September 21, 2011

"[T]he feds have been creating various animated characters for materials intended to 'prepare' kids for disasters..."

"... and Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wis.) reports that Washington could save $2.6 million over 10 years if the bureaucrats could simply settle on one mascot."

24 comments:

Fritz said...

They could use cheaper muffins at the meetings.

Sixty Grit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Saint Croix said...

Sparky. "Hey, kids. Here's what you do when our power grid shuts down!"

PeeCee. "Hey, kids. When we suffer a man-man disaster, it's important not to blame anyone."

Greenie. "Hey, kids. When you drop that fluorescent light bulb, remember to get out of the house before the mercury poisons you. Go green!"

Saint Croix said...

Hey kids, Big Brother here. I'm looking after you.

Shanna said...

There was an article yesterday that said there are almost double the number of limosines in federal govt than there were before Obama took over, and most of them are in the state department.

Curious George said...

Hi Kids! My name's Barry. But you can call me Massive National Debt. I know I don't look very scary now. But I'm your living nightmare.

Clyde said...

Where's that K-State Cat when you need her?

Christopher in MA said...

Considering how many people (especially in the heavily urbanized areas on the left and right coasts) run around like chickens with their heads cut off at the first flicker of a lightbulb, maybe the feds should try preparing adults for disasters so they can be self-sufficient.

Ba-dum-KSSSHH! Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Hey, did you hear the one about. . .

Scott M said...

How about a mascot of a boot stamping on a human face. Is there any way to draw "forever" in caricature?

garage mahal said...

That's awesome SloJo. This is what we sent you to Washington to do.

Simon said...

$2.6 million over ten years averages out to $260,000 per year. The federal deficit is running at about $1,260,000,000,000 per year. We have got to break this mindset that we can somehow nickel and dime our financial problems away by trimming here and rooting out waste there!

To balance the budget, step one is honestly answering a very simple question: What do we spend on what? You can't balance the budget by cutting foreign aid, because we don't spend much on it. You can't balance the budget by settling on a mascot or dumping the CPB, because they're pocket change items. You can't balance the budget by cutting the Department of Education, because it's cheap. You want to ask yourself: What in the federal budget actually costs real money?

There's a very simple answer, and we aren't going to get anywhere until we stop pussyfooting around and fix that gaping hole in our fiscal hull.

garage mahal said...

There's a very simple answer, and we aren't going to get anywhere until we stop pussyfooting around and fix that gaping hole in our fiscal hull.

NPR?

Curious George said...

@Simon:

I think you are wrong. Sure individually these cuts amount to very little against the deficit, but collectively they are significant. Christ, all you have to do is look at Stimulus I to realize that...$700 billion made up of lots of "small" expenditures. "A billion here, a billion there..." and all that.

Sure, we are going to have to reform major expenditure programs, but that becomes less painfull (and therefore easier to do) if we do not ignore these "petty" items.

Fred4Pres said...

The way our government is acting, a grasshopper would be an appropriate mascot (or totem if you will).

We used to be ants.

Oh, BTW, nice striper Fritz. Did you catch that?

edutcher said...

I thought that was what Smokey the Bear was for.

Or they could just use a likeness of Pelosi Galore before Botox.

David said...

Taking on the big issues.

Oligonicella said...

Better yet, no mascot. Stupid idea.

Calypso Facto said...

Is Uncle Sam too busy these days? Or just too white-male-y?

S said...

A billion here and a billion there eventually adds up to real money. If a Senator spends an hour to save a quarter-million dollars a year, and he works 2000 hours a year to save taxpayer money, he'll cut the deficit by half a billion dollars a year. That's still basically nothing.

Calypso Facto said...

This was one line item out of Senator Johnson's proposal to immediately cut federal spending by $1.4 trillion. By S' account, the 9-month senator has accomplished almost 3 year's worth of work!

S said...

Well, Calypso, he did strike me as a hard worker during the campaign last year.

I guess that's what I get for not clicking through and reading the actual story. I do think having staffers somewhere looking for a quarter million dollars a year at a time is fine. Similarly, some middle manager in Justice ought to give some slightly lower middle manager in Justice hell about the muffins.

Even in aggregate, I think the biggest benefit to these cuts in discretionary spending is their effect on the culture of spending. And if some member of the Senate is going to call someone out over $16 muffins, the only reason that might be worth doing is that it might encourage the departments with embarrassing expenditures that haven't become public to rein them in before they do.

Joe said...

They could save even more if they discarded the programs entirely. They were highly ineffectual when I was a kid and if anything they are worse now. Kids see right through this crap.

Strelnikov said...

This ties in well with my suggestion for immediately saving billions of wasted government spending: Cancel every department's budget for advertising or other self-promotion, cancel all existing contracts, close all offices, and discharge all employees devoted to that nonsense. Easy example: USPS which is going broke paid $32m last year to sponser Lance Armstrong's cycling team.

Simon said...

Curious George said...
"@Simon: I think you are wrong. Sure individually these cuts amount to very little against the deficit, but collectively they are significant."

No. You're right in principle: If you take an enormous number of hypothetical small-bore cuts, sooner or later it would adds up to real money. The problem is that in the actual federal budget, there aren't enough small-bore cuts to add up to enough real money. You could abolish the discretionary budget—you could wipe out one hundred percent of all federal spending except mandatory spending—and we would still be spending too much. The kind of cuts we need aren't billions over a decade, they are trillions over a decade, or north of a trillion right now. That's just the math of the budget.