Stop us if you’ve heard this one

Gov. Gibbons says he’s going to launch a commission to identify government waste and inefficiency.

Three of the last four governors preceding Gibbons had similar commissions. Gov. Kenny Guinn (1999-2007) called his “fundamental review.” Govs. Robert List (1979-1983) and Robert Miller (1989-1079) called theirs “reorganizations.”

Gibbons says he would want his commission to act like the Grace Commission, formed by President Reagan after the Grace Corporation came to public attention by running advertising attacking taxation of capital gains. Both the commission and corporation were headed by Peter Grace.

“Some of the [Grace] commission’s recommendations were accepted, while others were passed over,” Gibbons said. “But the process itself set into motion a new mind-set of increasing government accountability and enhancing fiscal responsibility as a matter of public policy.”

Actually, most Grace Commission recommendations went nowhere. Some could be, and were, implemented by presidential order. But most required congressional action and Congress mostly ignored the report. President Clinton later formed a similar group headed by Vice President Al Gore.

In addition, the Grace Corporation’s involvement in a landmark toxic dumping case raised questions about the consequences of government cutting corners on regulation.

Gibbons did not say how he would play for the operation of the commission. State government is now running an $800 million-plus shortfall.