By Jon Miller | Post Date: November 9, 2005 5:27 AM | Comments: 2
New Lean Government Champion in Mesa, Arizona
A new potential Lean government champion hit our radar today with the appointment of Christopher J. Brady as the City Manager of Mesa, Arizona. Based on the azcentral.com article Mr. Brady brings Lean government creds including a pledge to "talk to the 'front-line employees' and ask them how Mesa can do things better" and the fact that he helped San Antonio, Texas land the new Toyota factory there. Mr. Brady is also said to adhere to the kaizen philosophy, according to the article.
We will watch the developments in Mesa, Arizona in regards to kaizen and Lean government with much interest.
Hurricane Katrina No Port Update
After crying shame about our government's failure to kill the bridge to nowhere I filled out a form asking Washington Congressman Jay Inslee and Congresswomen Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to sign the Hurricane Katrina No Pork Pledge. I have received no response yet form neither Ms. Cantwell nor Ms. Murray.
Mr. Inslee's office was nice enough to send me a response. No mention is made of Mr. Inslee's intention to sign the aforementioned pledge, or that his office appreciates the magnitude of the pork I was calling to his attention. I sent a follow-up e-mail. We'll see if something more than an e-mail robot or an intern reads my latest e-mail.
Partial credit is given for responding to my e-mail, but he is not yet on my list of Lean government champions. Here is the response from Congressman Inslee, in full:
Dear Mr. Miller:
Thank you for contacting me regarding federal spending cuts that are being proposed in an effort to offset the cost of relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina. I appreciate hearing from you.
Like you, I support budgets which include controls on out of control spending. I also support budgets which are part of deficit reduction packages. For that reason, I voted for the Democratic budget resolution, which, in contrast to the Majority's budget, includes meaningful "pay-as-you-go" budget requirements. Pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rules, enacted in Public Law 101-508, forbid legislative actions which lead to increased deficits and mandate that any legislative actions which potentially lead to higher deficits must be paid for by cuts in other spending, or by revenue increases. PAYGO rules make up the foundation for wise spending priorities, but unfortunately, the House Majority circumvented these rules in their budget proposals during the 108th Congress, all of which modified the PAYGO rules by exempting tax cuts, meaning that any tax cuts would not have to be paid for by decreases in spending. I cannot support a bill that abandons sensible deficit control measures while permitting future tax cuts to be effected without any sort of correlating spending reduction, for it would not lead to spending control but rather to deficit increases.
I am deeply concerned that a permanent extension of the President's tax cuts will add to our already record deficits and fail to promote sufficient job growth. The 2001 tax cuts reduced the surplus by $1.7 trillion, but did not ward off recession, or bring the economy to a healthy recovery. It is estimated that the total cost (both direct and indirect) of extending President Bush's tax cuts and reforming the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will be more than $2 trillion over the FY2006 through 2015 period.
These tax cuts, which disproportionately benefit the wealthy, are offset by funding cuts to programs that are vital to millions of American families, including those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Among the casualties of the misguided tax cuts is Medicaid, to which the House leadership has proposed cuts of as much as $15 billion--a cut that would destroy the system we have worked so hard over the years to maintain. The proposed cut comes at a time when health care and prescription drug costs have skyrocketed, the number of uninsured Americans has grown considerably and states have had an increasingly difficult time covering existing Medicaid programs. These cuts put states in danger of creating an even larger number of American citizens living without health care.
I do not believe that sacrificing services essential to much of our nations poor to allow a tax cut for the wealthy will produce a fiscally responsible budget that will help stimulate our economy. Please be assured that I will continue to fight for a fiscally sound budget that reduces the deficit and funds our priorities, including education, Social Security and Medicare, veterans care, working families, and a clean environment.
Please continue to contact me about the issues that concern you, as I both need and welcome your thoughts and ideas. As a service to my constituents, I maintain a website which contains valuable resources and information on Congressional activities. Please feel free to visit the website at http://www.house.gov/inslee for information on recent issues and to learn more about the services my office provides. If you have not done so already, please visit http://www.house.gov/inslee/signup.htm to subscribe to my e-mail updates.
I encourage you to contact me via email, telephone, or fax, because security measures are causing House offices to experience delays in receiving postal mail. My email address is: Jay.Inslee@mail.house.gov. Please be sure to include your full name and address, including your zip code, in your message.
Very truly yours,
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