For the Good of Illinois

The Wall Street Journal: Our Open Letter to President Trump

Letter to the President

America Needs a War on Waste and a Transparency Revolution

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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.
 
Respectfully,
 
Dr. Tom Coburn
Honorary Chairman of OpenTheBooks.com
 
Thomas W. Smith
Chairman of OpenTheBooks.com
 
Adam Andrzejewski
CEO & Founder of OpenTheBooks.com
 
The Honorable George Allen
Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia (1994-1998) U.S. Senator (2001-2007)
 
John Allison
Retired CEO BB&T and The Cato Institute

Robert Alt
President & Chief Executive Officer, The Buckeye Institute
 
Brian Anderson
Editor, City Journal
 
Robert Arnott
Chairman, Research Affiliates, LLC
 
Morton Blackwell
President, The Leadership Institute
 
David P. Bossy
President, Mid-America Development Properties LLC

David Bozell
President, ForAmerica
 
L. Brent Bozell III
Founder and President, Media Research Center
 
Adam Brandon
President, Freedom Works
 
The Honorable David A. Brat
Representative VA-7, U.S. House of Representatives (2014-2019)

Tammy Bruce
Political analyst, columnist and author

Jonathan Bydlak
President, Coalition To Reduce Spending
 
Patrick Caddell
Pollster & Political Analyst

Jameson Campaigne
Publisher, Jameson Books; Board Member, OpenTheBooks.com
 
Derwood Chase
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

Steve Cortes
Contributor, CNN

Harlan Crow
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)
 
Gene Epstein
Director, The Soho Forum Debate Series
 
Richard A. Epstein
Laurence A. Tisch Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Joseph Farah
Founder & Chief Executive Officer, WorldNetDaily.com

Peter Farrell
Founder & Chairman, ResMed
 
The Honorable John J. Faso
Representative NY-19, U.S. House of Representatives (2017-2019)
 
Edwin Feulner
Founder, The Heritage Foundation
 
Devin Foley
Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, The Charlemagne Institute
 
John Fonte
Director, Center for American Common Culture, The Hudson Institute

Foster Friess
Founder, Foster’s Outriders & Patients USA
 
The Honorable Gay Hart Gaines
Vice Chairman, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (2003-2010)
 
Chris Galvin
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Blythebourne Capital LLC
 
The Honorable Martin Welsh Garrick
Minority Leader, State Assembly of California (2010)

George Gilder
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
Representatives (1995-1999)
 
Tom Giovanetti
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
 
Susan Gore
Founder, Wyoming Liberty Group
 
The Honorable Richard Graber, Ambassador, Retired
President, The Lynde & Harry Bradley Foundation
 
James Grant
Publisher, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

The Honorable Judd Gregg
Governor, State of New Hampshire (1989-1993); U.S. Senator (1993-2011)

Lee Habeeb
Vice President of Content, Salem Media Group

The Honorable Josh Haeder
Treasurer, State of South Dakota
 
Alice Hanley
President, Hanley Petroleum LLC
 
Victor Davis Hanson
Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
 
Naomi Hass-Perlman
Vice President, The Gatestone Institute
 
Roger Hertog
President, The Hertog Foundation
 
Heather Higgins
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
 
Michael Keiser
President, Keiser Golf Properties

Charles Kesler
Editor, Claremont Review of Books
 
Suhail Khan
Chairman, Conservative Inclusion Coalition
 
Roger Kimball
Publisher, Encounter Books & The New Criterion
 
Charlie Kirk
Founder & Executive Director, Turning Point USA
 
Vince Kolber
Chairman, RESIDCO
 
Derek Kreifels
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
 
Michael Leven
Founder, Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation
 
The Honorable Bob Livingston
Representative LA-1, U.S. House of Representatives (1977-1999)

Rich Lowry
Editor, National Review

Robert Luddy
President & Founder, CaptiveAire Systems
 
Carrie Lukas
President, Independent Women’s Forum

Donald L. Luskin
Chief Investment Officer, TrendMacro

David Marquardt
Founding Partner, August Capital
 
Ed Martin
President, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles
 
John Mauldin
Chairman, Mauldin Economics

Ron Maxwell
Filmmaker
 
The Honorable Bob McEwen
Former Member (Ohio), U.S. House of Representatives (1981-1993)
 
John McNabb
Co-Founder of the Trump Leadership Council
 
Mark Meckler
Founder, Convention of States Action
 
The Honorable Edwin Meese III
United States Attorney General (1985-1988)
 
