If we follow these steps, we will move much closer to a government that costs less and works better for all of us. It will be leaner, more effective, fairer, and more up-to-date. It will be a government worth what we pay for it.
We do not deny that many groups will oppose the actions we propose to take. We all want to see cuts made, but we want them elsewhere. Eliminating or cutting programs hurts. But it hurts less, at least in the long run, than the practice of government as usual. Writing about Britain's monarchy in the eighteenth century, Samuel Pepys once observed that it was difficult for the king to spend a million pounds and get his money's worth. Fawning courtiers, belligerent Lords and hundreds of other claimants each demanded their share. The same is true today. The money spigot in Washington is much easier to turn on than to turn off--and too little of the funds that gush from it irrigate where water is scarce. That is why we have not simply offered a list of cuts in this report. Instead, we have offered a new process--a process of incentives that will imbue government with a new accountability to customers and a new respect for the public's money.