An Email from Joe Biden. Subject: There’s a new sheriff in town.

Got this the other day.  I’m assuming many of you did, but though it was worth a post.

Good morning,

Did you know that the government spends millions to maintain buildings that have sat vacant for years? Or that your tax dollars pay to needlessly ship copies of the Federal Register to thousands of government offices across the country even though the same information is available online?

And I bet you didn’t know that your tax dollars pay for a website dedicated to the Desert Tortoise. I’m sure it’s a wonderful species, but we can’t afford to have a standalone site devoted to every member of the animal kingdom. It’s just one of hundreds of government websites that should be consolidated or eliminated.

This kind of waste is just unacceptable. Particularly at a time when we’re facing tough decisions about reducing our deficit, it’s a no-brainer to stop spending taxpayer dollars on things that benefit nobody.

That’s why President Obama asked me to head up the Campaign to Cut Waste—a new effort to root out wasteful spending at every agency and department in the Federal Government.

Like millions of American families, the Federal Government has to take a hard look at spending and live within its means. Most of these cuts we’re going to make are small. They won’t close our deficit or solve all of our fiscal problems. However, no amount of waste is acceptable, and these cuts will add up over time. This year alone we’ve found $33 billion in savings, but we know there’s a lot more work to be done.

When we passed the Recovery Act back in 2009, President Obama insisted that we use that program to set a new standard in government transparency and accountability. And he appointed me as “Sheriff Joe” to make sure the job gets done.

Now, there were a lot of naysayers back then who said that there was no way we could implement the Recovery Act without massive waste, fraud and abuse.

You know what? They were wrong. Thanks to our diligence (and some help from advanced computer models and sophisticated data analysis), the Recovery Act has had an unprecedentedly low level of fraud, with less than 0.6% of all awards experiencing any waste or abuse.

There’s absolutely no reason why we can’t apply these same principles and techniques to all government spending.

And that’s exactly what I intend to do with the help of a new Government Accountability and Transparency Board, a group composed of independent inspectors general and high-level agency officials who will help me root out waste, fraud and abuse across the government. Helping me ensure that your tax dollars are being spent on things that matter, like investments in education, innovation and improving our infrastructure.

So, folks, we’re changing the way your government does business (and spends your hard-earned tax dollars), and I think you’re going to like the results.


Vice President Joe Biden

P.S. If you’re interested in keeping up with our progress in hunting down wasteful spending, you can sign up for regular email updates.





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20 responses to “An Email from Joe Biden. Subject: There’s a new sheriff in town.

  1. Gary Lieser

    Mr. Biden, Business has been eliminating waste for a long time. One very effective process has been to apply lean tecniques. You will find a very good resource at the LEI Lean Enterprise Institute, Thanks, Gary Lieser, a lean practitioner.

  2. TempeBev

    California Same-Sex Marriage Law Upheld: Court Won’t Overturn Prop 8 Ruling Because Judge Was Gay

  3. dog hussein dog

    Glad to hear Sheriff Biden is on the case.

    Years ago, I worked a multi-month contract with the Department of Justice. A staffer showed me a file cabinet full of braille DOJ employment applications, which she believed they were required to make available by law, which NO ONE ever asked for.

    The blind attorneys and law students were using other adaptive techniques; printing the materials in braille was a complete waste of time and money.

    I am sure Biden will find plenty of stories like that wherever one looks closer.

    Re Mr. Lieser’s comment: I suspect small and mid-sized businesses are leading the charge on eliminating waste, particularly in this environment. Bottom line and all.

    Big business and multinationals: no idea. They have perverse incentives.

    FWIW, I think a lot of our financial troubles today can be traced back to allowing excessive executive compensation to skew business practices. Got out of control in the 1980s and only festered.

    (Anybody remember Graef Crystal?

  4. Looks like NY is about to join the ranks of states with same sex marriage!

  5. Well I for one take no joy in Wiener’s resignation.

  6. dog hussein dog

    I think the whole thing is just sad. Although I am relieved Weiner resigned; as a public servant, he should be held to a higher standard.

    That the GOP acts tribally and protects their own to the bitter end does not make that a healthy outcome for democracy. It feeds cynicism.

    Maybe this will allow a talented up and coming Democrat to begin anew, depending on what they do with redistricting. And if it’s a woman who takes ethics seriously and can advocate well for healthcare and financial reform, even better.

    Tragedy so much money has to be spent on a special election, though. Ouch.

    Also a real tragedy that this played out well for Andrew Breitbart. What a thug.

  7. We’re a passionate state!

  8. dog hussein dog


  9. dog hussein dog

    We got some passion in our state too.

    “Gov. Jerry Brown of California on Thursday ’vetoed the state budget that the Democratic-controlled state Legislature had passed the day before, saying that the proposal merely papered over the state’s long-term deficit and added billions in new debt.

    … Mr. Brown, who has railed against budgetary maneuvers that the state has relied on for years to balance its budget, placed the blame on Republicans and commended lawmakers from his party for their “tremendous efforts” to balance the budget, but said that the plan approved Wednesday was not balanced.

    He said the budget contained “legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings,” and that it would not meet the state’s financial obligations.

    “A balanced budget is critical to our economic recovery,” he said in his veto message. “I am, once again, calling on Republicans to allow the people of California to vote on tax extensions for a balanced budget and significant reforms.”

    He added: “If they continue to obstruct a vote, we will be forced to pursue deeper and more destructive cuts to schools and public safety — a tragedy for which Republicans will bear full responsibility.”

    You tell it, Governor Jerry.

  10. dog hussein dog

    Brian: I think that “two if by tea” is perilously close to trademark infringement/copying of “trade dress” of the Samuel Adams brewery brands.

    Look at the artwork and colors chosen.

    My first impression was “oh, Sam Adams is making tea now too?”

    I am hoping Mr. Rush Limbaugh has bought himself a few schoonersfull of legal trouble.

  11. Dooty

    doesn’t Eprof2 live in Sierra Vista, AZ? there is a fire down there now and there has not been any containment yet. If he is smart he will have his camper trailer hooked up and truck filled with gas in case he has to make a break for it.

  12. Dooty

    clarification on eorif2 he lives in Casa Grande, AZ maybe 2 and 1/2 hours to the north west of where the fires are. still sucks as the air is really smoggy in AZ these days.

  13. TempeBev

    Sorry about our smoke. Tempe hasn’t gotten any because the wind is blowing northeast. I live about 45 min from eprof – I’m pretty sure he’s not getting any smoke either. We just wanted to share with you……… : >)

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