Profits are the fire that drives private sector industry. Whether you're selling health plans or lead filled toys, your decisions are generally guide by the desire to increase your bottom line. That's why you see companies maximizing revenues while reducing costs, and all without a commission to tell them to do so. The problem for the government is there is no profit motive. Believe me, if you offered Obama 5% of whatever he cut from the budget, we'd be writing him a $50 billion check by the end of next year. So, I propose we start adopting some common sense private sector cost cutting ideas.
Performance based pay. I love teachers. I've had some great ones and I've also terrorized some. However, I turned out OK. (that might be an overstatement) They certainly should be paid a fair wage, when they perform. An idea has been circulating around, and is even backed by Obama, about linking the pay of teachers to the long term success of their students. This would help us weed out the shitty teachers and produce a better generation of people to replace the one retiring now. Not that it will be very hard to replace a generation marked by free love, LSD, draft dodging, and an overall decline in worker productivity but I might still hold my breath. Also, bonuses for department heads who come in under budget with the promise their budget will not be slashed the following year. Think about it, every year they spend less than we apportion its a budget cut in the sense that it saves us money. You better believe we could probably shave $100 billion off the budget that way.
Video and eConferencing. There is no need for offices anymore. The internet has made every meeting a possible virtual meeting, full with desktop sharing, audio, video, and even firm handshakes according to one of the scientists at the TED Conference. NATO Summits would be a lot cheaper if we didn't need to deploy Air Force 1 and advanced secret service teams. The military already uses this technology heavily. Applying it across the board would cut down on the expenses we incur funding travel to other countries and would save the environment.
Strict Budgets. If a contractor tells you something will cost $40 billion, then we better have whatever new whale shaped submarine drone we're developing once the $40 billion runs out. Once the budget is spent, the project is done and we never use that contractor again. After doing this once, I bet you won't see any military contractors going over again. We have this terrible mentality that we've already spent $40 billion so what's another 10. Well it's $10 billion dollars, that's what it is. This would curb defense spending significantly without affecting the majority of programs.
Our finances are a mess, it's time to start doing something.