11/30/2011 12:33 pm ET Updated Jan 30, 2012

USA: Fiscal Reform or Failure?

The federal government is currently spending 188 million dollars per hour and has shown no sign of fiscal responsibility whatsoever with regard to reducing this number.

As a Democrat I am in favor of raising taxes with one proviso: that reforms are instituted to curtail waste and make sure that our tax dollars are well spent. Call me naive, but I don't know anyone who would willingly let an incompetent manage their money, yet as taxpayers all of us allow the government to do so every day.

However, now that we've reached the point where the national debt is topping 14 trillion dollars, there is proof that some people are finally seeing the light because they are tired of bureaucratic idiocy and cronyism that has a stranglehold on our country.

It seems that a small group of voters have found the Holy Grail, and it is of all places, in New Jersey. Miraculously, two weeks ago voters in Princeton Borough and Princeton Township approved -- in a landslide -- a consolidation of the two towns into a single municipality to be known as Princeton. In this particular situation a merger like this stops government redundancy with resultant savings of 3.2 million dollars a year. For example, there will no longer be two police and sanitation departments and residents will experience significant savings on expenses like property taxes from the merging of numerous doubled government agencies.

This is the type of reform America needs nationwide. Currently, New York State has two human rights commissions -- city and state -- that exist side by side (literally) and are the paradigm of redundancy in government.

I've never encountered two FedEx delivery people at my door. Nor two cable guys. Never have I had two waiters serve me at the coffee shop or two drivers in the front seat of a taxi. What's unheard of in the private sector is business as usual for our government.

I have always prided myself on being a liberal, because I believe it stands for change and progress. President Obama campaigned on the promise of change but I honestly believe we can't experience significant social change without first implementing real fiscal reform.

Amazingly, the only politician of late to bring up fiscal reform has been Mitt Romney, who has used the expression, "reformist vision," when discussing (of all things) the military budget. One definition of reform means to put or change into an improved form or condition; to amend or improve by removal of faults or abuses, beneficial change, to repair, restore or to correct.

President Obama, please pick up the dictionary, the citizens of Princeton sure have.