Senator Clinton’s Reinventing Government

An interesting proposal from Senator Clinton:

Pledging to rebuild “the competence of government and the confidence of the American people,” Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton says she wants to streamline the functions of the federal government and boost its accountability to taxpayers. The Democratic presidential front-runner was to offer details of a government reform plan Friday in a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, She was expected to propose cutting 500,000 government contractors for a savings of up to $18 billion a year. In an interview with The Associated Press, Clinton said the government needed to become more consumer-friendly, cost-efficient and transparent in the way it does
business … She said she would limit the Bush administration practice of hiring private companies to perform government functions and would work to boost the performance of key agencies, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which she said performed well during her husband’s White House years. “People are rightly disturbed by what they see as the incompetence and corruption in this administration. And that’s undermined confidence in government, which makes it very difficult for us to meet the challenges we face today,” Clinton said. Her proposals echoed “Reinventing Government,” or REGO, a program launched during her husband’s administration and run by Vice President Al Gore. REGO was credited with saving taxpayers more than $136 billion over eight years by cutting the federal work force, trimming layers of management and cutting subsidies for items like mohair and wool.

OK, this does sound an Al Gore redux. And $18 billion a year represents less than 0.15% of GDP. But one has to start somehow if one wants to get a handle on the massive Federal deficit.

Update: Crystal Patterson is providing more discussion on the Senator’s government reform plan. OK, Crystal works for her campaign. I don’t and I’m hoping to hear more from John Edwards.