July 28th, 2009
08:30 AM ET
11 years ago

Obama's Cabinet claims $243 million in federal savings

President Obama challenged his Cabinet in April to find $100 million in savings in 90 days.

President Obama challenged his Cabinet in April to find $100 million in savings in 90 days.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A challenge that President Obama made to his Cabinet in April resulted in cost-cutting measures that more than doubled the original $100 million target, his administration said Monday.

At his first Cabinet meeting, Obama asked Cabinet members to find $100 million in savings in 90 days. The deadline passed last week with no announcement, and the White House responded to reporters that information was being compiled.

The Office of Management and Budget announced the results Monday, saying Cabinet members identified $243 million in savings through the end of next year.

The Defense Department had the bulk of the big-ticket items. Replacing the standard jet fuel used by the military with commercial jet fuel was expected to save the Air Force more than $51 million, the report said. Increasing the number of soldiers per chartered aircraft going on leave was estimated to save the Army more than $33 million, it said.

The Department of Homeland Security was expected to save $47,000 by consolidating subscriptions to professional publications and newspapers, while the media relations office at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was expected to save $2,000 by using electronic copies of daily newspaper clippings instead of hard copies.

"These savings reflect the president's belief that even small savings can add up," Budget Director Peter Orszag said in a message on the OMB Web site.

Orszag added that the White House would continue to work with federal agencies "to identify further savings as part of the 2011 budget process," with hopes that such steps "will start to instill a culture of cost-savings and care when it comes to using taxpayer dollars."

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Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. The Deficit Speaking

    Spend a few trillion, save $250 million and you are bragging! This administration is a joke. Who is going to repay the $23 trillion deficit that Obama's own Barofsky said we could have?

    July 28, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  2. Nick

    Wow, $243 million after he just approved a $3 trillion budget? After $1 trillion for health care? On top of an $11 trillion deficit? Savings like these – change I can do without. If a business needs to cut 15%-25% to stay in business why doesn't the government? Touting this as a success is a slap in the face to the American people.

    July 28, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  3. Bert, OK

    I wish the president well. He's trying his best. How silly of the wachos to challenge his citizenship. What morons.

    I think all of the Congressmen/women should be banished from earth for making political hay out of nothing.

    The president should challenge each and every one of them, seriously.

    July 28, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  4. Larry

    Now if they can find $243 billion.........


    July 28, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. E.C.Coleman

    Highly Doubtful.

    July 28, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. No One Famous

    Great the cabinet save 243 million, but how much has the great BHO, aka the spender-in-chief, wasted on worthless travel so he can continue his campaign tour.

    July 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. Obama 2.0

    Put that in your GOP pipe and smoke it!

    July 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Four and The Door

    Bravo! We'll take small savings.

    July 28, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. repugs need a break

    Good for them

    July 28, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. g

    great – only about $1,199,757,000,000 more to close the 2009 fiscal budget gap (and this is pre-obamacare).....keep serving up more of this change we can believe in, mickey mouse!

    July 28, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Bill Rondell

    Why not cut out some/all of the "czars" that noone knows what they do. This would save many millions.

    July 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. Annette

    When have any of us heard in recent years a sitting President, trying to find cost savings. I 'm glad the President is looking for these savings, because it is hard to justified adding more cost ( healthcare reform) if you aren't going to hold yourself accountable for trimming unnecessary cost. And having the ability to pay for added cost
    ( healthcare) not associated with your capital budget.

    I am a fiscal manager, so I can relate to the trimming and cost savings and cost of paying for a project etc., through cutting cost that already exist in your capital. True, pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, do add up and help were ever you can find the savings.

    July 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. donttreadonme

    Saving the money is a good thing! Obama trying so hard to make himself seem budget conscious is like buying a Ferrari Enzo, a new Yacht and a 108 inch LCD TV and then bragging about being frugal by saving a dollar on Life cereal.

    July 28, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  14. Paul from Phoenix

    When you are talking about $1 trillion in new debt, $243 million does not excite me very much.

    BTW, nice flip-flop on healthcare. So glad that i voted for this wimp. God, I wish the GOP had run a competent opponent. Dems control house, have fillibuster-proof Senate, and can't get crap done.

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and apparently the GOP mandate screw-up of 2004-2006 has taught the Dems nothing. Just goes to show how incompetent these politicians are.

    So, lets see, where has Obama flip-floped/screwed up

    *Health Care reform.....Check
    *Keeping Unemployment under 8% by passing stimulus...Check
    *Keeping GM out of bankruptcy....Check (though GM should have declared shapter 11 years ago)
    *Not raising taxes on middle and lower class...Check (how much are you paying for cigs? That is a tax increase people)
    *Lower taxes for lower/middle class...Check
    *Improving Racial Tensions....Check
    *Closing GITMO immediately...Check
    *Improving Relations with North Korea and Iran....Check
    *No wasted spending on Congressional Pet Projects...Check

    Wow, and all this in only 6 months. Can't wait for the next 3 1/2 years. This is why it is always better to have one party control the executive branch and the other party control the Congress.

    July 28, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  15. New Yorker

    What a joke. This is like telling us (taxpayers) I'm going to spend one dollar less of your money for some expenditures but a trillion more for others. The sad thing is so many people will, therefore, think he's doing a great job. He knows that's how easy it is to pull the wool over your eyes.

    July 28, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. I don't believe it

    If it were that easy, it would have been done a long time ago. I think they're all liars.

    July 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Sandra Day

    I would expect the Republican "Birthers" to spawn t-shirts, cartoons, jokes. Maybe you can show someone with tin foil wrapped around their head, stating "I'm a Birther"?

    July 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. gt

    spend trillions ,,save 243 ... whats up with that ? there so much money that the goverment wastes....

    July 28, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. tee

    Great job Mr. President........You're doing what you said you would do.....but of course the repugs will whine and say its not enough.

    July 28, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  20. MLH

    What's not to like about this? He's doing what our family has to do all the time. Way to go, President Obama!

    July 28, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Angie in Pa

    GREAT JOB President Obama and the Administration! keep up the good work instead of spending us into Debt like Bush did on senseless things its good to see some commonsense finally being used in the White House!

    July 28, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  22. worriedmom

    And we are expected to believe this from the White House??? I dont believe a word anymore that comes out of their mouths. they have been proven wrong and Orszag is just mad because CBO stated the truth of no savings on this health reform bill they are trying to push through.
    This administration is just like the Bush administration, tells you what you want to hear, sometimes doesnt tell you at all and lies, lies, lies, to get their agenda through. How do you Libs live with yourself? You just supported another Bush!!

    July 28, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  23. Peter E

    It's small, but it's a start.

    July 28, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  24. Enough

    Now if he could only save a couple Trillion!! Spend trillions and save millions..............doesn't add up to squat.

    July 28, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Independent Bob

    I applaud the President and his administration for identifying savings even if they are small compared to the overall budget...ever little bit does help.

    What will the money saved be used for? Please use the money to pay down the debt. In my opinioin, If the money is not used to pay down the debt the effort just becomes a political jesture and not a true effort to save.

    July 28, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
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