Our government’s fiscal culture must change if we are serious about saving money.
Across agencies, people charged with managing taxpayer money are taught “if we don’t spend what we asked for this year, we won’t get it again next year.” True or not, managing money this way, and perpetuating this belief among subordinates, is an irresponsible disservice to American taxpayers.
The accuracy of this aphorism is largely unknown because no one dares test it. What is true is that it causes indiscriminate spending late each fiscal year, with budget managers scrambling to spend every dime. Most of the so-called savings realized by responsible spenders is expended simply to ensure the money is gone, resulting in waste and unfounded claims of saving.