We can feed for eons on the blemishing acts of the outgone NDC government until the first term of the NPP government expires. It may be pious to do so in order to say never again should any political party take us for granted. And it will undoubtedly give space for the new administration to find its feet. However, it will be foolhardy to assume that angels just visited from heaven.
The following principles of sound public policy should guide every government. These are not original with me but an adaptation of my good friend, Lawrence Reed’s guide to sensible policy making.
1. Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got. — Leaner is beautiful.
2. What belongs to you, you tend to take care of; what belongs to no one or everyone tends to fall into disrepair. — They must be vanguards of our collective resources.
3. When you encourage something, you get more of it; if you discourage something, you get less of it. — They must encourage sensible ideas.
4. Sound policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people. — Shortemist thinking breeds incompetence and poor quality policies.
5. Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own. — Fiscal prudence is a virtue.
Finally, may the incoming government not develop attitudes and press on with some of their ideas and plans that will make us take solace in the words of political satirist P.J. O’Rourke, that, ” giving money to government is like giving car keys and whiskey to teenagers”.