Rich Galen

Over the course of the next 10 years total outlays are projected to be about $47 trillion.

Five percent of $47 trillion is $2.35 trillion - more than double the one trillion they're all falling down in a dead faint trying to save over ten years.

What is the federal government equivalent of Starbucks and Landini's? Fewer cars and drivers for federal employees who can take the same cabs and subway trips I do?

Fewer assistants to assistants' assistants so Federal employees can get a taste what private sector workers have been through - having been required to do more work with fewer people to save their jobs?

Stretch out the life cycle of major weapons systems? Maybe we don't have to change uniform designs, provided to enlisted personnel at government expense, every few years.

On the civilian side better use of broadband technology to cut employees' travel costs might be useful.

There are thousands of Starbucks/Landini's-type examples that would save five percent in spending - more than $2 trillion over 10 years, but would not make the Federal government miss a beat in the mundane programs we expect, nor the emergency programs we need.

Maybe the President can show his willingness to actually move the process forward by identifying five percent in savings in the Executive Office of the President. And perhaps the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader might find the same level of cuts in their official budgets.

Nah. They wouldn't like it.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at