I was raised on a family farm and worked most of my life in the profit/loss world of private industry (only in govt' 10 years), so imagine my astonishment when I learned how government budgets really work.
Currently, government agencies/entities function on annual budgets, that have been built up over years of spending histories. What happens at end/beginning of fiscal years is that HQ offices "finds" additional $'s (i.e. re-programmed unspent monies from past fiscal years) and sends out notices requesting regional offices submit "dream lists" of what all they could accomplish should they be given this extra money to spend. My own department was just notified of $1million of this "found/re-programmed" extra money so we were asked to submit ideas of what we would do should we be given a piece of this money. This is a "make-work" situation and I presume it occurs throughout US Government, it is one of those little secrets the American Public is probably unaware of, as I was until I worked here.
My idea is that all unspent monies from annual budgets must be strictly accounted for and only if there is some dire and urgent need for this money - that it ALL be SWEPT BACK into the coffers to pay down our National Debt. The amounts of money this would save, on an annual basis - would be staggering - well into the billions of $.
The Government must learn how to be efficient and replace the "use it or lose it" & "make-work" mentality with one that makes sense. Eliminating the wasteful process of "make-work" agency spending of left-over $ would go a long ways towards making our government more efficient and accountable to the American Public, from which this money originates.
All too often, managers within government agencies seem to operate under the notion that this money grows on trees and that if they don't spend it all and at the same time - appear to need even more - then the money tree will stop producing.
Let's create incentives for saving & stop the wasting!