This is a letter which I plan to send to our governor and every legislator in the state. Tell me what you think of it first.
1) Pass a law which states: “No government agency, bureau, department, etc. shall print, publish, use, maintain, etc. more than ten (10) separate and distinct bureaucratic forms.”
This simple law will save the state government about 40% of its budget, right there. How do I know? I used to work for the Welfare department in Michigan and Illinois, and I saw for myself that all the actual work done by the Welfare department could have been performed with no more than ten forms, including the inter-office memo. Instead, the department used over 1500 forms. Filling out all those forms took up most of the time of the caseworkers, preventing them from spending most of their time taking care of the clients. This necessitated hiring more caseworkers. All that paperwork also required hiring an army of clerks to file and maintain the forms. And of course, all those excess clerks and caseworkers required more managers, and the managers needed more forms to keep track of the performance of all those clerks and caseworkers. I saw for myself that of all the money the state allocated to Welfare, less than 50% went into the pockets of the poor; all the rest went to maintaining the department’s own bureaucracy. And it was all unnecessary! Since then I’ve learned that other government departments are even more wasteful, more clogged with paperwork and bureaucracy, than this.
2) Completely legalize Marijuana – and all products of the Hemp plant – and tax them 5% (no more, no less) at the point of sale. Also, “influence” all those “financial institutions” which are “friends” of the state government to “assist and encourage” start-up businesses processing and selling products of the Hemp plant.
Never mind all those pious (or Mafia-related) idiots who insist that Marijuana Is Evil, Marijuana Is A Gateway Drug, and all the other myths. The facts are that Marijuana is safer than aspirin: it has no lethal dosage, it’s not addictive, and it doesn’t “lead to” anything – except possibly cynicism over the intelligence of government. Marijuana was made illegal in the first place precisely in order to stop Hemp-industry development, which would otherwise have created serious rivals to existing chemical, timber and pharmaceutical companies. We need those rivals now, to restart our floundering economy.
3) Hire an efficient, and ruthlessly honest, accounting firm to go through the entire state bureaucracy with a fine-toothed comb, searching specifically for waste and how to stop it. Upon receiving the accounting firm’s report, act on it.
Yes, such efforts have been made before, but usually they have been done by government agencies themselves. The conflict of interest here should be obvious. A private firm, if chosen carefully, would have no such reservations.
If adopted, these three policies should pull the state of Arizona out of debt within a year.