"The most significant threat to our national security is our debt," Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, August 27,2010


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Measurable Objectives

“Affordability”

“Sustainability”

“Reasonableness”

“My team is dedicated”

“Were not backing down”

Straight from NASA administrator Charles Bolden on a Sunday TV program. His lexicon is the language of the bureaucrat. Highfalutin; no measurable metrics as to cost or accomplishments. All we know from Mr. Bolden is that he qualifies to run any government agency because he has mastered the vocabulary of mythological, unmeasured vagueness. What is missing from his key words describing the mission of his government bureaucracy? What concept does he not even address when he talks about the future?

Measurable objectives.

If you spend billions what do you accomplish?

Building for the future? Dedicated team? Sustainability? Not measurable objectives.

Keeping America first in space? Well, that would at least be consistent with the superlatives that come from politicians and bureaucrats. You know them:

• Best medical system in the world. Ignore that it costs 2-3 times more than any other developed country with no: none: nada improvement in lifetime expectancy. As a matter of fact America’s life expectancy trails most.

• Best education system in the world. Well, not really. Just read the objective evaluations. We trail almost all the key developed and developing countries.

• Best military in the world. Probably true but that doesn’t mean we can go anywhere in the world and accomplish our military objectives anywhere in the world. As a matter of fact, we can’t. It does mean we can defend ourselves and that is and should be the number one mission of our military.

• Most powerful economy in the world. No. No longer.

• Largest exporter in the world. No. We haven’t held that measurable objective for years. We are third and declining.

• A manufacturing powerhouse. Sure we are compared to most. But we have slipped badly against our key competitors. Without a powerful manufacturing base America will fall into the inconsequential world situation that most all European countries (except Germany) have obliviously attained. Manufacturing economies cannot rest on past performance.

So, let’s make a simple point out of this essay. It is long past time for America to develop an economic policy that supports a strong wealth creating, economic growth, jobs developing economy. Our focus must be on a strong economy. Not on spreading democracy; not on attracting immigrants for which we have no jobs; not on instituting entitlement programs that must be funded via debt and currency dilution. In other words, not on NASA concepts. NASA follows the mythology that politicians blather about our medical system or our education system or our hoped for export situation. Mythology is meaningless. Political/bureaucratic pandering and nonsensical code words designed to capture one more election are a key component of the economic failure of this country. We are having our collective fat fannies handed to us by both developed and developing countries that have, in place, strong wealth creation and economic growth programs and policies.

America’s job creation problem is not a short term fix issue as it is being described by the republican candidates for the coming presidential election. The party in power and their leader from the failing state of Illinois, don’t even want to talk about the growing problem on their watch. Why? Because the only solutions are opposed by their constituency.

So, what does a system of governance that focuses on strong wealth creation/economic growth programs and policies look like:

1. Lower taxes on business and wealth creating activities
2. Drastically lower spending on all government programs, subsidies and bureaucracies (25% immediate; more to follow). All means everything; no exceptions. Future legislation must establish measurable objectives being met or it is not funded. All future legislation must be have defined termination dates no more than four years in the future
3. Gradual tightening of entitlement programs qualifications and payments (5% immediately; more to follow)
4. Tort reform which holds the loser in any civil/criminal action responsible for all costs; elimination of all federal class action lawsuits; very low limits on any non economic damages; eliminate all protected class legislation
5. Massive disclosure requirement on any lobbying effort and a complete elimination of any former government paycheck recipient from any form of lobbying activity (K Street needs to become an anti-American concept)
6. Serious immigration policy – physical removal of all illegal aliens; work permits for specific job categories
7. Federal right to work legislation; elimination of mandatory union membership
8. Medical system revisions: cap on all senior reimbursements; co-pays for all procedures; charity/government assistance for those who cannot afford co-pays
9. Federal criminal legislation must be abandoned. State governments must be in charge of criminal prosecutions
10. Term limits for all federal elective positions

Too much you say. Not doable. A lot of Americans are sitting on their fat fannies voting every two/four years for hope and change. Meanwhile, the country slips further and further behind our principal and growing foreign competitors. If you are not willing to sacrifice now, today; you may just as well vote for hope and change. It is the same as praying for a miracle to lose weight while waiting for your super sized meal at the local fast food outlet.  At least you can measure (your waist line) the result of that meal!

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