The Grace Commission

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan requested an investigation into waste and inefficiency in the Federal government. For this purpose, he initiated a Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, or PSSCC, generally known as The Grace Commission, and asked the members of that commission to: "Be bold. We want your team to work like tireless bloodhounds. Don't leave any stone unturned in your search to root out inefficiency.

The Grace Commission Report was presented to Congress in January 1984. The Report claimed that if its recommendations were followed, $424 billion could be saved in three years, rising to $1.9 trillion per year by the year 2000. It estimated that the national debt, without these reforms, would rise to $13 trillion by the year 2000, while with the reforms they projected it would rise to only $2.5 trillion. In reality, the debt reached $5.8 trillion in 2000.

The Report said that one-third of all income taxes is consumed by waste and inefficiency in the Federal Government, and another one-third escapes collection due to the underground economy. "With two-thirds of everyone's personal income taxes wasted or not collected, 100 percent of what is collected is absorbed solely by interest on the Federal debt and by Federal Government contributions to transfer payments. In other words, all individual income tax revenues are gone before one nickel is spent on the services which taxpayers expect from their Government.

The Congress did not act on the recommendations. As of February 2008, the national debt is $9.3 trillion (or $30,000 per U.S. citizen).

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