Make cuts that make sense

I know this might turn the world upside down for some readers of this blog, but as I’ve thought about Wisconsin’s current budget woes – and the effects of those budget woes – I’ve come to a revelation. By my math – and I could be wrong – there are 17 cabinet-level state agencies, and I can’t help but wonder if savings could be found by merging some of those state agencies together. Instead of rushing to lay off middle class state employees, why not look to merge a few state agencies, while in the process cutting some administrative bloat from state employment rolls. Surely savings could be found by merging agencies like the Departments of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs into one agency, and I can’t help but think the Departments of Health Services and Children and Families could be merged back together after being legislatively separated not too long ago. What’s more, why couldn’t the Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection be folded into the Department of Commerce?

I know, I know; this is crazy talk for an “OMG BIG GUBMINT LIBERAL” like me, but it seems to make sense. While I strongly believe government has a valuable and irreplaceable role in providing some services to our society, I believe equally as strongly that government should always try to be as efficient and responsible as possible when it comes to how tax dollars are spent. So here’s an idea for lawmakers here in Wisconsin: instead of cutting state jobs just for the sake of making cuts, why not make cuts that make sense? Why not work to reduce redundancies in state agencies, and why not work to remove the administrative bloat that any state employee can tell you currently exists? There’s no doubt any effort to merge or eliminate state agencies would require a tremendous effort on the part of lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum, but it’s effort that would pay dividends for Wisconsin’s citizens.


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2 thoughts on “Make cuts that make sense

  1. Agriculture ought to be separate, especially in an agricultural state like Wisconsin. But you could still move Trade and Consumer Protection over to Commerce and probably streamline things that way.

    Another idea is to eliminate the Secretary of State and move those functions into the Department of Adminstration where they belong.

  2. Al, your suggestions certainly make sense; it’s just unfortunate we’ll probably never see a streamlining of state government that makes sense.

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