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Author Topic: An interesting graphic
flydye45
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Obama asks his cabinet to save some money...

It is curious to note that the $410 Billion is probably close to what former President Bush spent on all Iraq, thought it might be a mere $100 Billion off one way or the other.

This puts those who were wailing with sackcloth and ashes over Bush's spending in an odd position, of course. I've made this point before.

Additionally, I find it somewhat dishonest to raise the budgets of all these departments by about 20% in the new budget IIRC, and then request a flick of the fingernails in savings.

But it makes a very good defensive headline.

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Lobo
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Please check my math, but I calculate this to be saving $1 out of a budget of $36,900...

Wow.

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RickyB
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It's a fart in the wind. Unnecessary PR move.

Ed. to add: That's ok, though, because now is not the time for government to seriously reduce spending. But it's a silly stunt.

[ April 21, 2009, 08:23 AM: Message edited by: RickyB ]

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The Drake
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What is needed in Washington is a mindset. A cost-consciousness that just doesn't exist right now. I'll welcome any cost savings, and cheer it on, because at least it helps raise awareness and validate that it actually is necessary to cut back.

I fear that they will be like other "cuts", and it will actually be a delay of planned increases rather than real dollar reductions from the previous fiscal year.

quote:
The Department of Homeland Security's plan to save an estimated $52 million over five years by purchasing office supplies in bulk.
Holy hell. I'm a 1st year MBA student, and this is basic, basic stuff. Really? They never thought of this? Even worse, I'm wondering if they are buying supplies in bulk and spending more to ship them to remote offices.

quote:
A Department of Education decision to increase the ratio of people using each printer is anticipated to save an additional $6.7 million. Cutting the ratio of computers per employee is expected to save another $2 million.
And then the employees wait in line, and the printers are run more than their maximum duty cycle, causing them to break down. And, by all means, lets make sure there are fewer computers because that's not going to hurt productivity at all.

These kinds of savings are pathological, like having to submit a requisition to get a new pen, so you can locate the employees who take pens home with them.

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flydye45
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No, Ricky. It's an amazing stunt. I am in awe! Joe Sixpack is going to see and hear all kinds of laudatory news reports. "Obama is calling for his cabnet to cut $100 MILLION from their budgets. The talking heads won't mention it's a fart in the wind. You will never see that graphic outside of Conservative or Libertarian websites.

Any analysis by newspapers (remember newspapers?) will have critical comments at the bottom of the article and cautious statements of "well it's a good first step." Lots of people do the first step of AA too, and then walk right back into the bar.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
The talking heads won't mention it's a fart in the wind.
The talking heads were talking about it last night on CNN. The conservative guy was mentioning how the cuts were equivalent to an ordinary family of four cutting out the daily Late. Roland Martin made the comment that ordinary Americans don't drink Lates. Hilarity ensued.
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Greg Davidson
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It's a stunt. Sort of like focusing on earmarks.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
The talking heads won't mention it's a fart in the wind.
The talking heads were talking about it last night on CNN. The conservative guy was mentioning how the cuts were equivalent to an ordinary family of four cutting out the daily Late. Roland Martin made the comment that ordinary Americans don't drink Lates. Hilarity ensued.
What is a "Late"? Do you mean a latte? You would think a fancy lawyer like you would be able to spell your favorite drink. [Smile]
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JoshCrow
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I concur that these cuts are irrelevant.

I suspect that we're going to be hearing the defense of the bailout as having been performed under "extenuating one-time circumstances" in order to prevent the recession from going deeper. Obama may be forced to adopt this line of defense, and the GOP will throttle him over it.

I'm unsure how much the public will respond - if the recession does not linger, Obama may be credited with that, and then will switch gears to trying to pay down the debt (for which, of course, he will have an obvious and challenging credibility issue). I certainly think the GOP's best move for 2012 will be to run an aggressive small-government themed campaign focused on fiscal conservative issues. They will have to keep the Sarah Palins out of the spotlight to succeed.

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flydye45
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quote:
Originally posted by jasonr:
quote:
The talking heads won't mention it's a fart in the wind.
The talking heads were talking about it last night on CNN. The conservative guy was mentioning how the cuts were equivalent to an ordinary family of four cutting out the daily Late. Roland Martin made the comment that ordinary Americans don't drink Lates. Hilarity ensued.
Joe Sixpack doesn't watch those shows. He looks at Robin Meade (Yum. The only thing worth watching on CNN), listens to a 15 second blurb while looking at her rack and goes off thinking "Obama is cutting spending. Keen."
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Mariner
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fly, as much as I don't trust the media, for the most part they've been playing it straight. Heck, even Paul Krugman criticized it, and in a new way too. Even if the department heads do this every single day, it still doesn't come close to cutting the deficit.

Greg, at least earmarks are a symptom of the root problem, even if they're only a modest part of the overall budget. I don't consider earmark reform a distraction. This, however, is a joke. $100 billion and I might to take his claims at being fiscally responsible a bit more seriously (although even that isn't enough to offset everything else...)

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