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Terminations, Reductions, and Savings

Back during the presidential debates McCain would put the heat on Obama about government spending and Obama would shoot back that he planned to go...


Back during the presidential debates McCain would put the heat on Obama about government spending and Obama would shoot back that he planned to go through the federal budget "line-by-line" to root out waste. Obama's trying to make good on that promise now.He and Peter Orszag, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, released an appendix to the new budget today called "Terminations, Reductions, and Savings." It details about 100 programs that the Obama administration plans to end or cut back in an effort to increase efficiency.About half fall under the umbrella of "defense spending": weapons systems, vehicle lines, and the like. There are also lots of redundant, untested, or failing programs listed. And whoever had the cushy-sounding job of "Educational Attaché" to UNESCO in Paris (at an annual cost to the public of $632,000) will have to start looking for new work.The document justifies each cut with a couple sentences. An example: "The Administration proposes to eliminate the [Department of Education's] Even Start program because three national evaluations show the program is not effective." I'm convinced.Some are complaining that the $17 billion these cuts will save amounts to just 0.5 percent of the $3.4 trillion budget. And while it's true the cuts save "only" $17 billion, they may also lend credence to the idea that government spending should have a demonstrable justification.You can download the entire, 131-page "Terminations, Reductions, and Savings" document here. All the numbers are in millions of dollars, FYI.
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