Each year, Sen. James Lankford releases a report on the state of government spending, which never fails to garner incredulity from those who care how their taxes are spent. But, the report also inevitably provides a measure of comedy in the form of patently absurd ways to waste taxpayers’ hard-earned cash. The 2017 report outlined $473 billion in spending that a reasonable person could categorize as wasteful, including a $20,000 adult summer art camp and $2.6 million spent caring for chimpanzees. Considering that the U.S. national debt is nearly $21.5 trillion and rapidly counting, the public sector can’t afford to continue spending as they do.
To hope that the worldwide network of governments will take action and make potential savings of $3.5 trillion from a private sector-like revamp into a reality is admittedly a long shot. But if they do ever get serious about pushing bureaucracy toward the blueprint of a well-oiled machine, they would be wise to consider how blockchain could play a central — or at least contributing — role in a reorientation of broken practices.
Abandoning outdated document storage practices, merging the fragmented branches of government, creating more security for our elections, and granting the public more insight into how budgets are formed and tax dollars are spent seems like a fair, reasonable starting point when assessing how the public sector can begin employing blockchain tech.