- Posted byon November 5, 2009 at 4:05 PM EST
Last Friday marked the end of the first month of the OMB pedometer challenge. As a team, we took a whopping 51,337,900 in the first month. This is equivalent to walking almost 26,000 miles — over a thousand miles more than walking the full circumference of the earth. Quite an accomplishment.
- Posted byon November 3, 2009 at 12:18 PM EST
I delivered a speech today at New York University about the Administration’s efforts to jumpstart the economy and to build a secure and prosperous recovery by putting the nation on a path to fiscal sustainability — issues that are especially important to the students of today and generations to come.
- Posted byon October 29, 2009 at 3:08 PM EST
Today on Capitol Hill, OMB Deputy Director for Management Jeff Zients testified in front of the Senate Budget Committee about the Administration’s efforts to improve the performance of the federal government so that it is more efficient and effective.
- Posted byon October 26, 2009 at 1:25 PM EST
As I have said repeatedly — and as my colleague, Christy Romer, is discussing today at the Center for American Progress — reducing health care cost growth is the key to our fiscal future. To anyone who has studied our fiscal facts, this central conclusion seems indisputable.
- Posted byon October 22, 2009 at 6:15 PM EST
We often hear about people who are unlucky in love, but what of those who are unlucky in the business cycle? What is the impact of being born two decades before a significant economic downturn, such that you graduate from college and enter the labor force in the middle of a period of high unemployment? As the class of 2009 is keenly aware, entering the labor market during a recession has immediate negative effects. Job offers are harder to find: according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, less than 20 percent of the class of 2009 graduated from college with a job offer in hand, compared to 25 percent in the class of 2008 and more than 50 percent in the class of 2007. Whereas year to year starting salaries on average tend to increase, with the tough competition in this year’s labor market, average starting offers for the class of 2009 are slightly down.
- Posted byon October 13, 2009 at 7:07 PM EST
Tonight, the Senate confirmed Danny Werfel as Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management (OFFM). This is great news for OMB, as Danny brings broad experience and financial acumen to the table. His skills will be tested, as there are serious challenges facing the federal government to improve transparency and drive better results for the American people.
- Posted byon October 13, 2009 at 1:00 PM EST
Over the past few days, a number of news articles about health reform have suggested that efforts to control the growth of health care costs are in jeopardy. Great strides to control long-term health care costs have been made in both the Senate and the House — fulfilling a key goal of the President’s health reform effort.
- Posted byon October 7, 2009 at 6:33 PM EST
This afternoon, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its estimate of the budgetary and coverage effects of the Senate Finance Committee health reform legislation. The bottom line is that this mark demonstrates that we can expand coverage and improve quality while being fiscally responsible. It does not add one dime to the deficit over the next 10 years and, according to CBO, reduces deficits significantly thereafter.
- Posted byon October 7, 2009 at 12:40 PM EST
Especially in these difficult economic times, it’s critical that taxpayer dollars are used wisely. We can’t just keep continuing with business as usual in Washington where programs get funded because they always have – even if they may be ineffective, duplicative, or outdated. That is why the President has made changing how the federal government does business and how taxpayer dollars are spent a top priority. And, as I have written about before, it’s why we are putting an emphasis on objective, rigorous evaluations to help drive funding decisions across the government.
- Posted byon October 5, 2009 at 4:12 PM EST
This weekend I read a fascinating new paper about the impact of providing a simplified approach to financial aid for prospective college students.
- Posted byon October 5, 2009 at 9:46 AM EST
The need for health insurance reform just became clearer with the release from the non-partisan Institute of Medicine (IOM) of an estimate that the health care system contains over $800 billion in excess costs, a number consistent with previous studies. In other words, according to this new estimate, we spend more than $800 billion a year on health care that does not make us healthier. The result is higher premiums for us all and higher costs for the government — but it also means you may receive tests and procedures that you do not need, putting your health at risk.
- Posted byon October 2, 2009 at 4:05 PM EST
Today, the President announced his intent to nominate Dan Gordon to serve as the Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy – a key member of the management team here at OMB. Dan is a career contracting professional who understands that the top goal of our procurement efforts is to use taxpayers’ dollars smartly and effectively – that we get the most value for every dollar we spend. Dan will bring a fresh approach to procurement policy, but he also will rely on the expertise of the career procurement workforce to improve our procurement processes.
- Posted byon October 1, 2009 at 10:39 AM EST
October 1st marks the beginning of a new fiscal year. At OMB, that coincides with an increased pace as we begin to put together the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget. This year, as part of their budget submissions, federal agencies have been asked to report on their efforts to improve the health and wellness of their employees. I want to make sure that the staff at OMB doesn’t just talk the talk on wellness, but that we also walk the walk — literally.
- Posted byon September 30, 2009 at 6:49 PM EST
Last week, OMB launched the President’s Save Award, a contest for federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently. Today, we received the 10,000th submission and we now have 10,266 entries (to be exact!).
- Posted byon September 25, 2009 at 8:18 AM EST
One of the most significant repercussions of the economic downturn has been its effect on the labor market. It goes without saying that too many Americans are out of work. And as you dig deeper into the data, it becomes evident that the age pattern of changes in labor force participation rates is different now than during past downturns.
- Posted byon September 24, 2009 at 1:09 PM EST
Last night, I attended the Service to America Medals ceremony, where I joined in honoring the outstanding performance of a number of federal civil servants. Their accomplishments are inspiring—including establishment of a national suicide prevention hotline for veterans; cutting-edge discoveries that have led to effective treatments for multiple sclerosis and forms of cancer; and development of a loan modification program that kept thousands in their homes.
- Posted byon September 23, 2009 at 10:04 AM EST
Some of the best ideas come from those working on the frontlines, so today OMB is launching the President's SAVE Award, a contest for federal employees to come up with the best idea to save taxpayer dollars and make the government perform more effectively and efficiently. Federal employees will be able to submit their ideas, securely and confidentially, at www.SaveAward.gov. The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, October 14. The winner will meet with President Obama and have his or her idea incorporated into the FY 2011 Budget. (We also will recognize the agency with the highest participation rate so make sure your co-workers enter too!).
- Posted byon September 17, 2009 at 11:14 AM EST
Many things come across my desk at OMB. To offer a flavor: the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB just completed review of a proposed rule from the U.S. Coast Guard that would establish a new, protective standard for ballast water discharge from vessels in U.S. waters. The rule would represent a significant step toward protecting our waters from the spread of invasive species.
- Posted byon September 14, 2009 at 6:45 PM EST
18 years ago, I was given the opportunity of a lifetime by the Marshall Commission to study at the London School of Economics. Tonight, I was able to meet the extraordinary group of this year’s winners as well as the American winners of this year’s Gates scholarships. It was a great reception at the British Embassy (hosted by Ambassador and Mrs. Sheinwald), and for those interested in how my Marshall interview went and my advice to this year’s winners, my remarks are here.
- Posted byon September 14, 2009 at 5:00 PM EST
I have spoken in the past about the often substantial role of social norms and "contagions" in our health and other behavior. This week’s New York Times Magazine has a fascinating article summarizing the research debate about the role of friends and family in affecting our behavior.
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