07.08.2010 0

A worthless contest

Almost everyone can agree that the Federal government wastes taxpayer money. Apparently, even those inside the Federal government think so. And those bureaucrats with ideas on how to save money can enter in the second annual SAVE Award contest (http://saveaward.gov).

While this contest appears to have good intentions, the outcome is nothing more than a gimmick. Considering that the top prize for the best idea is a personal meeting with Obama who has sworn to include that idea in his fiscal 2012 budget proposal, this contest exposes exactly the wrong mentality that has led the Federal behemoth down the road to fiscal train wreck.

Think about all the ideas that will be offered by Federal government workers. One can assume that none of the ideas would include closing worthless departments or agencies because one would not suggest their job as valueless. This is why the merit of such a contest is lost.

Just look at the winning idea from last year’s contest, a suggestion to save an estimated $14.5 million by 2014 at VA medical centers by permitting patients to take home extra bandages and medication once discharged. If a savings of $14.5 million is the best idea, clearly the contestants of this contest are not terribly serious about saving taxpayer money.

The people tasked with enacting the legislation of Congress have proven as inept as the congressman themselves. Waste of taxpayer dollars is not at all uncommon in government. Asking the people who as a matter of routine waste money to find areas to cut is akin to asking thieves to recommend security to their next victims. It simply makes no sense.

What is further troubling is the reward. There is no guarantee that the idea will even be implemented. For all we know, Congress could simply reject it outright by not passing a budget, as they have done this year. And further, what happens to the other suggestions? Are they tossed in the trash?

If the goal of the contest was to simply make the appearance of being fiscally responsible stewards of taxpayer money, then they have achieved their goal. But it is quite another thing to actually carryout actions that back up such intentions.

Once this contest wraps up, perhaps Congress can hold a contest of its own where they would vote amongst themselves for the best piece of legislation that saves taxpayers money. The winning legislation would then be immediately enacted. Any takers on how unpopular this idea would be in Congress?

Contests like this are simply theatre, serving only as a tool for the agents of government to say they are on the side of the people. Their actions speak louder than their online database of suggestions that go unimplemented. Clearly our government is out of touch, and no amount of internal government contests aimed at saving money will render a solution that truly stops wasting taxpayer money.

Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com.

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