Dear Mr. President,
In our previous two communications in The Wall Street Journal, we called attention to the lurking threat our country faces from an exploding national debt fueled by runaway government spending. We urged you to lead a national campaign to restore fiscal soundness to our great country by waging a nonpartisan War on Waste.
From a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office report: "Since 2003…cumulative improper payment estimates have totaled about $1.4 trillion." $1,400,000,000,000. Examples of improper payments are payments to doctors with suspended or revoked medical licenses or to people identifi ed as deceased in federal death files.
A War on Waste is long overdue.
We respectfully recommend that you announce to the nation that you are beginning a four-step War on Waste, that stamping out profligate government spending is a top priority of your administration.
Step 1 – Start a Transparency Revolution
Publicize every White House expenditure. Direct every department and agency in your administration to follow suit. Classifi ed expenditures would be excluded.
Transparency will be a culture-changing force. It will revolutionize government. It will infl uence how people vote. Knowing there is nowhere to hide will motivate politicians to earn votes with fiscal prudence rather than wasting taxpayer dollars by buying votes.
We are living in the Information Age and the Big Data world. There is no reason why every government expenditure should not be public, accessible to the voting public via cell phone, computer, and iPad.
Step 2 – Begin a War on Waste
Cut White House expenses 10%. Direct every government department and agency to cut expenses at least 5% (a realistic goal) and report the progress to you monthly.
This Transparency Revolution, this War on Waste are nonpartisan. It is not about cutting programs. It is about cutting government waste, fraud, duplication, and incompetence. How can removing waste—such as the $1.4 trillion in improper payments—do anything but increase the efficiency and effectiveness of every affected government program?
Step 3 – Mobilize Government Employees and Investigative Journalists
Our government employs many fi ne, dedicated public servants. They know where government waste is. So do investigative journalists. Reward those who expose waste with a percentage of the realized savings, a smaller percentage to their department head.
We recommend you hold an annual recognition dinner (maybe on the same night as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner) for those who reported the greatest amount of government waste. It is crucial to include dedicated public servants and investigative journalists in this important initiative.
Step 4 – Report the Progress to the Public
Personally report to the public the progress or lack thereof at least quarterly for the remainder of your administration. Doing so is a clear and powerful statement that you personally and your administration are unequivocally focused on waging a war on the increasingly dangerous defi cit spending crisis.
Congratulations, Mr. President. Under your administration, the economy is blooming. Unemployment is at 3.9%, near a 50-year low. For Black Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and those with only a high school diploma, it is at or near record lows. For women, unemployment is near a 66-year low. For youths, a 50-year low.
Wages are increasing. Regulations are far less counterproductive. Corporate tax rates are globally competitive. Domestic energy production is flourishing.
Unfortunately, the federal debt continues skyward. What would happen to our great country if the interest rate on government bonds exceeded 12% as in the early 1980s?
Mr. President, fiscal sanity is every bit as crucial to America’s survival as a strong defense. Only the President can begin a Transparency Revolution. Only the President can wage a War on Waste. Ronald Reagan once said, "If not us, who? If not now, when?"
The following page lists over 130 names of our country’s leaders who join us in urging you to make the Transparency Revolution, the War on Waste a primary and relentless initiative.
Dr. Tom Coburn
Honorary Chairman of OpenTheBooks.com
Thomas W. Smith
Chairman of OpenTheBooks.com
CEO & Founder of OpenTheBooks.com
The Honorable George Allen
Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia (1994-1998) U.S. Senator (2001-2007)
Retired CEO BB&T and The Cato Institute
President & Chief Executive Officer, The Buckeye Institute
Editor, City Journal
Chairman, Research Affiliates, LLC
President, The Leadership Institute
David P. Bossy
President, Mid-America Development Properties LLC
L. Brent Bozell III
Founder and President, Media Research Center
President, Freedom Works
The Honorable David A. Brat
Representative VA-7, U.S. House of Representatives (2014-2019)
Political analyst, columnist and author
President, Coalition To Reduce Spending
Pollster & Political Analyst
Publisher, Jameson Books; Board Member, OpenTheBooks.com
Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Chase Investment Counsel
John W. Childs
Chairman of the Board & Founder, J.W. Childs Associates
Warren Coats, Ph.D.
Retired, International Monetary Fund
Angelo Codevilla, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, Boston University
Chairman, Crow Holdings
Ravenel Curry III
Chief Investment Officer, Eagle Capital Management, LLC
Timothy G. Dalton, Jr.
Chairman and Founder, Dalton, Greiner, Hartman, Maher & Co., LLC
The Honorable Jim DeMint
Founding Chairman, Conservative Partnership Institute
The Honorable John Dougall
Auditor, State of Utah
The Honorable Becky Norton Dunlop
White House Staff (1981-1985)
The Honorable Robert Ehrlich
Governor, State of Maryland (2003-2007); Member, House of Representatives (1995-2003)
Director, The Soho Forum Debate Series
Richard A. Epstein
Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, WorldNetDaily.com
Founder & Chairman, ResMed
The Honorable John J. Faso
Representative NY-19, U.S. House of Representatives (2017-2019)
Founder, The Heritage Foundation
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Charlemagne Institute
Director, Center for American Common Culture, The Hudson Institute
Founder, Foster’s Outriders & Patients USA
The Honorable Gay Hart Gaines
Vice Chairman, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (2003-2010)
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Blythebourne Capital LLC
The Honorable Martin Welsh Garrick
Minority Leader, State Assembly of California (2010)
Chairman, Gilder Fund Management
The Honorable Newt Gingrich
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1979-1999); Speaker of the U.S. House of
President, Institute for Policy Innovation
The Honorable Barry M. Goldwater, Jr.
