Obama announces plan to cut government waste

Monday - 6/13/2011, 1:59pm EDT

By JULIE PACE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama announced a new effort Monday to eliminate government waste and named his vice president to lead it.

Obama signed an executive order that creates an oversight board to work with federal departments and agencies to cut waste and improve performance. Vice President Joe Biden will meet regularly with Cabinet secretaries to chart progress.

Monday's announcement comes as the White House grapples for ways to both boost sluggish economic growth and chip away at the deficit.

"As we work to tackle the budget deficit, we need to step up our game," Obama said in a video announcing the Campaign to Cut Waste. "No amount of waste is acceptable _ not when it's your money, not at a time when so many Americans are already cutting back."

As examples of "pointless waste" and "stupid spending," Obama cited daily publication of the Federal Register despite the fact that it's available on the Internet and has been for years, duplication among federal websites and thousands of surplus federal buildings he hopes to begin selling off.

He said some of the cuts aren't big, but that no amount of waste is acceptable. The administration has identified $33 billion in savings for this year alone "and we're not finished," Obama said.

Biden said that eliminating fraud and waste is just one goal. "We hope to be instilling an entire new culture that not only our administration but every succeeding administration will in fact pursue," he said in the video announcement.


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