According to www.treasurydirect.gov, the national debt hit an all time high of $14.3 trillion in 2010, and it is now in public interest that we begin the “tightening of the belts”.
The US has been faced with a teetering economy that has been trying to stabilize itself. In order for the US to sustain itself we must first begin by addressing the national debt and our current spending practices.
A proposal on how the government can best respond to the tight fiscal environments we are about to enter, while still encouraging future missions are as followed:
I. The establishment of a government-wide audit council - This council would be directed to review all agencies government-wide to identify redundancies and move programs, missions, or functions from multiple agencies to one. This one agency would then be identified as the "executive agent" for that program, mission, or function. The council could also choose to eliminate programs from futher investment. (Remaining monies would return to the treasury.)
II. Instead of an annual budget process, establish a multi-year budget for each agency – Instead of agencies asking for a new budget every year, the government could establish five year budgets. This would allow for agencies to live within their means and carry forward funding one year to the next, creating an internal incentive to seek efficiency on their own, rather than the government regulating efficiency on annual basis. (At the end of the five year period, remaining monies would return to the treasury.)
III. The identification and dissolution of slush funds (No-Year Appropriations) - All no-year appropriations would be identified and disbanded, as appropriate. There are several agencies with "carry over" authority that allows for agencies to carry forward unobligated balances from one year into a no-year account that never expires. In many cases these accounts are in the several hundred millions. (Remaining monies would return to the treasury.)