Many of my friends often complain of how wasteful public spending always turns out to be.
I expect they have a point about how some public dollars are expended.
Who can forget the thousand dollar toilet seats installed on some battleship somewhere via a contract that didn't go out to bid in proper or competitive fashion?
More recently, recipients of the first round of federal "bail out" money evidently used some of it to fund luxurious retreats, underwrite lucrative retirement packages and purchase state-of- the-art corporate jets.
I think I can suggest a remedy.
Move the overseers of public grants, like the ones we receive and administer here at Central Dallas Ministries, to Wall Street and turn them loose on those who must now manage and spend public dollars. Once the crisis is over, leave these regulators there!
Every single dollar we receive from AmeriCorps, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the City of Dallas, Dallas County, the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). . .take your pick!--must be accounted for in triplicate. Auditors show up unannounced to investigate our books and records and program sites. There is no room for fraud or rip off.
People who blast government and public spending don't seem to realize that much of the work funded via public sources is done by community-based organizations like ours. And we are accountable, believe me, we are held, gladly held accountable.
What I realize is that we are the government.
Now, if we could just get the Wall Street crowd under this same intense scrutiny. What works on the countless Back Streets of the nation ought to work on that short span we know as Wall Street.