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Will federal departments and agencies ever get a handle on managing our tax dollars?

Updated on August 6, 2014

The federal government receives a large amount of our tax dollars and these are dispersed between the various departments and agencies in the Executive Branch. Recent reports have identified several departments and agencies are losing track of the money they have been appropriated. Keeping track of our money as individuals is something we have learned but apparently our federal government has not.

The amount of money spent which cannot be accounted for from several agencies is unacceptable. Granted billions of dollars are appropriated to the executive branch and managing large sums of money can be difficult to some extent but it is not impossible. We as taxpayers deserve to have accountability for all funds spent by each department and agency. In addition to accountability comes the question of whether funds are being spent on appropriate activity such as conferences and training which has recently been in the news.

The culture in the Executive Department seems to be one of spending without regard to how and where our tax dollars are being spent. Accountability in government has reached a new low when millions and sometimes billions of dollars cannot be traced on where they have been spent.

Currently the culture at the federal government level is one which needs to change if we are ever going to have fiscal responsibility and accountability for our tax dollars. Confidence in our federal government is lacking both at the executive level and the legislative level. While funds are appropriated for various programs Congress has the responsibility to require accountability for money they appropriate. They need to hold individuals accountable in all departments and agencies and we need to hold Congress accountable for this responsibility.

Fiscal accountability also enters the picture in the area of scandals as they have surfaced. Each individual who works for the federal government receives a salary and they have specific responsibilities associated with their respective positions. When activity is accomplished which violates our constitutional rights the money spent on these actions is not justified. Violating our constitutional rights truly amounts to a mismanagement of our tax dollars.

Each department and agency is given funds for their respective responsibilities and mission and those funds should be spent on them rather than any political or party philosophy. Mismanagement of funds also involves a mismanagement of agency missions and objectives as defined in their charter when they were created. The mission of any department or agency should be to honor the Constitution first and their department/agency mission responsibilities second. It is true however that some of the executive level departments and agencies cannot be found to be a federal government responsibility in the Constitution yet they still exist. The federal government was meant to be a support function for the states. The current frame of mind is that we are working for them not them for us. Congress has the responsibility to protect our rights under the Constitution. Let us hope the new Congress after the election will take more responsibility in enough numbers to protect our rights and instill fiscal responsibility. It is clear there needs to be a change in the culture in Congress and only us as voters can make that change happen.


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