As financial advisor, I found that many financial issues were solved by eliminating the waste of resources. In light of the budget shortfalls that are affecting more than 40 states, I found several areas in which many of these states are simply wasting millions of dollars of tax payer funding. Much of these resources can and should be redirected toward improving the education of our children. Many politicians see these things as necessary. I see them simply as wasted money.
They May Be Operating Inefficiently. This is not a big government versus small government conversation. This is about those states that have antiquated systems of checks and balances. There are still states that have not upgraded to the digital age, continue to inefficiently generated tons of inter office paperwork. This is a huge waste of resources. Not only do states not need to generate so much paperwork, a more efficient system, would require less employees to operate it.
They May allow State Employees to Use State Owned Vehicles for Personal Use. Many states have restricted the use of state owned vehicles for personal use but usually it is not enforced. Therefore, state employees often use State owned vehicles for their daily commute and other purposes and send the bill for maintenence, repairs and gas to the state taxpayers. This is a waste of resources. If states established and enforced rules against the use of state owned vehicles, they could put the money saved elsewhere in their budgets. They could have invested it in currency exchange market where the conversion of dollar in euro can be a great source of money. Hence, it is always important to be smart on how we spend and invest our money so we can make the right decision and will reap its benefits in the future.
They May Allow Too Many No-Bid Contracts. Politics is the arena for quid pro quo. Often in exchange for campaign donations, many politicians award many regional companies no-bid multimillion-dollar service contracts, which are funded by the state. Often states find themselves overpaying for services such as construction, equipment supply and equipment maintenance. This is also a waste of resources. If theses states got rid of no-bid contracts, taxpayers would find themselves saving money as they pay rates that are more competitive, as companies battle for the contract.
They May be Funding too Many Pet Projects. Every state has a ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ or a multimillion-dollar project that only benefits a very small segment of the population. Often, these projects require additional funding every fiscal year to keep them operational. Since almost every state legislator has one of these types’ projects in their district, they rarely are denied funding. The sum total of the establishment of these type projects cost state taxpayers. Legislators should consider privatizing many, if not all of these projects. This would save tax payers millions.
They May Be Incarcerating Too Many Elderly and Terminally Ill Inmates. It has been estimated that a state could pay around $100,000 or more per year to incarcerate an elderly or terminally ill inmate. When you look at state with large prison populations, the number of these inmates could reach into the tens of thousands. Ten thousand of these inmates, could cost a state approximately a billion dollars. Since many of these inmates are no longer a real serious threat to society, this money could be saved by simply releasing or sending them to senior care facilities.
Not all five of these actions may be occurring in your state. Many states are addressing these problems in the upcoming fiscal year. However, chances are every state has wasteful functions similar to these occurring. Regardless of any political lean, waste is waste. Money is not red or blue it is green. We need to start thinking with our brains and not our beloved politicians because many of them are only thinking of themselves. My best advice, contact your local representative and address these issues. The money that we could save is money needed elsewhere.