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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Contest: Make These Bills Rhyme

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Last week, a bipartisan group of legislators introduced a package of nine bills aimed at making government more efficient and effective. In addition to advocating important ideas ranging from biennial budgeting to bulk purchasing, the authors of several of the bills managed to follow an impressive rhyme scheme:

  • The Take the Time, Save the Dime Act, implementing a two-year budgeting cycle
  • The Don't Duplicate, Consolidate Act, eliminating overlapping programs
  • The Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act, slashing federal travel spending by 50 percent 

Another measure in the package rhymed in a slightly different manner:

  • The No Adding, No Padding Act, removing automatic inflationary increases in agency budgets.

But that's where the rhyme scheme fell apart, with the lawmakers reduced to mere alliteration, repetition -- or no attempt at cleverness at all:

  • The 21st Century Healthcare for Heroes Act, combining the electronic health records of the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs
  • The Wasted Energy, Wasted Dollars Act, increasing the efficiency of federal buildings
  • The Buy Smarter and Save Act, boosting efforts to pool agencies' purchasing power
  • The No Budget, No Pay Act, withholding congressional pay if both chambers fail to agree on a budget and all spending bills by the start of every federal fiscal year
  • The Plan for Efficient and Effective Government Act, creating a bipartisan commission to overhaul federal programs and functions

These are all important pieces of legislation, but of the kind that generally fail to attract public attention. That's where the clever rhyming can serve a purpose, spicing up these dry, management-oriented bills. So let's help the lawmakers liven up the rest of their package. Use the comments section below to post your suggestions for the non-rhyming bills.

Here's a start:

  • The No Budget Today, Cancel Your Pay Act
  • The Be Smarter Guys, Pool Your Buys Act
  • The Quit Wishin', Set Up a Commission Act

I know you can do better.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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