With all of the spending that has been going on, this will be about as effective as peeing over Niagara Falls. Nonetheless, I do applaud the fact that government agencies are scaling back just as the rest of us common folk have had to do.
One thing to remember is that had Barry NOT called for these cuts, they would've been spending the money on what some would call wasteful projects (myself included). My comments will be in purple. Some of the cuts that have been made are:
- The Department of Agriculture’s US Forest Service expects to save $1.8 million in FY 2009 by ceasing to re-paint newly purchased vehicles; (Why would you paint NEW vehicles?)
- Numerous agencies will save money by improving energy efficiency and promoting more economical use of resources like water and paper. The Department of the Interior, for example, expects to save almost $1.3 million in utility bills and operating costs by FY 2010 by retrofitting buildings owned by the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service; (Don't break one of those new lightbulbs. The Sierra Club will have a cow!)
- The Department of Justice will save an estimated $4 million in FY 2010 by requiring personnel to make their travel arrangements online, rather than relying on travel agents; (Welcome to the world of technology. What took you so long?)
- The Navy expects to save over $10 million in FY 2009-10 by modifying maintenance procedures for submarines to reduce costs and focus on the highest priority work; and
- The Department of Education plans to increase its reliance on in-house resources for planning events and conferences. ED will require all D.C.-based conference with attendance of 250 people or less to take place in one of the Department’s two buildings – saving upwards of $65,000 a year. They will also eliminate a contract with outside providers to conduct Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act training to education community stakeholders. Instead, ED will be using existing staff to conduct the training, saving $70,000 for FY 2009. (Using existing resources to save money? What a boffo idea!)
Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services: meetings APHIS cancelled a meeting in Australia, saving an estimated $36,000 in travel and per diem. (They were going to Australia for a meeting of domestic issues on our dime. Ain't that nice? They're now thinking of teleconferencing.)
The report lists a total of 77 projects estimated to save $243 million. The rest of the report can be viewed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/assets/blog/admin_savings_appendix_--_final.pdf.
Now if only the First Family would take a lesson and quit with the lavish vacations!