- 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in Washington where programs get funded because they always have – even if they may be ineffective, duplicative, or outdated.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.
- Posted byon September 10, 2009 at 3:10 PM EST
Just a few minutes ago, the Senate confirmed Cass Sunstein to serve as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at OMB. All of OMB and the rest of the Obama Administration appreciates the Senate’s support and for securing smart, effective leadership at the top of our regulatory division.
- Posted byon September 10, 2009 at 1:52 PM EST
Last night, President Obama stated: "We are the only democracy—the only advanced democracy on Earth—the only wealthy nation—that allows such hardship for millions of its people. There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage."
- Posted byon September 9, 2009 at 12:39 PM EST
On May 21, 2009 the Administration launched data.gov to drive transparency and innovation by making federal data easily accessible. This was immediately followed by the Apps for America contest, challenging the American people to develop innovative solutions using data.gov. The contest was run by the Sunlight Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan organization focused on “using the revolutionary power of the Internet to make information about Congress and the federal government more meaningfully accessible to citizens.”
- Posted byon September 8, 2009 at 3:35 PM EST
Today as the President delivered his back to school message to students, I had the privilege to meet with students at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, a public high school here in the District. (The school is named after a famous African American astronomer and mathematician, who published a series of almanacs in the late 18th century and corresponded with Thomas Jefferson about the cruelty of slavery.) Banneker has an impressive 100 percent graduation rate and college enrollment rate – and thus offers an inspiring example of overcoming multiple barriers to educational success.
- Posted byon September 5, 2009 at 6:00 AM EST
One of the most compelling examples of the explanatory power of behavioral economics is the sometimes dramatic effects of small changes in making it easier to save for retirement. In this morning’s weekly address, the President highlighted four proposals to do just that.
- Posted byon September 3, 2009 at 10:10 AM EST
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act marked its 200th day on Tuesday. What are outside analysts saying about its impact?
- Posted byon August 25, 2009 at 8:30 AM EST
Today, OMB released the Mid-Session Review (MSR) which updates the Administration’s economic forecast, last done in February, and its budget projections.
- Posted byon August 4, 2009 at 10:10 AM EST
Yesterday, a group of some of the most distinguished health economists in the country sent a letter to the President and Congress in support of the Administration’s proposal for the establishment of an independent board of doctors and health experts to guide Medicare policy. This Independent Medicare Advisory Council (IMAC) would make recommendations on Medicare reimbursement policy and other reforms – playing a critical role in allowing health care policy to adjust flexibly to a dynamic health care market, thereby helping contain costs and improve quality over time.
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