Budget Director Peter Orszag Proposes Another Tiny Measure to Cut Spiraling Debt

Jun 8, 2010 1:02pm

Office of Management and Budget's Director Peter Orszag today delivered a speech to the Center for American Progress in which he explained how President Obama was proposing another tiny bite at the national debt behemoth.

“We are asking each agency to develop a list of their bottom five percent performing discretionary programs, as measured by their impact in furthering the agency’s mission,” Orszag said. “In addition, to ensure that we can meet the President’s absolute insistence on a freeze for non-security agencies while funding priority areas, we are asking non-security agencies to specify how they would reduce their budgets by 5 percent which will give us the ability to achieve the overall non-security freeze even while meeting inevitable new needs and priorities.”

Taken together with the three-year budget freeze on non-security-related discretionary spending, the moves would save $250 billion over ten years, an OMB spokesman said today.

The national debt as of last Friday was $13,050,588,009,652.62 – $2.42 trillion more than on the day President Obama was inaugurated ($10,626,877,048,913.08).

The $142 billion debt projected for May is several times more than what would be saved from what Mr. Orszag is announcing.

As Orszag was delivering his speech, President Obama was in Maryland telling seniors about a whole bunch of new entitlement spending programs for them – closing the “donut hole” for the Medicare prescription drug benefit, “free” mammograms, and the like.

“To be sure, reducing this waste will not close the significant budget gap we face,” Orszag said today. “But that fact does not absolve us from the obligation we have to use funds wisely.”

– Jake Tapper

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