OMBlog

  • Following Doctor’s Orders

    Since the President signed the health insurance reform bill into law last week and the reconciliation package into law this week, some critics have been carping that the bill does not do enough to constrain health care costs — or as OMBlog readers know it, "bend the curve."

  • SAVEings

    Today, DHS announced that it is changing the default setting for its payroll statements from paper to electronic. This means employees will receive their regular payroll data electronically instead of getting stacks of paper earnings statements by mail. By making e-statements the default option, while giving employees the option to opt out in favor of the paper statement, we hope to increase the percentage of federal employees who use this approach while saving the taxpayers’ money.

  • For the Reading List

    On Sunday, I wrote a post rebutting the last-minute charges that health insurance reform — despite CBO’s score — was fiscally irresponsible and loaded with budgeting and accounting gimmicks. Today, two former CBO officials now at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) released their own, more detailed analysis. The title of their paper says it all: "Health Reform Will Reduce the Deficit." It’s worth a read.

  • Tech Tool to Save Taxpayers’ Money

    As regular readers of this blog know, I am an avid believer in the power of data. Evidence-based decisions drive a lot of what we do at OMB, from budget decisions to regulatory review.

  • Fiscal Realities

    We are mere feet from the finish line to passing into law historic, fiscally responsible health insurance reform that will give more choice and security to those with health insurance, provide access to coverage to those without, improve the quality of health care for us all, and provide the most deficit reduction of any bill in over a decade.

  • Responsible and Paid For

    Today’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of health insurance reform legislation reaffirms what we have said for the past year: that fiscally responsible health insurance reform is not only possible, but also is an important step toward long-term fiscal sustainability.

  • Taking On Earmarks

    Yesterday, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey announced a major step forward in earmark reform, banning earmarks that go to for-profit companies. He also announced that the House would post every earmark request on a single website — right in line with what the President called for in his State of the Union address. These actions will help to reduce abuses and bring more transparency to earmarks.

  • Show-Me Savings

    Before he became President, Harry Truman made a name for himself by heading a commission that looked into waste in contracting during World War II. So it is only fitting that in Truman’s home state of Missouri today, the President announced a new initiative to go after the $100 billion in improper payments made by the federal government each year.

  • Salary Statistics

    At a Government Executive breakfast meeting yesterday, I was asked about salaries for federal employees – an issue that has received some attention lately in the popular press.

  • No Gimmick

    The President has insisted since day one that health insurance reform should not add a dime to the deficit. In keeping with this commitment, the President has put forward a health plan that would reduce deficits by roughly $100 billion over the next ten years and by roughly $1 trillion in the decade after that.

  • Education: The Wind at America’s Back

    Today, I spoke to students at the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, where I discussed the Administration’s efforts to promote short-term economic recovery, put the nation on a sustainable fiscal trajectory, and make investments to bolster long-term economic growth. I have written here on many occasions about the first two topics covered in today’s talk, so I’ll use this post to delve a bit more into the final topic of making new investments to promote growth —and, in particular, by expanding access to and the quality of education.

  • Welcoming the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

    This morning, the President signed an executive order establishing a new, bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The Commission’s co-chairs – former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senate Whip Alan Simpson – will bring Republicans and Democrats together to help tackle one of our looming fiscal challenges.

  • OIRA Dashboard Goes Live

    Last week, as snow forced federal offices to close, OMB was hard at work opening up more of the Federal government – at least online. Today, we are debuting the OIRA Dashboard, an easy-to-use website that will allow people to track the progress of federal rules and regulations that have been submitted for interagency review and find other relevant information about the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Putting this information online and in an accessible format is one of the ways that OMB is applying the principles of the Open Government Directive to rulemaking and regulatory policy.

  • A Short History of Deficit Reduction

    It’s been a day since the 2011 Budget was released, and analysts and journalists have written about what it means for individual agencies, specific issues, and states. But let’s not lose sight of the big picture. The President’s Budget represents an important step towards fiscal sustainability: it put forward $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years, even excluding savings from the assumed ramp-down in war funding over time. Including these war savings, the deficit reduction proposed in the President’s Budget rises to $2.1 trillion.

  • A Dialogue on the Recovery Act

    Nearly a year ago, the Congress and the President joined together to enact the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of the most sweeping economic recovery efforts in our nation’s history. Since then, and although more steps can and should be undertaken to promote job growth, the Recovery Act has spurred economic activity and thereby helped to avert a depression.

  • Introducing the 2011 Budget

    Today, the President transmitted the FY 2011 Budget to the Congress. In about an hour, he will deliver remarks about the Budget, and after that I will be taking questions from the press with CEA Chair Romer. This post gives readers of OMBlog a brief overview of the document.

  • Facing the Fiscal Facts

    A Wall Street Journal op-ed today by the prior Administration’s CEA Chair, Edward Lazear, observes that the ratio of federal spending-to-GDP has risen by 14 percent since 2008—and that the transition from 2008 to 2009 saw the greatest annual increase in spending in the last 30 years.

  • The First Cuts Are the Deepest

    In May, we released our Terminations, Reductions, and Savings volume. It put forward more than 120 cuts and reductions, totaling $17 billion, to programs that were duplicative, ineffective, or outdated. At the time, cynics said that we’d never be able to eliminate these programs – some of which had been around for decades. And it’s true that every one of the programs has a supporter, and there have been – and will continue to be – vocal and powerful interests that oppose almost any budget cut.

  • Modernizing Government

    This afternoon, I will participate in the White House Forum on Modernizing Government. More than 50 of the nation’s leading CEOS are attending today’s forum, bringing their ideas for how the government can use technology to save money and improve performance.

  • No Illusions

    We are closer than ever before to passing fiscally responsible health reform legislation. So it’s not a surprise that the most reflexively and ideologically partisan commentators are lashing out. Today, it’s the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal.