The Biggest Government Waste
We have all read articles about government waste, but sadly the largest government waste is never addressed. I am referring to time. One only has to watch C-span for a short period of time to realize how bad time management is.
First of all, most of the so called “Debate Periods” for bills or legislation are just an opportunity for grandstanding and “air time” for those who speak. I seriously doubt that Sen Cruz will say anything to change Sen. Baldwin’s position or vice versa. But the media sure loves those clips that they can edit for the news shows. What should be done is every legislator who wants to put out a position on an issue should do it on their own government website. Often when you watch these debates we see hundreds of congresspeople bored out of their mind, sitting there for hours and doing nothing. This is time that could be spent being far more productive, by perhaps reading or writing a bill. Congressional or Senate hearings have gotten even worse. We are spending months and years trying to get answers to simple questions. Subpoena’s go unanswered until the very last day and time when most of this information is digitally stored and accessible quickly.
Often times during the hearings each legislator who is at the hearing has an aid or two that is sitting there waiting to give the legislator the information that they might need for the “questioning”. Now the legislator may not even be called upon for questioning for hours or even that day but everyone has to be there for the cameras. What use to be hard hitting discovery questions from everyone has changed to discovery questions from one political party. But for the opposing party we hear editorials about how horrible it is that this fine american has been forced to testify when he or she has done nothing wrong, praise and support for a job well done, and a litany of other wrong doings of the opposing party, none of which has bearing on the hearings.
All of these meeting, hearings, and debates are run under “Robert’s Rules of Order or an adaptation of Robert’s Rules of Order that are then defined as Senate Rules or House Rules. While I understand the need for rules and order, the formality of all of this is another giant waste of time. Often one hears, ”the house will hear from the congressman from the 6th district of Wisconsin, the congressman has 5 minutes”. But it gets even worse, because in the middle of his 5 minutes, he may yield 2 minutes of his time to his esteemed colleague from the great state of Texas, Congressman One. Then Congressman One thanks the congressman from Wisconsin for yielding the 2 minutes. Now this may not seem like much, but multiply this times the hours, days and number of meetings and you see just how critical this becomes.
Now another thing that is a huge waste of time is some of the choices of congressional hearings. One of the the most obvious stupid hearings was into the supposed doping in professional baseball. Yes I realize that it is a federal crime but my gosh, why is the government even regulating a sport? With all the things they need to get done, and do not have time to do, they are worried about that? If there is a need for a congressional or senate hearing, let’s make certain that it is critical and that there is a goal to be achieved. Every day it seems like something happens where people are demanding congressional hearings, we need to stop thinking that everything demands a hearing.
The last time I will discuss in this post is fact finding missions. Often times a politician will declare that he or she needs to go to another country or even someplace in the United States to find out what they call key information on their own. These “missions” rarely reveal anything they did not know before or change anything the government does about the issue. But when campaigning they often refer to these missions as being greatly important. However those of us who follow this closely, understand it is a ”look at how important I am moment and how much I care”, rather than anything being accomplished.
The sad truth is this time wasting is not just on the federal level, but it is also at the state and local level too! If government was more like business where time matters many of these things would be done way more efficiently. Our government has become an entity that is only interested in growing itself and consuming more tax payor dollars.
Until this major issue is addressed don’t look for much of anything in government to change. Remember, time is the one thing we can never get back.
I am Chuck Pithy and I tell it like it is!