I hate to criticize any efforts to reduce the cost of government but the governor's latest plan to offer up to $100,000 rewards to state workers who contribute ideas to reducing government waste is nothing but lawsuit bait.
One bright idea
deserves eight others
And I may be the first one to sue. Here's the deal: Ben Cayetano says that state employees will be rewarded up to 10 percent, up to $100,000, of any actual first-year savings that accrues because of their suggestions.
On the surface, this seems like a great idea and fair. But there are two major problems: One, why should only state workers be allowed to receive the rewards? And two, I spend half my time coming up with fabulous money-saving ideas that someone is bound to rip off now that there is a big cash cow munching at the end of the line.
There simply is no reason why this program should extend only to state employees. If tax money is going to be awarded for great ideas, all taxpayers should be eligible to participate. The money saved is ours and the money constituting the reward is ours.
But my main gripe is that now all of the great ideas I've been throwing out there for free for years will be snagged by some clerk in the typing pool of the Department of Long Lunches and Lost Important Documents and that clerk will be $100,000 richer. So to protect myself, I'm going to re-list a few of my ideas so that if anyone does steal them, my lawyer will be able to fire a broadside of litigation at the ship of state. I've had so many ideas, but here's just a few:
Uku Pau System for everyone in state government. When you are done with your work, you go home. Even if it takes only an hour and a half. In addition to saving money for the government, it would spur new business since these people will all have real, I mean, other jobs.
Vanity buildings, roads and programs. Cut costs of projects by allowing individuals and companies to buy the right to attach their names to them. We've got the Hooters Hula Bowl. How about the Preparation H-3 Freeway, Tidy-Bowl Sewage Treatment Facility and Mufi's Diamond Head Film Studio.
Get more bang for the bus bucks: Launch the Glass Bottom Bus Round-The-Island Tour and institute Bus-Board Gambling.
Pay state legislators NOT to meet. Every time they get together, it costs us money.
Pay teachers more than Department of Education administration employees. We need to convince DOE employees NOT to seek cushy, non-teaching jobs. More teachers, fewer bureaucrats would save heaps.
Move the prisons to Las Vegas. Why pay to house prisoners on the most expensive real estate in the world. It's just silly.
In fact, move most state offices to Las Vegas. With computers, there's no reason why state employees have to live in Hawaii. It's too expensive. Let them live in Vegas, where most of them go on weekends anyway. (It's too late, but the convention center also should have been in Vegas.)
Use prisoners to remove graffiti from state buildings and government property. In fact, post one really mean, violent prisoner at each location where graffiti usually reappears. Let him show vandals what it's like to be "defaced."
I figure those ideas alone are worth millions and millions in savings. That means that I'm looking at at least several hundred thousand dollars in rewards. Now, if Cayetano doesn't change the program to allow non-government workers to take part, I'll have to sue anyone who tries to steal my ideas. And I won't be alone. I'll bet entire program will collapse when all the state employees start whining "That was my idea!" the first time one of their bosses receives an award. When they only handed out a few hundred dollars for ideas, no one cared. Now the suits will hit the fan.