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Fighting over money is probably as old as the first time it was used as an instrument to replace bartering.  Some organizations have carried the fight to the extreme, as factions grew to take one side or another of the "butter-guns" issue or the "social services-taxes" issue that consumes America today.  

Do we have a revenue problem or a spending problem in America?  This issue has become a idealogical battle, that many feel must be won rather than solved.  Now I don't have huge computer models and a team of Ivy League PhD economists to work the issue, but I can see plainly that IMHO two pledges could solve the entire problem:

1. That the US government pledges to collect 100% of the taxes it imposes.  Right about $4-500 billion is not collected every year. http://www.crisismagazine.com/2011/solutions-for-the-tax-gap This one simple pledge would increase revenues by 15% as estimates are that we only collect about 85% of the taxes due.  http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/tax-gap/wha...  Why couldn't both side agree that we only impose taxes that are 100% collectable?  This is true of most other taxes like a sales tax, property tax and even tolls on expressways.  

2. That the US government pledges to operate at an efficiency levels that are standards in most successful business in America today. Government waste has been estimated to be upwards to 30% or better due to inefficiency, waste and poor organization. I can site study after study that established this level. http://360degrez.blogspot.com/2010/04/360-in-depth-how-government-i...  We have grad schools producing bright people who understand the systems that maximize efficiency.  We all know the names -- Six Sigma, Kaizen, Continious Quality Improvement, Work Out (the system developed by Jack Welch and used at GE where I worked) and a host of other names -- the techniques are simple and easily applied.  Mike George, who  a developed a system called Lean Six Sigma, has offered that he can reduce the cost of running the federal government by $500 billion without one single government function being compromised.  He has used his system at the state and local level.  http://www.humanevents.com/2011/06/29/mike-george-wants-to-save-you...

So these two steps alone will solve all of America's fiscal problems by increasing revenue and not increasing anyone's taxes by one cent.  In the meantime it will also not compromise one single existing government function.  So why don't we do it or am I just one more believing citizen unwilling to tell the king he doesn't have any clothes on? According to Mike George, the efficiency  guru, he should be wearing a black belt instead.  (For those who understand the Six Sigma system it is the belt worn by the leader who heads up the effort to cut waste and inefficiency.  This leadership needs to come from the top.)    

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Comment by Mandy Muffin on December 26, 2012 at 9:42am

The history of government bureaucracy is legendary.  Someone should document it all and publish the study.  In the 1980s Reagan commissioned a study called "The Grace Commission" where a comprehensive look was taken on the function of the government.  The conclusion was that at least 33% of everything the government does is a total waste of time or more destructive than constructive.  And yes, making an assumption a inflated budget from the year before is a baseline is a ridiculous assumption in financial planning.  No company in America does this.  But the government does it every year and us poor suckers keep being told we need to raise taxes to meet the expenses. The last President who ran on the promise of Zero Base Budgeting was Jimmy Carter, and he never accomplished it. 

If any American consumer went to purchase a product and the seller told him/her there is a 25% waste factor  that I will add to the selling price of this product so that I can keep unproductive workers on the payroll and not take the effort to modernize my business system, would you purchase the product?  Of course not, but we accept this explanation as we pay our taxes each year. 

Comment by MGDJ on December 26, 2012 at 8:06am

Also, one of the biggest problems with Federal spending is the accounting method they use.  Baseline budgeting is a joke!  It assumes increases in spending for all of the Federal programs every year.  It should be replaced by zero based budgeting where each program is evaluated yearly for the corrected spending level.  When I worked for the Post Office, I received 3 colas in one year (cost of living adjustment).  I worked for a private company for 10 years and didn't receive one. 

There has to be a change of ideology to change how the Federal Government and how it spends money.  Based on the reactions of the union members in Detroit over the right to work laws, that change in ideology is going to be rough at the Government level.  Since the US Government has a 40% union membership, good luck in taking away spending!!!

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