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The President's grand effort to curb spending and inefficiency hits t-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles and ink pens.


Obama’s a Drag On Swag

The President’s grand effort to curb spending and inefficiency hits t-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles and ink pens.

President Barack Obama is ordering federal workers to cut back on “swag” in an effort to save taxpayer dollars and roll back the government’s trillion-dollar debt.

That’s right, swag.

In Hollywood, swag means silk scarves, designer shoes, exotic vacations, jewelry from Tiffany’s and other bling given away at Academy Awards parties and other swanky affairs.

In Washington, swag means t-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles and ink pens from Office Depot featuring the agency’s name or emblem in drab colors and offered as parting gifts from bureaucratic conferences and summits.

The effort is part of Obama’s “we can’t wait for Congress to act” campaign to highlight what he calls obstructionist Republicans on Capitol Hill who won’t enact his jobs bill and other agendas.

Instead, the president is taking measures into his own hands by signing a series of executive orders to cut waste and promote more efficient spending across the federal government-sphere.

“From the day I took office, I’ve said we’re going to comb the federal budget, line by line, to eliminate as much wasteful spending as possible,” Obama said.

“That’s what the ‘Campaign to Cut Waste’ is all about. We can’t wait for Congress to act—we can’t wait for them to get our fiscal house in order and make the investments necessary to keep America great. That’s why today, I’m signing an executive order that will build on our efforts to cut waste and promote more efficient spending across the government—we’re cutting what we don’t need so that we can invest in what we do need,” Obama said.

The executive order directs hundreds of thousands of government workers to stop wasting taxpayer money on non-essential items used for promotional purposes, such as clothing, mugs and non-work related gadgets.

Agencies are also being told to cut back on travel and instead conduct government business through teleconferences and videoconferences, reduce the $9 million budget for cars in Washington, D.C., publish more documents electronically to save on printing costs, and purchase fewer technological gadgets like smartphones and tablets.

Written By

Audrey Hudson is an award-winning investigative journalist whose enterprise reporting has sparked numerous congressional investigations that led to laws signed by Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. She won the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi award for Public Service in 2009 for her report on dangerous drug experiments by the federal government on war veterans, which prompted internal investigations and needed reforms within the Veterans Affairs Department. The report also captured first place for investigative reporting by the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a finalist of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences Webby Awards for news and politics. Her breaking stories have been picked up and followed by major news publications and periodicals, including Readers Digest, Washington Monthly, and The Weekly Standard, as well as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Washington Post. With nearly 20 years of experience in Washington as a newspaper reporter and as a Capitol Hill staffer for Western lawmakers, she will now lead Human Events‚?? coverage of energy and environmental issues. A native of Kentucky, Mrs. Hudson has worked inside the Beltway for nearly two decades -- on Capitol Hill as a Senate and House spokeswoman, and most recently at The Washington Times covering Congress, Homeland Security, and the Supreme Court. Audrey‚??s email is AHudson@EaglePub.Co

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