Fixing the Government

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How can Congress make the government work better? The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) has released a list of a dozen solid ideas:

  1. Pass Whistleblower Protection Law
  2. Create an Independent Audit Agency
  3. Improve Economic Recovery Efforts
  4. Put the Teeth Back in Financial Regulatory Agencies
  5. Uncover the Hidden Costs of Privatizing Government
  6. Ensure Taxpayers Get Their Fair Share of Revenues from Royalty Collection
  7. Increase Government Accountability and Transparency
  8. End Wasteful Defense Spending
  9. Make Government Watchdog Organizations More Accountable
  10. Drag the Nuclear Complex Out of the Cold War, and Ensure Oversight of Lab Contractors
  11. Disclose Conflicts of Interest in Scientific Research
  12. And of Course: Fix the Broken Federal Contracting System

My favorite idea of the bunch is probably the second one, an independent audit agency. The great thing about spending more money on auditors is that auditors catch enough waste and fraud that the increased funding tends to pay for itself, plus some. But government auditors are too dependent on the agencies and departments they’re supposed to be monitoring. “As a result,” POGO explains, “auditors’ findings have been ignored or altered, and in some cases have resulted in retaliation or demotion.” An independent audit agency wouldn’t have that problem. It would be respected—and feared. And when it comes to worrying about being audited, putting a little fear into government agencies is probably a good thing.

Anyway, the whole list is worth checking out—especially if you’re a member of Congress looking for some good reforms to support.

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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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