President-elect Obama has talked the talk about cutting wasteful federal spending. Now we will see whether he can walk the walk. You can review his budget reform promises here.
Some notable pledges:
- Eliminate "ineffective government programs."
- Expand and improve www.usaspending.gov.
- Expose corporate welfare.
- Ensure that all "non-emergency" bills passed by Congress are posted on the web for five days before he signs them.
- Eliminate "waste and inefficiency" in government through a new investigative "SWAT team" that reports directly to the president.
- Enforce tougher new standards on the Office of Management and Budget's current "PART" program, which grades program effectiveness.
- "Enforc[e] standards when programs continually fail" by "cutting program budgets or eliminating programs entirely" or other reforms.
- "Eliminate wasteful redundancy" in government.
- "Eliminate government programs that are not performing" by means of a "line-by-line" budget review.
- Slash earmarks to the 1994 level.
Senator Obama has been a partner of Senator Coburn's in various budget transparency reform efforts. Now Coburn's office tells me that they will hold the new president's feet to the fire on his promises in this campaign document.
One suspects that the sort of "waste" Senator Obama is thinking about cutting here is small potatoes compared to the large cuts that really need to be made in the $3 trillion budget. But it will be interesting to see how hard Obama pushes even these modest reforms through the increasingly liberal Congress.