Government Efficiency & Accountability
Redeeming the faith we once had in our public institutions
Efficiency & Accountability
After years of failed policies and broken promises from both major political parties, it’s fair to say that much of America has lost faith in the government's ability to steward our nation towards the common good. Our faith in our once hallowed public institutions has been shaken because they have lately given us little to place faith in. The Department of Motor Vehicles is run like the Department of Motor Vehicles. Government regulations are as ham-handed and convoluted as they are well-intentioned. Sailing the seas of bureaucratic red tape can become overwhelming. After nearly two decades of war, the world is no safer. The government lies. The government fails.
Just as importantly, the poor performance of government as of late has cost a tremendous amount of money. Adding up the federal government’s budgets for the past 10 years, we see that it spent $38 trillion, which is $41 trillion if we adjust for inflation. Every dollar raised and spent by state and local governments is on top.
|Year||Federal Budget||In 2016 dollars||Total||Total (in 2016 dollars)|
|2006||$2.7 trillion||$3.23 trillion||$38 trillion||$41 trillion|
|2007||$2.8 trillion||$3.25 trillion|
|2008||$2.9 trillion||$3.24 trillion|
|2009||$3.1 trillion||$3.48 trillion|
|2010||$3.6 trillion||$3.98 trillion|
|2011||$3.8 trillion||$4.07 trillion|
|2012||$3.7 trillion||$3.88 trillion|
|2013||$3.8 trillion||$3.93 trillion|
|2014||$3.8 trillion||$3.87 trillion|
|2015||$3.7 trillion||$3.76 trillion|
|2016||$3.9 trillion||$3.9 trillion|
$41 trillion is equivalent to $514,000 for every family of four in the United States, enough to buy each one a brand new house, two new cars and two college educations with tens of thousands left over. This was money spent by both Republican and Democratic administrations, approved by both parties in Congress. Looking back from the past 10 years until today, what exactly has changed for the better? What kind of progress did that $41 trillion buy us?
We wish there was an answer to that question that rewarded the trust we once had in our government, yet we need only open our eyes to realize that the overwhelming majority of resources spent by our government did not go to our national improvement. They didn't go towards things we need, what makes our society healthier - what makes our society stronger. They didn't go towards solving problems we need solved.
Just as disappointingly, this degree of waste fundamentally disrespects us as a people because it disrespects the time and effort we invested to earn the money that funds government through taxes.
We work hard for a living to put food on our table, and in doing so know that should we perform poorly at our jobs we risk losing them. But government can not only act poorly - it can do so beyond our ability to hold it accountable. Instead, it can just come back every year to demand more money in the name of 'funding social services' it in turn doesn't fund, leaving us as a society to pay more for a decreasing standard of living.
The consequences of this problem have far-reaching impact to our republic. It sends a terrible message to the American people, suggesting that we're simply ATM machines for bureaucrats and politicians. That the energy we devote to our jobs is something they can take for granted because they're above the laws and standards they set for us to follow. As a result, this makes us distrust government and dread government programs even worse - expecting them to fail from the start. Government hasn’t worked in years. So why should we expect it to work for us now?
Of all the problems in our society requiring a solution, this stands out above nigh all because we can't move forward as a society if we inherently distrust its ability to do so, or worse, if there is abundant reason to remain distrustful of government and its capabilities to perform acceptably well. Our future faces challenges that require a united focus and the capabilities of all of us as a people, and our government will not be able to rise to meeting these challenges if it cannot demonstrate to the people that it is worthy of their trust and faith.
This trust and faith is not something that can be asked for, it must be something that is earned - honestly, transparently and consistently. As per our Constitutional framework, the American people are the masters of our government and our government must in turn answer to them with the appropriate degree of deference and respect, for above all: public service is a service.
That's how a government of the people works, and the Alliance Party intends to reinforce that through the following measures: