Is there anything good about the debt ceiling mess that we’re in? Maybe, according to Paul Light, professor of public service at NYU. Light recently suggested that reorganizing the federal government could save us up to $1 trillion dollars. The Washington Post‘s Joe Davidson summarizes his recommendations below:
Light suggests, among other things, cutting the number of presidential appointees and mid-level and senior federal managers by one-third. He also wants to freeze hiring of senior and mid-level managers.
Light’s other suggestions:
— Make sure the government gets all the money it’s already due, from such things as erroneous or fraudulent payments to contractors and beneficiaries, unpaid loans, fees and taxes.
— Eliminate duplication by consolidating overlapping programs.
— Strengthen federal productivity.
— Stop “automatic time-on-the-job pay increases.”
— Cut 500,000 contract workers.
It remains to be seen whether the debt crisis will be compelling enough to trigger a major government reorganization. A crisis is rarely a good thing, but maybe a big shake-up is exactly what we need. What do you think of Light’s suggestions? Will they really save $1 trillion?
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