Reduce Government Waste

                                                                    the situation

America has a long list of critical investments that must be made in order to ensure our security and prosperity in the 21st century. This list includes infrastructure investment, education, healthcare, social security, workforce development programs, upgrading our military, paying down the national debt, and more.

Standing in stark contrast to this list of crucial policies is the expense of imprisoning two million American citizens and insisting that every government agency go on unnecessary end-of-the-year spending sprees. These are not investments that America can pursue any longer. They are counterproductive, damaging to government and society, detrimental to the budget, and simply a financial burden which we can do without.



HERE'S WHAT WE'RE DOING ABOUT IT


policy solutions

PASS THE NATIONAL CRIMINAL JUSTICE COMMISSION ACT OF 2017:

Why does America have the largest prison population in the world? Why do we see increasing conflict between law enforcement officials and the communities that they serve? Why is the federal government not actively seeking answers to these questions? It has been decades since the United States government thoroughly evaluated its criminal justice system from top to bottom. Such neglect is inconceivable considering the enormous expense and impact of that system. Not only must America address the serious concerns of overcrowded prisons and strained state/federal budgets, but we must ensure that we are doing everything we can to support and assist our brave police officers and other law enforcement officials. They are the ones who must enforce the laws and regulations passed by local, state and federal government. If these laws and regulations are outdated, misguided, or counterproductive, then we fail both our citizens who are subject to these laws and we fail the police officers who must enforce them. This leads to a perilous environment for both groups. We should not make the work of law enforcement any more dangerous than it needs to be by asking our police officers to prop up misguided and failing policies. We cannot justify the expense of incarcerating millions of Americans when basic reforms could reduce that number substantially (and reduce the cost substantially).

Congress must pass legislation to create a bipartisan national commission which will thoroughly evaluate America’s criminal justice system from top to bottom. They will solicit input from local, state and federal law enforcement officials, community groups, think tanks, rehabilitation centers, prisoner employment programs, etc. They will evaluate every aspect of the criminal justice system from the moment of arrest, to trial, to prison, to release. The commission will evaluate alternative punishments for nonviolent offenders, drug treatment programs, sentencing requirements, community policing strategies, alternatives to prison for the mentally ill, employment programs for ex-offenders, and more. The commission will then publish a report with all of its findings as well as recommendations for specific criminal justice policy reforms. All of these provisions are included in the National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2017 which has bipartisan Senate cosponsors, and is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police, the NAACP, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Urban League. This bill must be passed by Congress.

 

DON'T PUNISH AGENCIES FOR SAVING MONEY:

Agencies should be rewarded, if they do not spend their entire annual budget. Currently, if an agency saves money, then Congress interprets this to mean that the agency does not need their full budget in the coming year. This means that next year, Congress will cut the agency's budget by at least the amount that they saved. In order to avoid this, nearly every agency goes on an unnecessary end-of-the-year spending spree for no reason other than to burn through money that they could have saved.

This waste costs the government untold billions. We must allow agencies to return savings to the government without slashing their budgets. Each agency's Inspector General must ensure that these savings are not the result of reduced service or diminished responsiveness. The point is that many agencies can perform their current duties and maintain their current standards without spending the tens of millions of hundreds of millions that they still have on hand at the end of the year. Let's allow them to return those savings every year without penalty.