Will new ‘CPO’ truly cut massive waste?

Published 7:01 pm Wednesday, January 7, 2009

If managing the government’s budget and cash flow were as simple as, say, balancing a family’s budget, we’d all be experts.

And, it is likely our nation wouldn’t be facing a $1,2 trillion federal deficit.

After all, the key to financial stability and security is simple: spend less than you take in.

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But simplicity and common sense play little role in the government of the United States, and years of spending – dating all the way back to the first federal welfare programs created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1930s – have created a mountain of federal debt; unwieldy and inefficient government agencies and programs; and, now, a White House-level government position dedicated to trying to seek out and reduce the wasteful spending.

On Tuesday, President-elect Obama named Nancy Killefer the new “chief performance officer” for his administration. While details are sketchy, it appears Killefer’s task is to eliminate government waste and improve efficiency.

There’s no doubt plenty of both exist, and the litmus test will come as Killefer gets to work examining the programs at the same time Obama pushes a $775 billion economic stimulus plan that promises to create more government programs and spending. Will Killefer truly tackle the leaking bucket of entitlement programs, reforming them and reducing waste and expenditures? It’s doubtful, given Obama’s vision for creating more government-funded work and welfare programs.

We know little about Killefer, except that she worked in the U.S. Treasury during the Clinton administration. We’d like to think that she can, and will, apply some good, old-fashioned common-sense budgeting principals to the federal programs.

America, and all its taxpayers, certainly deserve no less.