Slugline: New Federal Department Unveiled Aimed At Tackling Gov’t Waste
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New Federal Department Unveiled Aimed At Tackling Gov’t Waste
As seen in Slugline
Washington, DC- With the federal debt nearing $17 trillion, the White House will announce today the formation of a new federal agency to deal with the crippling spending and waste in Washington.
The new Department of Spending and Management (SPAM) will have the largest combined budget of any federal department in the administration. According to one unnamed official, the size and scope of the department is unprecedented: “Tackling the waste in Washington is the highest priority, and so we wanted it to have a large, expansive budget to give them the tools they need to get the job done.”
He went on to explain that the department will be fully staffed with the best and brightest from across the nation. No expense shall be spared in making sure SPAM can function as a full semi-autonomous force against overspending.
The department will set up a new bureaucracy with twenty-four subdivisions. Each subdivision will operate with its own budget that will increase each year, regardless of inflation.
Employees of the new department will be equipped with the latest technology, with each receiving a fully loaded MacBook Pro, 64 GB iPhone 5 and 4G-enabled iPads to allow them to document waste in the office or on the go. Each will also receive smartphones and computers with Android and Microsoft operating systems as a backup to ensure maximum productivity in case their primary devices crash.
“The CBO projects the national debt will exceed $20 trillion by 2017. We can’t afford to cut funding for SPAM while our debt continues to skyrocket out of control. Doing so would be irresponsible and dangerous,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
One economic adviser to President Obama and proponent of the plan remarked, “This is the biggest department, because tackling waste is the biggest job. We’re going to see thousands of jobs created, all with the goal of cutting spending.”
Congress passed a bill setting up the agency and providing for its funding after a short debate. The agreement was reached on both sides of the aisle that “cutting the waste and spending in government should take top priority and we agree that an effort to do so is going to take boots on the ground and money.” “A lot of money,” one congressman added.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney was careful not to get ahead of the president and cautioned against prejudging the benefits of the new department. But Carney did add that ”SPAM will hire thousands of real people and pay them real money. Opposing the establishment of this new department for purely partisan political reasons will have devastating impacts on those families and would no doubt undermine all of the economic progress our administration has made in the last four years.”
The new department will be housed temporarily in the Ritz-Carlton in West Palm Beach, Fla., until a more permanent office building can be found.
Initial plans called for a Google-style campus in the heart of Washington, complete with state-of-the-art workout facilities, world-class dining facilities for employees only, and a full-service concierge to allow employees to focus on work. Those plans, however, were scrapped by the White House as being too modest.
“We were considering offices in downtown D.C., but we don’t want to limit our talent pool,” said Roger O’Neal, the architect commissioned to oversee building the offices. “The plan is to build new offices all over the country and set up a network of private jets that would unite the workers in a central location bi-weekly.”
SPAM’s goals, as outlined by Congress, will be to carry out four major functions: to examine areas of unnecessary spending, fraud and redundancy; to flush out government waste and non-vital expenditures; to bring down the national debt; and to raise awareness of the cost of bureaucracy.
Aside from its four objectives, it will also create and maintain a color-coded debt alert system. A red alert indicates the highest level of debt and overspending, and blue indicates little to no debt. Experts on color and its effects on the psyche have been brought in to make sure the color alert “sends the right message” and “signals seriousness,” as director of SPAM, April Donaldson put it.
The alert level currently stands at a soft shade of magenta. The state-of-the-art alert system, which will utilize new technologies and software, has been given an annual budget of $50 million and will house about seven full-time employees.
The team will also invest several million dollars to conduct a scientific study on the effects of the color code on animals. There have been countless anecdotes that pets, livestock, birds and other large mammals have a “sixth sense” for danger. If the federal government can train animals to understand the code, an advanced warning system may not be far behind.
The Department of Spending and Management will have preliminary hearings on taxpayer-funded waste in the coming weeks. However, first up on the agency’s agenda is to put together a bi-partisan commission to investigate the causes of overspending.
Not everyone in Washington is sold on SPAM. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., is concerned the department, which is the largest in history, doesn’t go far enough. He called for an expansion and more funding until SPAM can get off the ground. “To be clear, a government entity aimed at eliminating waste may not be effective if tax revenue isn’t there. We need to make this a priority by freeing up the funds.” When pressed on roughly about what he thought the agency would cost, he said he wasn’t sure.
The department becomes fully active May 1, 2013. The commission’s first top-down study is to be released in May of the following year.