Obama on the Record: First Official Cabinet Meeting

So none of these savings by themselves are going to solve our long-term fiscal problems, but taken together they can make a difference, and they send a signal that we are serious about changing how government operates.

So one of the things that — messages that I delivered today to all members of the Cabinet was: As well as you’ve already done, you’re going to have to do more. I’m asking for all of them to identify at least $100 million in additional cuts to their administrative budgets, separate and apart from the work that Peter Orszag and the rest of our team are doing to go line by line with the budget and identify programmatic cuts that need to be made.

And in the next few weeks we expect to cut at least 100 current programs in the federal budget so that we can free up those dollars in order to put them to use for critical areas like health care, education, energy, our foreign policy apparatus, which is so important.

So I’m very pleased about the work that we’ve done. But we’ve got more to do. And one of the things that everybody here is mindful of is that as we move forward dealing with this extraordinary economic crisis, we also have a deficit, a confidence gap when it comes to the American people. And we’ve got to earn their trust. They’ve got to feel confident that their dollars are being spent wisely. And I have every confidence that the team that I’ve put together is going to be able to deliver on that efficiency and productivity in the weeks, months and years to come. Okay.

Q A hundred million dollars, isn’t that a drop in the bucket, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: It is, and that’s what I just said. None of these things alone are going to make a difference. But cumulatively they would make an extraordinary difference because they start setting a tone. And so what we’re going to do is line by line, page by page, $100 million there, $100 million here, pretty soon, even in Washington, it adds up to real money.

All right, thank you, guys.

(Source: White House)

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