Goshen News, Goshen, IN

December 29, 2012

Savings can be realized through government innovation

— The Department of State has a very large staff and budget that is constantly growing without re-evaluating the need for growth in this age of instant communication and video chat. To protect personnel we could leave many staff positions in the United States and forward their work by way of FAX machines. Some services that an embassy or consulate provides could be provided by an automatic teller machine, like kiosks in an airport or other relatively secure location. Smaller, faster, more fuel efficient planes, even with special long-range modifications, should be much less costly to fly.                                                                                                                                            

Pentagon staffing should continue to be looked into as it doesn’t require an officer to carry a general’s briefcase or perhaps if a general can no longer carry his own briefcase he or she should retire. People who work as paid lobbyists should not also receive government or military pensions at the same time, in order to further reduce the burden that lobbyists impose on government staff time. Some things that will save the taxpayers money in the long run will require up-front investment in less costly to use equipment, such as electric or alternatively-fueled vehicles. Growing food in greenhouses, ( plants, fish, animals), at jails and prisons while aiding university and private research will allow prisoners and staff to be fed better while reducing food costs and providing training opportunities for new careers for inmates.

Water-cooled photovoltaic panels could be installed on government buildings to provide not only research opportunities but to save in both the cost of electricity and hot water.   

—David A. Shepard