Thursday, January 08, 2009

Cutting Cost of Government

I’ve refrained from commenting on Obama’s appointments and the like, since I prefer to judge people by their actions rather than by less tangible means. A couple of things in this blog in the Times, however, concern me.

This “performance officer” sounds a lot like the function of the General Accounting Office. This agency has been performing extremely well for many years at it’s appointed task of rooting out government waste and inefficiency. That the government has completely ignored the results, with Bush even going to the extent of shutting it up, is not the fault of the agency. It is well staffed and very effective.

Ms. Killefer is presumably not going to be sitting alone in a back room wearing a green eyeshade, so it seems to me that creating her office with its own staff is a duplication of effort. That rather increases the cost of government all by itself, and it increases the degree of bureaucracy in Washington. Not quite consistent with the kind of change that Obama promised in his campaign.

Thre is also a statement by Obama that “changes in Social Security and Medicare will be central to efforts to bring federal spending in line.”

Obama has noticeably not talked about reducing overall military spending. On the contrary he is talking about increasing it, about making our military even larger. His cost cutting will, however, include Social Security and Medicare.

In the aftermath of an economic meltdown which devastated the retirement savings of millions, he wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. He wants to increase jobs to take care of “working people” but doesn’t seem as concerned about people who are past working; people who saved all their lives for retirement and saw those savings wiped out and who have only Social Security to fall back on.

Not to mention that those things are sparately funded, with their own taxes, and have nothing to do with federal spending.

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