"It might well have been better to implement these budget savings several years ago, when the economy was stronger and policymakers had the luxury of taking their time. But such foresight appears to be contrary to human nature, or at least to the nature of those who wield political power in our state (and beyond)."
The rest of the essay is here. Zero-based budgeting would require the state to justify everything it spends. (Imagine that!)
And if we got the government to focus on a few things, there would be fewer painful and expensive mistakes from which to recover.