The Honorable Curt Meier
Treasurer, State of Wyoming

George Melloan
Writer
 
Rebekah Mercer
President, Mercer Family Foundation
 
Cleta Mitchell, Esq., Partner
Foley & Lardner LLP
 
Daniel Mitchell
Chairman, Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Lawrence Mone
President, Manhattan Institute For Policy Research
 
Stephen Moore
Economist, Committee To Unleash Prosperity
 
Joseph Morris
Assistant U.S. Attorney General, Department of Justice (1986-1988)

Deroy Murdock
Contributing Editor, National Review Online

Bill Nasgovitz
Chairman & Portfolio Manager, Heartland Advisors, Inc.
 
Lisa B. Nelson
Chief Executive Officer, American Legislative Exchange Council
 
Grover Norquist
President, Americans for Tax Reform

Eric O’Keefe
Chairman, Citizens for Self-Governance
 
Peter B. Orthwein
Executive Chairman, Thor Industries, Inc.

Candace Owens
Founder, BLEXIT
 
Tony Perkins
President, Family Research Council
 
James Piereson
President, William E. Simon Foundation
 
Joseph Pinion III
Contributor, CNN
 
Sally C. Pipes
President & Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Research Institute
 
The Honorable Bruce Poliquin
Representative ME-2, U.S. House of Representatives (2015-2019)
 
Andrew Puzder
Businessman & Author, The Capitalist Comeback
 
Gary Rabine
Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Rabine Group
 
Lawrence W. Reed
President, Foundation for Economic Education
 
Ralph Reed
Founder, Faith & Freedom Coalition
 
Alfred Regnery
Chairman, Intercollegiate Studies Institute
 
 
R.R. Reno
Editor, First Things
 
John W. Richards Jr., M.D.
Founder, iMPAC Consulting, LLC
 
Victor Riches
President & CEO, The Goldwater Institute
 
Ed Rollins
Reagan-Bush Campaign Manager (1984)

Nina Rosenwald
President, The Gatestone Institute
 
Charles Royce

Nathan Saint-Amand, M.D.
Trustee, Manhattan Institute For Policy Research
 
The Honorable Kelly Schmidt
Treasurer, State of North Dakota
 
Peter Schweizer
President, Government Accountability Institute

John Silvia
Founder & CEO, Dynamic Economic Strategy
 
Tom Sodeika
Chief Executive Officer, Precision Payroll of America
 
Tony Svanascini
Chief Executive Officer, Americaneagle.com
 
John Tamny
Director, Center for Economic Freedom, FreedomWorks
 
Hilary Till
Founder, Premia Research LLC; Board Treasurer, OpenTheBooks.com
 
Richard Uihlein
Founder, Uline
 
Richard Vedder, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor Of Economics Emeritus, Ohio University
 
Richard A. Viguerie
Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com

Scott Walter
President, Capital Research Center
 
Richard Weekley
Co-Founder, David Weekley Homes
 
Dick and Mary Beth Weiss
Principals, Hawthorne Partners
 
Sheila Weinberg
Chief Executive Officer & Founder, Truth In Accounting
 
Raymond James Welder
Chief Executive Officer, Welder Exploration & Production, Inc.

Brian Wesbury
Chief Economist, First Trust Advisors

Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West (US Army, Retired)
Member, 112th U.S. Congress
 
Armstrong Williams
2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner Of The Year
 
Ryan Williams
President, The Claremont Institute

Kevin Williamson
Journalist
 
The Honorable Kimberly Yee
Treasurer, State of Arizona
 
DISCLAIMER: Affiliated organizations are for identification purposes only. 
 
Read the two-page ad, click here
 
Join more than 75,000 regular Americans and sign your name to our petition, click here
 

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Evelyn Stiner
Vidalia LA, LA
2/6/2019 01:10 PM
 

  this must include the travel of congresspersons, such as the recent disrupted codel planned by Speaker of the House Pelosi. Our taxes should not be paying for their vacations.

 
 
Eric Schrader
Belfast, ME
2/6/2019 01:07 PM
 

  I'm going to use "Open the Books" to do research on the salaries of the top employees in our small town. The town won't do an audit of workplace efficiency because they are afraid to find out that they have a bloated payroll, along with pension contributions and nearly free health care, all paid by the taxpayers. Let the fun begin.

 
 
Don
Herriman, UT
2/5/2019 11:20 AM
 

  Include complete transparency. I'm also tired of backroom deals where we never get told how we were sold out.