Obama: Wants Suggestions To Cut Spending Waste

Families are making tough decisions about their money and so too will their government, President Barack Obama said Saturday, promising that spending cuts are coming — and soon.

At a Cabinet meeting Monday, the president will ask department and agency heads for specific proposals for trimming their budgets.

"If we're going to rebuild our economy on a solid foundation, we need to change the way we do business in Washington. We need to restore the American people's confidence in their government — that it is on their side, spending their money wisely, to meet their families' needs," Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, released while he attended the Summit of the Americans in Trinidad.

To help achieve his goal of an efficient government, Obama announced the appointment of Jeffrey Zients, a founder and managing partner of the investment firm Portfolio Logic, as chief performance officer. Zients, who also will serve as deputy director for management of the Office of Management and Budget, will work to streamline processes and cut costs.

On that front, Obama gave notice he wants to act quickly.

"In the coming weeks, I will be announcing the elimination of dozens of government programs shown to be wasteful or ineffective," he said. "In this effort, there will be no sacred cows and no pet projects. All across America, families are making hard choices, and it's time their government did the same."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is ending consulting contracts to create new seals and logos that, Obama said, have cost the department $3 million since 2003. Obama also cited Defense Secretary Robert Gates' plan to overhaul contracting procedures and eliminate billions in wasteful spending and cost overruns.

The president praised Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Carl Levin, D-Mich., who are leading the effort in Congress.

Republicans have kept up a steady stream of criticism of Obama's spending, both of his $787 billion stimulus plan and his $3.6 trillion budget proposal.

"Earlier this week, President Obama said that we need to get serious about fiscal discipline by trimming waste in the federal budget," Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in the GOP address. "Republicans couldn't agree more. We want to work with the president to get our financial house back in order."

"It's irresponsible to borrow more than all previous American presidents combined. And it must stop if we want to get our economy moving again," McCarthy said. "When will all this spending and borrowing end?"

Republicans say that budget cuts are a worthwhile effort, but emphasize the size of the Democratic spending bills.

McCarthy singled out "the trillion-dollar 'stimulus' bill the $410 billion dollar 'omnibus' spending bill and the massive, fiscally irresponsible Democratic budget that doubles the debt in just over five years, and triples the debt in just over ten years."

Obama said he's determined to try to cut costs.

"That is why I have assembled a team of management, technology and budget experts to guide us in this work," he said, "leaders who will help us revamp government operations from top to bottom and ensure that the federal government is truly working for the American people."

Along with Zients at chief performance officer, Obama named Aneesh Chopra, currently the technology secretary for Gov. Tim Kaine of Virginia, as the country's chief technology officer.

On Feb. 3, Nancy Killefer withdrew her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, saying she didn't want her mishandling of payroll taxes on her household help to become a distraction for the administration. Killefer was one of several Obama choices for top positions who have dealt with tax problems.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Taxed to Death Location: Kinston on Apr 20, 2009 at 07:44 PM
    To Obama Snake Oil: I agree with you 100%. Obama made no bones about his plans to turn us into a socialist country when he was campaigning. I hope everyone who voted for this liberal nut is happy now. This is change we can believe in alright. We'll be lucky if we have some pocket "change" by the time he robs the taxpayers blind. I don't know why he wants input from us about anything. He doesn't listen and does what he wants to do anyway. The marjority of Americans were against this grand stimulus plan of his to begin with. Did he listen? Nope! He's already done this much damage in 90 days. Can you imagine what can of shape we're going to be in at the end of his 4 years. God help us all!
  • by ANGIE Location: GVILLE on Apr 20, 2009 at 11:23 AM
  • by Dwayne Location: Greenville on Apr 20, 2009 at 09:20 AM
    4 months into his new job and Obama has spent more money than any US President in history. Now, Obama is talking out of the other side of his mouth. (1) Reduce government. Nobama has already failed. Not future, not present, but past tense. It's a done deal. 2012 here yet?
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Apr 20, 2009 at 05:16 AM
    Taxed to death, and others, this is why some of us warned of electing this traiter and leftest socialist. He doesn't care about you and me, he has his own personal agendam "we" are not included. He is passing every liberal agenda you can imagine and spending more than anyother president in history. Stimulus? No, to stimulate, you cut taxes not increase spending. Facts are facts and any economics professor would tell you he is embarqing on a spending spree. If you voted for these guys, it is all your fault.
  • by Robert Location: Greenville on Apr 20, 2009 at 03:46 AM
    Not enough room for all suggestions, but here are a few; 1. Send all the illegals back home 2. Make anyone recieving welfare, food stamps, etc. have to pass a drug test 3. You fired the ceo of G.M, fire about half your staff. 4. Get all our bail out money back and put some of it in the unemployment fund and split the rest with the WORKING TAXPAYERS 5. Stop importing food and support our farmers 6. Get your resume ready cause you have already been figured out
  • by Taxed to Death Location: Kinston on Apr 19, 2009 at 08:32 PM
    Stop supporting illegals and their offspring. Giving them foodstamps, WIC, housing, free medical care, dental care and education is costing us billions. They are sucking the life out of taxpayers. They've drained the treasuries of state and local agencies and nobody wants to admit it. We're spending more on charity care than we can afford. It's time to stop this nonsense now. If we can't take care of our own, we certainly can't afford to take care of millions of non citizens who are here in violation of our laws. Obama has the audacity asking us how the government can save money when he knows good and well all of these people are a burden to taxpayers. His answer? To legalize them and let them collect even more benefits. We don't have any representation in Washington. They don't give a rat's behind about the citiens they were elected to serve. They're too busy catering and pandering to non citizens and turning them into wards of the local states. It has become our duty to support them.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 19, 2009 at 06:45 PM
    Here is a specific proposal for the Chicago street hustler, let John Kasich assemble and oversee a team to write the budget. Problem solved.
  • by Chris Location: Greenville on Apr 19, 2009 at 06:12 PM
    OMG, I hope you people that put this chump in office are happy. The guy who spends 3/4 of a trillion dollars is asking for suggestions on how to save money.I can't stop laughing at the most hyped up loser to ever be in office.
  • by Ron Location: Merritt, NC on Apr 19, 2009 at 05:25 PM
    Here are some bits of advice that work every time they are tried: Cut pork, stop giving away bail-out money, cut capital gains taxes, cut corporate taxes, keep the upper tax limits for individuals low, and go back to capitalism. But I dream; this is not the advice Obama wants nor will he heed. He's blowing smoke up our butts with his seeking advice.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Apr 19, 2009 at 02:51 PM
    Mr. Obama might start by reducing the salary of his staff and congress by 20%, see how they fare on a reduced budget (this will never happen). IE, Sen. Ted Kennedy needs $4300 - as much as I need a dry well, as long as he has been sucking on the government teat, he should work (?) for free. Obama has more czars than were ever in Russia, mostly from companies that were on the "bailout". Obama might also give up his salary as some of the bailed out companies have done. This is a small thing but how much will this organic garden cost the American tax payer, I don't see Mrs. Obama and G-Ma tending a garden. Maybe apponting a "Garden Czar" to make sure each American family has a garden. Cut the money going to the UN by 50%. Mr. Obama also need to concentrate on his admin. rather than the Bush admin. Obama needs to let the American tax payer know what he really wants to accomplish by saying "heres what I am going to do". So far he has not done that. Yes limited terms for congress.
  • Page:

275 E. Arlington Blvd. Greenville, NC 27858 252-439-7777
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 43241822 - witn.com/a?a=43241822
Gray Television, Inc.