TRANSPARENCY  and  ACCOUNTABILITY  and  SIMPLIFICATION:
  These simple changes would solve a LOT of problems, the Federal government would not need nearly as much money, and  many other improvements and efficiency would naturally follow:
(a) ETHICS COMMISSION:  Create an independent Ethics Commission to monitor, audit, and investigate unethical conduct, and report illegal activity so that violators will be held accountable.
  (b) ONE  PURPOSE  PER  BILL:  Start simplifying government by allowing ONLY  ONE  purpose per bill  (i.e. only one or more items that are necessary for the one purpose of the one bill). This will cut out the pork-barrel and graft that sneak into huge bills, in which pork-barrel consisting of numerous unrelated items is hidden within thousands of pages that few (if anyone, much less voters) reads or scrutinizes. This will allow voters to easily see how politicians voted.  This will increase transparency, which will lead to more accountability, and responsibilityCurrently, it's nearly impossible to know why a politician voted for or against a bill.  Perhaps, this lack-of-transparency is by design?  It's certainly become a popular vehicle for hiding excessive pork-barrel, graft, bribes, and waste.
(c) GRADE  PERFORMANCE:  Create and maintain a list of the most pressing problems facing the nation, and show, on a regular basis (e.g. once per month or quarterly), the problems that are being resolved, how they're being resolved, and show the problems that have been resolved.  Government must provide a way to grade it's performance, just like we all do (in school, college, and professions)Otherwise, there is no direction and chaos will prevail.
  (d) PUBLICIZE  VOTING  RECORDS:  Also, widely publicize voting records of politicians, on the internet and elsewhere, so that everyone can see the voting records of all Congress persons.  Transparency and access to all information must be allowed (the only exception would be for national security).  Similar to a surveillance system that discourages illegal behavior due to risk of being seen and held accountable, transparency will effectively discourage abuse and corruption, and make it easier to identify those accountable. The "Freedom of Information Act" has already made some information accessible, but not widely publicized.
  (e) FISCAL  RESPONSIBILITY:  Then, cut spending and waste, eliminate duplicate, overlapping, and unnecessary departments, agencies, commissions, committees, etc., reduce the waste, and start reducing the Federal government to only the few things that it is best suited to do. Do we really need all of these offices, departments, agencies, etc. Initially, the Federal government was only supposed to provide for a National Defense. Perhaps we should try to get back to the few original responsibilities?  In 2005, the Executive Branch employed about 2 million people, and the Congress employed several hundred thousand people, and many of them get paid a lot of money to do whatThe nation could be headed for a Fiscal/Financial meltdown due to a potential, simultaneous culmination of several of the following to create the perfect storm:
spending in excess of $2.4 trillion per year
over $11.2 trillion National Debt, 20% of each tax $dollar required for interest alone on the National Debt
$57 trillion in nation-wide debt ($11.2 Trillion National Debt, $450 billion of Pension Benefit Guaranty debt, hundreds of billions of unfunded liabilities for Medicare, Medicaid, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, etc.).
looming shortfalls in Social Security ($12.8 trillion in the hole); the government, for decades,  has been taking the surpluses from Social Security and replacing it with worthless government bonds (that is a dishonest ponzi-scheme);
plundered pensions going bankrupt and looming bankruptcy of the Government Pension Benefit Guaranty Group ($450 billion in the hole)
looming shortfalls in Medicare/Medicaid
the race to the bottom, globalization & outsourcing, falling incomes, declined manufacturing (will we remember how to make anything?)
rising cost and declining quality of health care
rising cost and declining quality of public education
a bad money system;  our monetary system is a massive fraudulent ponzi-scheme;  the government is printing and borrowing money to just pay the interest on the National Debt, which is like paying your VISA credit card with your VISA credit card;  this ponzi-scheme creates the ever-present, and destabilizing inflation;  since 1950, the amount of money printed has increased from $150 billion to $6.9 trillion in year 2000;  we and many future  generations will have to deal with this massive, dishonest fiscal irresponsibility, someday;
corporate/investor fraud; cooking the books; stock fraud; failure of the SEC to regulate and prosecute violators
rising cost of fuel and energy; energy vulnerability
arising cost of the war on terror, war in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. ($money, lives, and disabilities)
rising cost of illegal trespassers, burdening public schools, hospitals, health-care systems, crime prevention (unsecured borders; governments that will not enforce the laws and prosecute those that illegally employ illegal trespassers)
waste, pork-barrel, big $money in rotten elections and politics, limited access for 3rd parties on voting ballots, government growing & growing
a ridiculous and increasingly stupid, costly, unfair, and abused tax system;
 
 

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