Georgia families deserve a representative who will fight for them to make sure every dollar the government takes in is spent in the best possible way for the Sixth District.
I am committed to bringing fresh leadership, accountability, and fiscal responsibility to Washington. This plan is the start of my commitment to do just that.
Every year, the federal government spends more than $1 billion to find waste in the federal budget, creating a blueprint to save taxpayers’ money by eliminating programs we don’t need and making government more efficient. Yet year after year, Congress and the White House ignore these reports, putting entrenched special interests over American taxpayers.
We need to take action. By simply following these existing recommendations, we can potentially save billions of dollars for taxpayers over the next decade. Because my campaign is powered by grassroots volunteers and donors, I won’t be beholden to the partisan politics and special interest lobbyists that prevent these common sense reforms from happening.
There’s no question that fighting Washington special interests to eliminate the waste identified in this plan is going to be difficult. But I’m up for the challenge.
Since 2011, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office has identified 616 “opportunities to reduce fragmentation, overlap and duplication, and achieve other financial benefits.”
Only 260 of those issues have been fully addressed.
While I do not necessarily agree with all the report’s recommendations, Congress should force the government to address the issues raised and either enact the recommendations or offer an explanation for why a current practice should continue. And some of these savings can be, for example, reprogrammed to Operations & Maintenance to strengthen military capabilities.
If elected, one of my first actions in Congress will be to recommend the savings below. My suggestions have already been verified by independent fact-checkers, who stated “there are indeed $16 billion in cuts recommended by a credible study.”
Save $5.4 billion by consolidating federal data centers
Save $388 Million by consolidating mobile communications
Implement strategic sourcing at Department of Defense and save $4 Billion
Improve existing joint basing at Department of Defense and save $2.3 billion
Improve demonstrative spending at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to save at least $2 Billion
Improve oversight of state CMS spending to save at least $200 Million
Save $1.7 billion by improving management of oil and gas on federal lands
Total Savings: $16 billion
Report: 2016 Annual Report,” Congressional Budget Office, 4/2016
We have the potential to immediately save taxpayers’ hard-earned money, and this is just the beginning.
Bringing the Government up to Private Sector Standards
Some branches of government use laughably outdated technology and financial management systems. In addition to slowing things down, it’s costing taxpayers money.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that in FY2014 the federal government had a payment error rate of 4.5%, resulting in $124.7 billion in improper payments, and that’s in part due to its outdated computer systems. In fact a recent study found that there are 6.5 million active Social Security numbers for people over 112, despite the fact that there are only 42 people that old worldwide.
In order to prevent these improper payments, we should streamline and encourage data-sharing and private sector standard financial management practices across federal agencies. According to the GAO, sharing this data “can help prevent improper payments to deceased individuals or those who use deceased individuals’ identities, but the Social Security Administration (SSA) faces challenges in maintaining these data, and other agencies face challenges in obtaining them.”
We must streamline the sharing of this and similar data so government can function better and reduce improper payments, as well as enforce better record-keeping. For example, chip-and-pin “smart cards” would enable seniors to receive the Medicare benefits they deserve while ending improper and fraudulent payments to SSNs no longer in use. This has the added benefit of rooting out Medicare fraud.
Although it’s unrealistic to hope for a 0% error rate, a business operating with 4.5% error rate would be held accountable to its shareholders. I see no reason that this should not be our government’s standard as well.
Stopping all of these payments will be tough, but even stopping some of them could save the government massive sums of money. In fact, if you could just stop half of the improper payments (assuming 2 year implementation) you’d save nearly $600 billion dollars over the next decade.
Potential Savings: Up to $124.7 Billion a year, or as much as $592.3 Billion Over Ten Years
Wasteful Spending Prevents us from Setting the Right Priorities
In 2005, our total debt was $7.5 trillion dollars. Today it is $19.8 trillion. That is unsustainable. Tax dollars wasted are tax dollars not allocated to deficit reduction or sound policy priorities.
To fix this, we can start by attacking spending our own government has identified as wasteful. My plan above can save us as much as $600 billion over the next ten years. And in talking to voters, business-owners, and entrepreneurs throughout the 6th District, it’s clear that we can keep metro Atlanta’s economy growing by prioritizing high-tech and biotech research, as well as higher and technical education.
Promote High-Tech and Biotech Research
The CDC is on the front lines protecting us from disease and bioterrorism, and has helped establish metro Atlanta as a biotech and health technology leader.
The CDC is an engine that helps Georgia’s biotech sector grow. It is among the top 15 employers in the state, employing more than 8,900 Georgians, and it does hundreds of millions of dollars of business each year with Georgia companies. Reports also indicate that every job at the CDC creates three more in Georgia. But instead of supporting the CDC, Washington is actively damaging it.
By cutting wasteful spending so we can prioritize high-tech research at institutions like the CDC and research centers in Georgia, we can drive innovation to grow our high-tech economy.
Prioritize STEM Programs, Colleges, and Tech Schools
All Georgians – all Americans – should have the opportunity to reach their full potential. By prioritizing training in science, technology, engineering, and math, we can prepare young people and a retrained adult workforce for good-paying positions at firms in Georgia’s growing high-tech sector.
We should also make it a priority to reduce the burden of student debt by allowing college students to refinance their student loan repayment programs to benefit from lower interest rates.
In Congress, I will work across the aisle and with like-minded representatives on both sides of the aisle to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education for Georgia’s students, and professional education to qualify Georgians for the workforce after high school and when they need mid-career retraining