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Obama Pledges Pragmatic, Less Wasteful Gov`t

Posted November. 27, 2008 03:09,   


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama yesterday pledged to stop wasteful government spending in a news conference in Chicago.

"We are going to go through our federal budget, as I promised during the campaign, page by page, line by line, eliminating those programs we don`t need and insisting that those that we do need operate in a sensible, cost-effective way," he said.

Obama said budget reform is not an option, but a necessity. “We can`t sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness or exist solely because of the power of politicians, lobbyists or interest groups. We simply can`t afford it.”

Pundits say this speech reflects his willingness to implement his campaign promise to rid Washington’s practice of the “comfortable co-existence” between lobbyists and politicians.

On the size of the government, Obama said, “This isn`t about big government or small government. It`s about building a smarter government that focuses on what works. That’s why I will ask my team to think anew and act anew to meet our new challenges."

He also said what Americans want more than anything is a smart government with common sense. “They don`t want ideology, they don`t want bickering, they don`t want sniping. They want action and they want effectiveness," he said.

Given that Obama also promised a bold economic stimulus Monday, Tuesday’s speech emphasizing fiscal reform, cracking down on lobbyists, and emphasis on common sense and ideology illustrates his determination to seek pragmatism in his administration.

Following the nomination of his former political rival Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, Obama also expressed his willingness to execute state affairs in a supra-partisan manner by deciding to keep Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Obama also named Peter R. Orszag, head of the Congressional Budget Office, to head the Office of Management and Budget.