Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Promises about Government Efficiency on The Obameter

Reform the Small Business Administration's ability to respond after disasters

"Will fix the Small Business Administration (SBA) bureaucracy so that it can step in during a disaster and provide assistance." The SBA was quickly overwhelmed with applications following Katrina.

Appoint a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters

"Will appoint a Chief Financial Officer to oversee the rebuilding following national disasters to minimize waste and abuse."

Appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer

"Will appoint the nation's first Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to ensure that our government and all its agencies have the right infrastructure, policies and services for the 21st century. The CTO will ensure the safety of our networks and will lead an interagency effort, working with chief technology and chief information officers of each of the federal agencies, to ensure that they use best-in-class technologies and share best practices."

Reduce the number of middle managers in the federal workforce

"Barack Obama will thin the ranks of Washington middle managers, freeing up resources both for deficit reduction and for increasing the number of frontline workers."

Create White House performance team and chief performance officer

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will create a focused team within the White House that will work with agency leaders and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to improve results and outcomes for federal government programs while eliminating waste and inefficiency. This unit, a SWAT team, will be composed of top-performing and highly-trained government professionals and be headed by a new Chief Performance Officer (CPO) who will report directly to the president. The CPO will work with federal agencies to set tough performance targets and hold managers responsible for progress. The president will meet regularly with cabinet officers to review the progress their agencies are making toward meeting performance improvement targets."

Limit subsidies for agribusiness

"Obama will implement a $250,000 [farm commodity] payment limitation so that we help family farmers, not large corporate agribusiness. Obama will close the loopholes that allow megafarms to get around the limits by subdividing their operations into multiple paper corporations."

Limit term of director of national intelligence

"Will insulate the Director of National Intelligence from political pressure by giving the DNI a fixed term, like the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Obama and Biden will seek consistency and integrity at the top of our intelligence community -- not just a political ally."

Reduce earmarks to 1994 levels

"Barack Obama is committed to returning earmarks to less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994."

Cut federal contracts

"Barack Obama will reform federal contracting and reduce the number of contractors, saving $40 billion a year."

Equalize tax breaks for driving and public transit

"The federal tax code rewards driving to work by allowing employers to provide parking benefits of $205 per month tax free to their employees. The tax code provides employers with commuting benefits for transit, carpooling or vanpooling capped at $105 per month. This gives drivers a nearly 2:1 advantage over transit users. Obama and Biden will reform the tax code to make benefits for driving and public transit or ridesharing equal."

Consider "smart growth" in transportation funding

"Will re-evaluate the transportation funding process to ensure that smart growth considerations are taken into account."

Create a Secretary of Business and consolidate nine goverment agencies on business into one

"I’ve said that I want to consolidate a whole bunch of government agencies. We should have one secretary of business, instead of nine different departments that are dealing with things like getting loans to SBA [the Small Business Administration] or helping companies with exports. There should be a one-stop shop. Now, the reason we haven’t done that is not because of some big ideological difference. It has to do with Congress talking a good game about wanting to streamline government, but being very protective about not giving up their jurisdiction over various pieces of government."