Every time I watch the news, there are stories about the budget deficit and the national debt. There is the ongoing battle about government employees pay and benefits including retirement pay. There was the recall election in Wisconsin and California is in deep financial trouble. All of that being said, I believe it is the fiscal policy of the government itself, that causes many of these issues.
How can I say that? Easy! If you were in the military or worked for the Federal Government you may remember what happened at the end of the fiscal year. If there was money left in the ship, units, department, division, check book, it got spent!! And not necessarily spent on sensible things!! As the last month of the fiscal year dawned, spending was frenzied! Why, because if a ship, unit, returned money from the allocated funding for the fiscal year, the ship or unit's allocation for the next fiscal year would be reduced! Now nobody wants their budget reduced, so spend we must.
The simple fact is, there is NO incentive to encourage anyone to save government money! There have been attempts at incentivizeing fiscal restraint, but it has never been directed at the Commanding Officers. Yes, there is the Waste, Fraud, and Abuse Hot line. And there was a feeble attempt at LEAN, but all these were was lip service to the newest, in fashion, management scheme.
Another fact is, a unit's budget requirements may be different during a deployment year than during a work up year. Furthermore, turning money in should be lauded and awarded, not punished and discouraged. If you don't need the funding, return it to the Nations coffers. Then, award that Command with an award that means something. But don't punish them by reducing their budget or questioning their budget process.
We need to save government money, the money provided by the taxpayers of America. All of us, including the leaders of our Nation need to be fiscally responsible and those who are should be held up as examples of good management!