The Government Accountability Office has released its list of "urgent policy concerns…[that] are critical and time sensitive and require prioritized federal action." The list, presumably in descending order of importance is as follows:
- oversight of financial institutions and markets,
- U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan,
- protecting the homeland,
- undisciplined defense spending,
- improving the U.S. image abroad,
- finalizing plans for the 2010 Census,
- caring for service members,
- preparing for public health emergencies,
- revamping oversight of food safety,
- restructuring the approach to surface transportation,
- retirement of the Space Shuttle,
- ensuring an effective transition to digital TV, and
- rebuilding military readiness.
I can follow the GAO, which is absolutely one of the most useful resources for journalists and small-government devotees of all professions, through first four. But then I think they start getting a bit lost in the weeds (and not simply because caring for service members and rebuilding military readiness should probably be folded into numbers two through four into a single bullet point about totally revamping about half of all discretionary government spending). I just don't see how the retirement of the Space Shuttle makes it onto the list. Can't we just ignore it until it goes away?