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Thursday, May 7, 2009

President Obama Trims Budget by $17 Billion

From the Hoss's Mouth

When President Obama first took office he inherited a 1.3 billion dollar deficit. There was also a growing economic crisis that required the President to propose measures that would further increase the budget deficit. Fully recognizing that long term economic growth would require budget deficits be controlled and debt reduced, President Obama ordered a line by line review of the federal budget.

President Obama
He instructed all his staff and Cabinet members to review all government programs and identify those that don't make sense, are no longer useful, or are not working. All this in order that his administration could eliminate them. In other words (The Hoss is paraphrasing here) get rid of the wasteful spending by the government. What a refreshing concept that is.

The result of that line by line review is a document called Terminations, Reductions, and Savings.

The Hoss has listed a few of the main items:

  • LORAN-C ($35 million) GPS has made this long-range, radio-navigation system obsolete.
  • Abandoned Mine Lands Payments ($142 million) A program that pays for mines to be cleaned up; only problem...they have already been cleaned up.
  • Educational attaché, Paris, France ($632,000) A full-time representative to UNESCO in Paris, France is to be replaced by e-mail, video conferencing and travel.
  • Los Alamos Neutron Science Center Refurbishment ($19 million) A 30-year-old facility that no longer plays a critical role in weapons research.
  • Even Start ($66 million) Programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Early Learning Challenge Fund are simply more effective.
  • Advanced Earned Income Tax Credit ($125 million) Found to have an extremely high error rate. The government accounting office (GAO) found that 80 percent of recipients did not meet at least one of its requirements.
  • Rail Line Relocation Grants ($25 million) Loaded with earmarks.

The Hoss reminds you that the above are but of a few of the more than 100 terminations, reductions or savings identified in the Terminations, Reductions, and Savings document. Every one of the programs has a supporter, and they are fully aware there will be long and hard lobbies against this Budget.

President Obama promised change in Washington. This is a step in the right direction, although The Hoss wonders if President Obama will be able to convince Congress to pass his Budget. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out in the long run and if ear marks will finally be dropped from the Budget-making process.

Stay on track,

The Hoss

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