November 13, 2007

For Government Efficiency

This afternoon I had the opportunity to testify at a legislative hearing on government modernization, and I told legislators that the first thing we need to recognize is that Oklahoma simply has too many government employees. (News stories in The Oklahoman and the Tulsa World are here and here.) When it comes to government employment as a share of total employment in the state, Oklahoma ranks an embarrassing 5th in the nation. "It's worth remembering," I told them,
that our state constitution, in its Bill of Rights, says: "All persons have the inherent right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry." I think it’s important that when you gather in this building to decide how much to tax and how much to spend, that you take seriously the people’s right –- their inherent right –- to the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry. That means taxes need to be kept as low as possible, which means government needs to operate as efficiently as possible.