Friday, October 2, 2020

How Much Government Waste Is Due to Things Like This?

The other day I was talking with Donna Bergstrom, a Republican candidate running for the state legislature, Duluth's District 7 seat here in Minnesota. I was picking her brain as regards various issues, one of them being government waste. 

I asked how it is that there is so much government waste and no one ever seems to deal with it. 

Part of the issue, she said, is the lack of transparency in so much of government. She also mentioned duplication of services by various agencies and legacy programs, which is the subject of this blog post. 

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What are legacy programs? They are programs that were created to serve a purpose, but now have a life of their own and no longer serve that purpose but simply exist because they exist. To illustrate her point Ms. Bergstrom shared with me the following story.

Years ago, a marine was assigned to stand guard at a certain door in Washington DC--it may have been in the White House, the Pentagon or some other important building. The guard was there to prevent people from barging in on whatever was taking place within.

Years went by with the Marines doing their solemn duty to guard this door. They did not know why they were guarding this door. It was strictly a matter of following orders. There was no doubt a reason or they would not have been assigned this task in the first place.

One day someone decided to see what was behind this important door. As it turns out, somewhere along the way, a brick wall had been built behind the door. At some point in time the doorway had been blocked off. The task of keeping people out was no longer relevant.

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How many government initiatives are as irrelevant as that U.S. Marine guarding this door to nowhere? This is just one example of why there's a need to thoroughly review everything our government is doing. It also illustrates why we need more government transparency. 

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Related Link
Donna Bergstrom Facebook Page
The Bus to Abilene

Photo by Hannah Skelly on Unsplash 

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