Representative CA (Retired), U.S. House of Representatives (1969-1983)
John C. Goodman
President, Goodman Institute for Public Policy Research
Founder, Wyoming Liberty Group
The Honorable Richard Graber, Ambassador, Retired
President, The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
Publisher, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
The Honorable Judd Gregg
Governor, State of New Hampshire (1989-1993); U.S. Senator (1993-2011)
Vice President of Content, Salem Media Group
The Honorable Josh Haeder
Treasurer, State of South Dakota
President, Hanley Petroleum LLC
Victor Davis Hanson
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Vice President, The Gatestone Institute
President, The Hertog Foundation
Chief Executive Officer, Independent Women’s Voice
The Honorable Cindy Hill
Superintendent of Public Instruction, State of Wyoming (2011-2015)
The Honorable Michael Huckabee
Governor, State of Arkansas (1996-2007)
The Honorable Tim Huelskamp, Ph.D.
President, The Heartland Institute
William Ellery James
Co-Founder and General Partner, RockPort Capital Partners
David A. Keene
Editor At Large, The Washington Times
President, Keiser Golf Properties
Editor, Claremont Review of Books
Chairman, Conservative Inclusion Coalition
Publisher, Encounter Books & The New Criterion
Founder & Executive Director, Turning Point USA
President, State Financial Officers Foundation
Dr. Arthur Laffer
Founder and Chairman, Laffer Associates
The Honorable Jake LaTurner
Treasurer, State of Kansas
The Honorable Rick Lazio
Representative NY-2, U.S. House of Representatives (1993-2001)
The Honorable Howard Leach, Ambassador, Retired
President, Leach Capital LLC
Founder, Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation
The Honorable Bob Livingston
Representative LA-1, U.S. House of Representatives (1977-1999)
Editor, National Review
President & Founder, CaptiveAire Systems
President, Independent Women’s Forum
Donald L. Luskin
Chief Investment Officer, TrendMacro
Founding Partner, August Capital
President, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles
Chairman, Mauldin Economics
The Honorable Bob McEwen
Former Member (Ohio), U.S. House of Representatives (1981-1993)
Co-Founder of the Trump Leadership Council
Founder, Convention of States Action
The Honorable Edwin Meese III
United States Attorney General (1985-1988)
The Honorable Curt Meier
Treasurer, State of Wyoming
President, Mercer Family Foundation
Cleta Mitchell, Esq., Partner
Foley & Lardner LLP
Chairman, Center for Freedom and Prosperity
President, Manhattan Institute For Policy Research
Economist, Committee To Unleash Prosperity
Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Department of Justice (1986-1988)
Contributing Editor, National Review Online
Chairman & Portfolio Manager, Heartland Advisors, Inc.
Lisa B. Nelson
Chief Executive Officer, American Legislative Exchange Council
President, Americans for Tax Reform
Chairman, Citizens for Self-Governance
Peter B. Orthwein
Executive Chairman, Thor Industries, Inc.
President, Family Research Council
President, William E. Simon Foundation
Joseph Pinion III
Sally C. Pipes
President & Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Research Institute
The Honorable Bruce Poliquin
Representative ME-2, U.S. House of Representatives (2015-2019)
Businessman & Author, The Capitalist Comeback
Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Rabine Group
Lawrence W. Reed
President, Foundation for Economic Education
Founder, Faith & Freedom Coalition
Chairman, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Editor, First Things
John W. Richards Jr., M.D.
Founder, iMPAC Consulting, LLC
President & CEO, The Goldwater Institute
Reagan-Bush Campaign Manager (1984)
President, The Gatestone Institute
Nathan Saint-Amand, M.D.
Trustee, Manhattan Institute For Policy Research
The Honorable Kelly Schmidt
Treasurer, State of North Dakota
President, Government Accountability Institute
Founder & CEO, Dynamic Economic Strategy
Chief Executive Officer, Precision Payroll of America
Chief Executive Officer, Americaneagle.com
Director, Center for Economic Freedom, FreedomWorks
Founder, Premia Research LLC; Board Treasurer, OpenTheBooks.com
Richard Vedder, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor Of Economics Emeritus, Ohio University
Richard A. Viguerie
President, Capital Research Center
Co-Founder, David Weekley Homes
Dick and Mary Beth Weiss
Principals, Hawthorne Partners
Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Truth In Accounting
Raymond James Welder
Chief Executive Officer, Welder Exploration & Production, Inc.
Chief Economist, First Trust Advisors
Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (US Army, Retired)
Member, 112th U.S. Congress
2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner Of The Year
President, The Claremont Institute
The Honorable Kimberly Yee
Treasurer, State of Arizona
DISCLAIMER: Affiliated organizations are for identification purposes only.
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