Last night's Daytona 500 race made us better realize how efficiently The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) adheres to that U.S. Marine motto to adapt, overcome and improvise in its sport.

Their success formula is something that this administration with its bloated federal programs could do well to study in achieving results and streamlining government spending.

Last night's race had a number of scary moments, including when Jimmie Johnson's car was slammed into on the second lap. During the 2001 Daytona race, the legendary Dale Earnhardt died from massive head and neck trauma in a hard crash. NASCAR learned from that tragedy, later directing all drivers to use the Head And Neck Support Device (HANS), which keeps the driver's neck from going forward in a wreck. That harness was a big reason why Johnson was able to walk away from last night's vicious hit.

Later in the race, driver Juan Pablo Montoya lost control of his car and slid into a truck equipped with a jet-powered dryer, spilling about 200 gallons of fuel onto the track. The inferno took nearly 10 minutes to extinguish. Montoya's voice from inside the burning cockpit remained remarkably calm and he too walked away from a very ugly crash scene.

It took two hours to get the track ready again but the work crews improvised and adapted spreading boxes of TIDE on the fuel spill to help "clean" up the race track. Again, this is a testimony to the rapid efficiency of NASCAR, a family-owned and operated business venture that oversees numerous auto racing sports events.

Contrast that kind of efficiency with the ineptness of government and you can see why people are so frustrated by the promise for transparency and "change" which Obama promised to deliver four years ago during his run for the White House.

Excessive federal programs under this administration are testimonies to inefficiency. After examining a number of federal agencies, the Government Accountability Office recently showed areas where different arms of the government could be coordinating or consolidating to save money.

As an example of the bloating, the report found that there were 82 federal programs to improve teacher quality; 80 to help disadvantaged people with transportation; 47 for job training and employment; and 56 to help people understand finances.

During the last decade, compensation of federal employees rose much faster than compensation of private-sector employees. As a consequence, the average federal civilian worker now earns twice as much in wages and benefits as the average worker in the U.S. private sector.

According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, federal civilian workers had an average wage of $83,679 in 2010.

The report determined that reducing or eliminating the costly duplication and overlap could potentially save us billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services.

Speaking of bureaucracy, a recent report shows that six pages of Obama's health care plan results in 429 regulations. Since there are 3,000 pages in Obamacare, you can do the math on this monstrosity of federal overindulgence.

With that example in mind, it's time for Obama to take a page from the NASCAR playbook and learn how to run an efficient program ... or don't attempt to begin one in the first place.

By Jim Zbick

jzbick@tnonline.com