Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama's pittiful attempt to "cut the budget"

Today, the Obama administration announced a freeze on government spending for non-defense related spending. DOD, Veterans affairs, Homeland Security and “certain foreign aid programs” would be exempted from the freeze as would most off budget items like Social Security, Medicare and most entitlement programs. This pitiful joke, Obama’s only recent attempt to even curb spending in any measurable way, will only reduce spending approximately $15 billion dollars next year when the Federal Government is projected to spend $1.3 to $1.4 TRILLION dollars more than is being raised in taxes. All this deficit spending will have to be borrowed from private equity markets and from overseas sources like China, Russia, Europe and elsewhere. This is assuming of course that they will buy the T-Bills and finance the debt....

Clearly, Obama and Company are not serious about cutting spending nor are they serious about deficit reduction if 90% of government spending is not subject to the freeze. The whole “freeze” will result in a savings of perhaps $150 billion over 10 years, a pittance when trillions are being spent. The scale of this savings is equivalent to a person saving $1.50 when you are spending $1500.00 more than you have available; a pitiful fraction of the total debt for next year. The fact that he and the Democrats who control the government think this is significant makes it all the more egregious. It also shows that Obama and the Liberal Democrats are not serious about any attempt to curb spending. If this is the best they could come up with, then they are a pathetic group indeed.

If the Democrats were truly serious, this action should have been done when Obama entered office last year. It should have included all programs and departments (except Defense) and every department in government should have been ordered to cut spending and some should have been done away with altogether, like the Department of Education.
Every agency in government should be ordered to justify it’s existence and if it is redundant or duplicated at the state level or within another federal agency, then it should be done away with. The entire federal government could be scaled back as much as 10% immediately and more as redundant and superfluous departments and agencies were shut down or scaled back.

Another way to reduce costs is to decentralize the geographical locations of federal agencies away from the D.C. metropolitan area which would reduce the costs to the government by relocating agencies and departments to areas that are less expensive to operate from. The state of the art in communications and computer technology make this more than possible. This would also have the added effect of increasing the quality of life of the staff and reducing commutes, reducing the living costs of staff and reducing the costs of operations for the agency by utilizing existing commercial space in other locations versus using that may actually cost more to operate from. As most federal agencies and departments are located within the 50 miles of Washington D.C., relocation would have the added benefit of reducing traffic and reducing the need to build additional roads and reduce stress on the transportation infrastructure, and would reduce overall energy consumption. Relocating all but the most senior department and agency heads from the D.C. are would also allow for lower payrolls as the costs of living in other areas are generally lower than what most staffers are experiencing while living in northern Virginia or southern Maryland.

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