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.