Pocket Change We Can Believe In

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Posted: Jul 29, 2009 11:40 AM
Three months ago, President Obama asked each of his cabinet secretaries to carefully examine their agencies' operating budgets and cut $100 million from each agency.  Well, progress has been made. 

From today's Wall Street Journal:
WASHINGTON -- With the budget deficit soaring toward $2 trillion, the Department of Justice has figured out how to play its part: double-sided photocopying.

There are other acts of national sacrifice. The Forest Service will no longer repaint its new, white vehicles green immediately upon purchase. The Army will start packing more soldiers onto R&R flights. The Navy will delete unused email accounts...

The Air Force has proposed replacing its specially formulated jet fuel with commercial aviation fuel, which it will top up with some military additives. That will save nearly $52 million next year, when the program begins.

The Office of Thrift Supervision, a division of the Treasury, identified unused phone lines costing $320,000.

Acknowledging the sheer humor in an office of "Thrift Supervision" needing a presidential order to save hundreds of thousands of dollars, I have to ask the obvious question: Who in their right mind would trust these people  to save us  money on our health care coverage?  In another twist of irony, the Department of Labor cut jobs to save money, and we're supposed to rely on these people to get the economy moving again?  

While I debated whether I should laugh or cry about our country's current state of affairs, the article concluded with this note from Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's office:

If the administration produces $100 million in savings every 98 days for the rest of Mr. Obama's term, the savings will total $1.5 billion, or three days of interest on the federal debt.

Here come the tears.