I’d just settle for a GE-style “lowest 10% goes” out of each government department. Select the least-needed and least-effective programs and deep six them. Everyone has to offer up their own nominees from their own departments. In GE terms, it’s people, but in this context, I’d select whole programs. If they need to be added back, we can do it, but then we add back only the essentials.
This would do two things: it would force every department to do their own rankings so that nobody can claim that they’ve been hamstrung by someone else, and it would create an atmosphere of competition — who can be the most effective, who has the right mission, etc.
It could work. Really.