To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.
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Amazingly I have found a man - my seatmate on a flight from Phoenix, AZ, to Ontario, CA - who was an admirer of both Sarah Palin and Barack Obama back when they were running for one of the country's two top political offices. The luster has since worn off both 2008 candidates for him, but he was attracted by their willingness to call for an end to business as usual in American politics.
A Navy engineer and an ENTJ on the Myer's-Briggs type table, he likes things to add up and make sense. It doesn't make sense to him to have an out-sized national debt or to have a government that keeps spending on things it can't afford. He's clear that part of the problem is citizens' tendency to call on government to do just about anything to satisfy their desires. That should halt, he argues.
He'd like to cut every government program 25% across the board and let willing businesses and nonprofits take care of some things we ask government to do. He figured that since I was a teacher at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, I'd disagree with him. Well, yes, I'm against across-the-board cuts (if the Navy guy fully thought about that, he might be too since he's a devotee of rational logic, which would require retaining a greater percent of funding for high-priority functions). And yes, I am far more sympathetic toward President Obama than he. Yet, to his surprise I agreed with him that the corporate income tax doesn't make much sense and that a no-loopholes, no- deductions, graduated personal income tax is desirable. I'm just as disappointed as he that the President did not get behind the findings of his own deficit reduction commission.
So even if our divide is glaring (I am, after all, an ENFJ, meaning that my dominant function, feeling, is the opposite of his, which is thinking), we were able to find terrain of agreement. Makes me yearn for a party platform somewhere for thinking liberals and feeling conservatives.