In case you’ve been living under a blog rock (HARDY HAR HAR), PBH has been expanding its efforts into all sorts of new and untold dimensions.
Earlier this week, Greg Mankiw jumped on the reports that Obama planned to ask his cabinet members to slash $100 million from their combined budgets:
Just to be clear: $100 million represents .003 percent of $3.5 trillion.
To put those numbers in perspective, imagine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had to be cut? By $3 over the course of the year–approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $33,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year.
On the surface, this is an easy and obvious judgment — $100 million is a penny in the well and we’ll never get to fiscal solvency if we don’t make dramatic budgetary changes!
But for anyone who has ever in their life worked at the federal government, this will come across as a rather naive assessment of the ease of slashing federal agency budgets. Budgetary cuts are fought tooth and nail with the kind of fervency that would make a Prussian bureaucrat explode.
I’ve had the pleasure of working at two federal agencies and I can personally attest to how difficult it is for department cuts to gain traction or simply reach the right people. I watched two managers turn beet red in a screaming match over a discrepancy of $500 in an over $5 million dollar budget. I’ve seen a $1000 budget ‘adjustment’ (hint: moving money from one project to another) take over a year to pass through the right hands to actually be passed (with the ‘besieged’ departments doing their best to block the cut by any means possible). Budget cuts seem to awaken the inner demon in every government employee, channeling an anger usually left for divorces and little league games.
I know $100 million doesn’t sound like much given the current economic situation and federal budget. But trust me, getting federal agencies to voluntary cut their budgets by $100 million will be a painful and agonizing process.
See Also: $100 million here, $100 million there, Disagreeing With Greg Mankiw, Mankiw: This Has to Be a Joke, Right?, How Big is a Budget Number?, Obama Asks You to Save $6, Obama Gets An “F” For First 100 Days (MSNBC Poll), $100 million is not a serious budget cut, Obama’s spending cuts!, Obama Is on the Right Track When It Comes to Eliminating Government Waste, Comment Of The Day, Perpetuating A Myth, Quote Of The Day — Obama Cost-Cutting, and The Wrong Way to Cut the Deficit.
[tags]greg mankiw, on cutting budgets, barack obama, $100 million, 100 million dollars, bureaucracy, economists, addressing budget cuts, federal budget, federal deficit, fiscal solvency, federal cuts, national government, government agencies[/tags]
Typing “Obama Is” in the Google searchbar in FireFox brings up some interesting results….
I can tell lots of people esteem our Commander in Chief….
[tags]obama, firefox, barack obama is…, muslim, terrorist, the antichrist, barack obama is the antichrist, who is barack obama, a terrorist, not black, image, screenshot, automatic results, photo, screen capture, firefox, google search bar, firefox google search[/tags]
I have some really, really, really sad news everybody. Mia Farrow is putting herself in harms way to alleviate the poverty of the Sudanese people. How brave, how noble a lady she is to stop eating food for a couple of weeks in the comfort of her own food, just to raise awareness for third world peoples! Wrong rights explains:
Well, if the hundreds of thousands displaced or dead in Darfur weren’t bad enough already, now the violence is impacting the well-being of our nation’s precious celebrities. Actress Mia Farrow recently announced that next week she will begin a hunger strike in solidarity with the (very hungry) people of Darfur…
And am I the only one who expects to see the “Darfur Diet” popping up in next month’s Cosmopolitan magazine as a great way to get in shape for bikini season and attract the attention of that cute “activist” boy who hangs out at your local fair trade coffee shop?
Meanwhile on Wall Street, everyone’s stealing our money and we’re smiling with watermelon and cow shit on our teeth like absent-minded peasants:
One week after they make a change in the banking rules Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs project profits in the billions of dollars.
Somewhere, in the back of my mind, my bullshit alarm is ringing./blockquote>
Hopefully it is ringing with Fergies “My Humps” — because if there is a song for this economic depression induced by corporate greed and exploitation, its that.
Apparently TEH ISLAMS can also find God in all sorts of everyday objects, including an egg:
“Believe me, America accepts all our decisions. The Obama Admin will put forth new peace initiatives only if Israel wants it to.”
– Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman [quoted in Haaretz]
See Also: Lieberman: U.S. to accept any Israeli policy decision, Lieberman: U.S. to accept any Israeli policy decision, Lieberman: Arab initiative ‘a recipe for Israel’s destruction’, Lieberman Israeli foreign minister first major interview, How Do You Like Being Their Bitch?, and Lieberman: U.S., Israel’s Toady.
[tags]israeli foreigner minsiter, israel fm, avigdor lieberman, avigdor liebermann, haaretz, quote on america, peace process, obama administration, us involvement in peace process, two state solution, Annapolis agreements, barack obama[/tags]