WASHINGTON — President Obama ordered federal departments and agencies to sell underused properties and merge some operations to cut $3 billion from federal spending.
Along with the property sales and consolidation, Obama wants managers to increase energy efficiency, according to a White House memorandum.
“Both taxpayer dollars and energy resources are being wasted to maintain these excess assets,’’ Obama said in a directive released yesterday. “In total, agency efforts required by this memorandum should produce no less than $3 billion in cost savings by the end of fiscal year 2012.’’
The federal government is the nation’s largest property owner with 1.2 million buildings, structures, and land parcels, Peter Orszag, budget director, wrote on the White House website.
About 14,000 buildings are designated as excess, and about 55,000 of them are underused, he wrote.
The directive is in addition to a separate Pentagon base-closing and realignment commission effort underway that’s expected to save about $5 billion by the end of fiscal 2012.
Yes, it’s great that we’re getting rid of underused buildings and real estate, but at a time when the real estate market is so fragile, comically sad. Why not 5-10 years ago. The largest real estate owner in the country is going to add real estate inventory to the market place right after it’s been trying to prop up values with cheap money and tax incentives. It feels like a slap and tickle strategy.
What’s really going on in my estimation is the White House is trying to show it’s tough on spending and cutting costs to help democrats in re-election campaigns this year. It’s a political life line from the White House. It might be a day late and............
That being said, $3 billion in savings from the sale of excess assets, and $5 billion from Pentagon base-closing plan, totaling a potential of $8 billion is chump change if we are discussing its impact on budget deficits. Let's get real, the budget deficit of California is $19 billion.
Mr. President...............Where's the beef?
Hope all is well.
J.D. Rosendahl, Rosey