8 Minutes

Today, President Obama signed another executive order to cut the travel budget of federal agencies by 20%, which will save the government $3 billion a year. Thanks to The Daily Caller, we know that the federal government actually spends $3 billion every 8 minutes, and that, in the time it took the President to walk to the Oval Office, sign the order and leave, the savings were spent.

Way to go, federal government!

In a weird way, some good comes out of this. At least the President is officially acknowledging that the government spends too much, and is taking steps to address it. The big question is, why didn’t he take up this issue sooner? Maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess if he had been serious about overspending when he had complete control of the White House and both Houses of Congress. (That is probably giving President Obama too much credit, though; after all, he did just propose another massive stimulus.)

This executive order – which also cuts agency cell phone, lap top and “swag” budgets – comes on the heels of a report showing that government agencies have found their own savings. Three months ago, President Obama “challenged” his cabinet secretaries to find $100 million in budget cuts. They found $102 million worth, which, for those counting at home, cuts 0.006% from the federal deficit. And what were these cuts? Well, you can see for yourself that the fact that these obvious cuts are just not being discovered shows the inefficiency of the federal government:

  • $18 million – increasing the number of soldiers on an airplane traveling home for R & R
  • $573,000 – printing on both sides of the paper in the Justice Department
  • $320,000 – removing unused phone lines in the Office of Thrift Supervision
  • $318,000 – emailing, instead of printing out, documents in the Department of Homeland Security
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