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How Would You Save $100 Million?

By Ed O'Keefe

President Obama's call to trim $100 million from the federal budget earned criticism from Republicans and good government groups for not going far enough, especially since the administration's proposed budget would balloon the national debt.

What Would You Do?

So how would other folks trim at least $100 million of government spending, if not more?

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, suggests slicing $100 million at each of the government's 15 Cabinet departments.

“This move would still fall far short of real fiscal restraint, but with this administration, we have to take what we can get," Price said in a statement.

Price's proposal earned the support of House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), whose spokeswoman called it "a worthwhile goal and one that would deliver far more savings than the paltry sum the administration put forward."

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has an even more specific idea. He says wants Obama and the Office of Management and Budget to comply with federal laws on improper payments, or unnecessary or incorrect payments made by federal agencies.

The OMB and the Government Accountability Office have disagreed for years about how often agencies should check for improper payments.

"Obama could fix this today, instead of holding meetings on buying office supplies in bulk," said Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella.

As for good government groups, the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) and other groups recently released suggestions on how the government could save billions of dollars by scaling back U.S. nuclear weapon stockpiles. During the presidential transition, POGO also suggested several broad recommendations on government performance, accountability and transparency that, if enacted, would save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

Citizens Against Government Waste recommends the elimination of several government programs, including the cancellation of NASA's New Moon/Mars Initiative (a one-year savings of $1.5 billion), a reduction of federal subsidies to Amtrak ($204 million in savings) and the elimination of the national youth antidrug media campaign (saving taxpayers $91 million).

What Would You Do? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below or in The Federal Eye's newest Google Moderator group.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 22, 2009; 2:19 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, What Would You Do?  
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The use of Video Teleconferences to large conference halls in lieu of political figures stomping in their home or other districts would reduce travel costs and polution significantly.

Also, if those conferences could be web-based (telecast), then many more people could participate (active or passive) real time.

Posted by: olsonp | April 22, 2009 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Great post. I think that many government agencies are one step ahead of President Obama’s agenda, and they’re using technology to save!

• According to the Telework Coalition, organizations save an average of $3,000 to $10,000 per employee just by reducing office space.

• 1 in 4 flights are cancelled or delayed – this represents $50bn in lost productivity.

In a down economy government agencies are under intense scrutiny to demonstrate clear ROI on technology investments, so are hesitant to spend on a new technology unless it has proven successful by other government organizations. They’re using video conferencing to maintain mission-critical objectives at significant cost savings. For example, the high cost of living in this area makes hotel expenses – along with the cost of meals and flights – excessive for the 250,000 plus personnel who travel to the Army Distance Staff College from their Army installations around the world, often for as long as 3 weeks per class. Further, each classroom at Fort Belvoir accommodates only 16 students, limiting the number of students who can participate in a particular class at any given time. Through video conferencing, they can now export a class to 30,000 or 40,000 people.

Video conferencing, or telepresence, is a proven method of continuing mission critical operations for agencies, while cutting costs and realizing a rapid and significant return on investment. TANDBERG offers standards-based telepresence solutions that are investments in the future, providing equipment and infrastructure that ensures unceasing communication, collaboration, continuity of operations and education with a one-time investment. More information is at

Posted by: meredithlawrence | April 24, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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