CQ TODAY - BUDGET
Jan. 9, 2008 - 1:31 p.m.
Sparing Trees, Saving Money: The Fiscal 2009 'E-Budget'
By David Clarke, CQ Staff
There will be no delivery truck pulling up to the White House next month to unload freshly printed copies of President Bush's fiscal 2009 budget proposal, which is likely to total more than 2,000 pages.
The White House estimates it would need to order more than 3,000 copies of the books this year in order to provide copies to its own staff, lawmakers and the news media as it has done in the past.
Instead, it will send those eager readers to an Office of Management and Budget Web site (www.budget.gov) on Feb. 4, the day Bush will submit his new budget to Congress.
The move is an effort to save money and spare some trees, budget director Jim Nussle said Wednesday. "This step will save nearly 20 tons of paper, or roughly 480 trees," Nussle said in a statement. "In terms of fiscal savings, we estimate the E-Budget will save nearly a million dollars over the next five years."
For those who just can't live without the paper version, the four-volume set can still be ordered from the Government Printing Office. But Nussle urged all potential readers to embrace the E-Budget.
The budget has been online for several years, but this year OMB is hoping to publicize its availability more effectively. "Having an E-Budget also aligns well with the president's E-Gov initiative, which focuses on utilizing technology to make the Federal Government more efficient and to improve transparency in order to better serve citizens, businesses and agencies alike," Nussle said in his statement.[END OF ARTICLE]
As Jason clearly recognized in sending this to me, it offers an ideal set-up for numerous and diverse punchlines. He offers one, asking whether the $200,000 annual saving "make[s] up for Bush's other fiscal and environmental policies."
For mine, I note that a New York Times article nearly a year ago (available at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/17/business/17leonhardt.html ) suggests that the Iraq war had cost about $1.2 trillion to date. Call it $240 billion a year. No one seems to have realized that the Administration entirely paid for this - even before the e-budget initiative - simply by NOT printing an extra 3.6 million copies per year of its annual budget. (I assume for simplicity a fixed per unit cost.)
When is the press going to give Bush full credit for this? Liberal bias liberal bias liberal bias.