Real People, Not Regulations, Are the Key to Accountability – Philip K. Howard – The Atlantic

Sunset all budgetary programs. Most of the budget is consumed in programs that don’t come up for legislative reauthorization. Congress must be forced to make the tough choices needed to set priorities. A constitutional sunset amendment would require Congress to periodically make new findings and adjust programs accordingly. What about entitlements? The idea of permanent entitlements is morally corrupt, an open faucet that no public official can adjust as circumstances change. Special education, for example, has burgeoned beyond any expectation, now consuming over 20 percent of the total K-12 budget. This leaves almost nothing for, say, pre-K education or programs for gifted students. Is that fair? The fee-for-service structure of Medicare is inefficient by at least 30 percent, wasting $150 to $250 billion annually. Just think of how those wasted dollars could be used — for example, to build an efficient energy grid.

Every public dollar involves a moral choice. Congress must be forced to face this responsibility.

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