In an effort to show his administration is making the government more efficient, President Obama asked his Cabinet Secretaries Monday to find $100 million worth of savings or cuts in the federal budget. He gave them 90 days to do so. This figure pales in comparison to both the size of the $3.7 trillion fiscal 2010 budget the president has proposed to Congress as well as the government's budget deficit, which the Congressional Budget Office projects will hit $1.85 trillion in fiscal 2009.
This first request is only a "tone-setter" rather than a package of big spending cuts. Obama said," What we're going to do is line by line, page by page, 100 million there, 100 million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money."
The White House says the Agriculture Department can save $62 million on a 15-year lease by consolidating operations at seven facilities into one location. Also Homeland Security can save $52 million over five years by buying office supplies in bulk. These examples, and others detailed by the White House, focus on finding savings in existing operations as opposed to cutting programs.
During the meeting, Obama pledged that during the weeks to come his administration also will propose eliminating 100 programs from the budget. The administration is expected to provide more details of its fiscal 2010 plan the week of May 4.