Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Tool to cut spending little used

"More than three years after the Bush administration undertook an effort to streamline the federal programs that make up most government spending, little has been cut." ...

Clay Johnson, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, … testified [Tuesday] before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on federal financial management, government information and international security.

"The panel is chaired by Sen. Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican who at times has needled even fellow Republicans about government spending.

"He noted that federal spending accounts for 19 percent of the gross domestic product and at the current rate will account for 40 percent of GDP by 2040."

The "hearing was sparsely attended, but Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, New Jersey Democrat, made a point to appear. He said he wants to ensure that cuts are not made on partisan grounds.

"Mr. Coburn said he intends to hold both parties accountable for reining in spending.

"Comptroller General David Walker testified before the committee and reminded Mr. Coburn about a book published by the Government Accountability Office that describes the unsustainable path of government spending.

"Mr. Coburn said he needed no reminder; he has read the book twice."

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