Everything President Obama pledges to do in his weekly address makes sense. From his promise to closely scrutinize the budget line-by-line for wasteful spending to asking department heads in his cabinet to trim their budgets, Obama sounds as though he is following up on his campaign pledge of ending unnecessary spending and offering greater transparency in government operations.
I have just one question.
Isn't that what all elected officials, including our president, are elected to do?
Being an elected leader should be more than cutting ribbons on new buildings and kissing babies. Perhaps I'm being a bit naive, but I thought all newly elected leaders were duty bound to inspect the spending of their predecessors to look for new and more efficient ways to use taxpayer's money.
Either President Obama is taking a deep bow for something he and other elected leaders have been doing for generations or our previous crop of leaders has been doing us a great disservice by offering scant inspection of earlier spending.
The test will come when President Obama offers his line-by-line analysis of Bush administration spending. Thus far, he has unearthed a $3 million consulting contract at Homeland Security to create logos and seals since 2003. It can be difficult to fairly examine the effectiveness of a contract without all the details, but this Homeland Security deal sounds like a solid case of government waste.
If the president finds many more examples like that, he will be doing the country a great service.
Obama also announced the hiring of Jeffrey Zients and Aneesh Chopra to high government posts to oversee waste and management.
Not to be disrespectful, but I hope someone in the administration has asked whether these guys are current on paying their taxes.
Paul Shepard blogs the Democrat side of politics for Black Voices. He has been a journalist for 16 years on the national urban/minority affairs beat for the Cleveland Plain Dealer and for AP in Washington, D.C. He now runs his own public affairs firm, Shepard Strategic Communications.