As state and local governments celebrate the latest federal stimulus package, I’m struck by what I heard recently from Uri Monson, CFO of the Philadelphia School District: “The hardest thing to do in government,” Uri told me, “is to deal with one-time money and not waste it.”
In the 1990s, political scientist Robert Putnam documented a worrisome trend: Fewer Americans were members of groups that formed the very fabric of American life, such as unions, PTAs and even bowling leagues. As the bonds connecting us eroded, he argued, the foundations of democracy were under threat.
Tax abatements are ineffective in producing real prosperity and are simply corporate welfare, a form of legal corruption in which well-connected insiders effectively bribe elected officials and collude to line each other’s pockets with public money at the expense of basic government services.
“Government auditors are critical to ensuring that our police and law enforcement agencies are effectively and equitably serving and protecting all communities.” That is a stone cold truth, one that the millions of Americans who want real change in the way policing is done in this country need to understand and take to heart.