Fixing Government

We have had more than a few conversations about this at the dining room table over the past year.  The Trump budget is destructive to many of the fundamentals of our culture but how do we keep those programs that are so important and have a healthy balance sheet?  Non-profits can have healthy balance sheets too.

The concept of trickle-down economics doesn’t work for any of the people who are supposed to get the trickle.  It just works for the top.  Elected officials are by most accounts career politicians.  They are most interested in getting re-elected and passing bills that help their constituents although these days we are seeing more interest in just staying in power.

One of the many reasons I am so sorry that Mike Bloomberg did not run for the job of President is that after 3 terms of being the Mayor of NYC he understands Government budgets and he also understands business budgets.  They are very different things and few people really get both.  The only constant is the word budget.  Those of you that believe Trump gets it too are wrong as this is a man who bankrupted his own company four times and US banks refused to give him any more debt.  Says something right there.

Slash and burn is not the answer.  Careful thought to each program from how it is managed, where the money is going and that includes military and everything in between is needed.  Technology and infrastructure which includes our roads and the way our Government is run, from a bottom-up approach is what is needed.

When companies are purchased that are bleeding cash and not making the impact that they could be making, the owners (sometimes it is new owners) take a look at every aspect of the business and make the appropriate decisions to keep the culture yet make it profitable.

Perhaps I am being naive but our elected officials need to be able to not have knee jerk reactions based on who is in power but to take a long look at how our Government operates in a smart way.  Bloomberg is the only person I know who is capable of that.  I so wish that there was a few people who fall under this category.

Almost 20 years ago, Fred and I attended an intimate event of around 15 people in the tech world and 20 senators including the Clintons.  It was a dinner roundtable discussion about what we cared about and how our “new” community could obviously become more involved in politics.  Fred talked about the same thing we are talking about today, smart immigrants to come here and work in our companies and the insanity of our immigrantion policies.  I talked about education as I was chairing MOUSE at the time.  I remember hearing more than a few Senators talk about how they can make the changes today yet nobody was talking about the long tail.  It was about keeping their jobs, aka keeping them in power.  I brought up that nobody in their jobs makes a decision that will be the right ones for the long run and that is the problem with Government.  Not sure they wanted to hear that but this table of young people in a new industry were extremely “un-political” in their suggestions.

In the past few weeks, I have thought a lot about that dinner.  If the people sitting around that table had made the smart decisions vs the decisions that kept them in power (aka treading water) then perhaps our country would be in a very different position today.  Everything is short-term in Government.  It is too bad we don’t have a leader who thinks about the long view.