Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign is starting to roll out details on his “12 Commitments to the American People,” and the first of the twelve to be unveiled–Fiscal Discipline–caught my eye. In addition to ideas like mandatory sunset clauses for all Federal programs, a presidential line-item veto, and a PART-esque Government-wide Accountability Program (GAPStat) to measure program performance and identify waste and non-effective programs, what stuck out was that he has become the first candidate of either party to talk about privatization in a positive light:
Reduce the Federal Civilian Workforce by 20% through Attrition and Retirement: Within the next decade, 42% of the Federal Civilian Workforce Ã¢â?¬â?? some 300,000 bureaucrats Ã¢â?¬â?? will retire. (Congressional Budget Office, “Characteristics and Pay of Federal Civilian Employees”, 3/07)
- Replace only half, making the Federal government smaller and smarter through increased use of technology and privatization.
- Eventually saving the taxpayers $21 billion each year, while ensuring that the Federal government is focused on performing its essential responsibilities (Congressional Budget Office, “Characteristics and Pay of Federal Civilian Employees”, 3/07).
More details here. It’s not exactly a surprise that Giuliani would talk privatization given his record as NYC Mayor, but it certainly is refreshing to hear it in the context of the underwhelming ideas being bandied about thus far among the candidates.