Before Slashing Budgets, Find the Savings

Before Slashing Budgets, Find the Savings

It was a bold move for a government entity. In 2005, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania hired a private company to overhaul the archaic way it buys goods and services. It seemed simple enough, but what was innovative — and daring — was a key condition: 30 percent of the contractor’s compensation would come from the savings achieved. No savings, no payment.

Putting such a risk on the contractor paid off handsomely. Among other things, officials combined the buying clout and pricing data of all 89 executive branch agencies and departments to strike better deals. Without cutting a single program or service, Pennsylvania saved more than $140 million, or 21 percent, from its annual $700 million tab for everything from office and cleaning supplies to information technology services and tires. The savings far exceeded projections.

Pennsylvania is not alone. Similar value-based contracts enabled the New York City Board of Education to shave $86 million from its $720 million procurement budget, and state and local agencies are experiencing similar savings. Continue reading “Before Slashing Budgets, Find the Savings”

AFGE Union Leader Responds To Democratic Party Platform

WASHINGTON, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. today issued the following comment in response to the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform:

The Democratic Party has laid out a vision for the country that focuses on restoring and growing the middle class, creating jobs, investing in the future and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share. Continue reading “AFGE Union Leader Responds To Democratic Party Platform”

Romney can’t have it both ways on defense spending, tax cuts

Dana Milbank
Dana Milbank
Opinion Writer

Romney can’t have it both ways on defense spending, tax cuts

By , Published: July 25

There have been many mendacious moments in this presidential campaign, but it will be hard to top what Mitt Romney told the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference this week.

President Obama is seeking “an arbitrary, across-the-board budget reduction that would saddle the military with $1 trillion in cuts,” the Republican said. “Strategy is not driving the president’s massive defense cuts. In fact, his own secretary of defense warned that these reductions would be devastating, and he’s right. . . . This is no time for the president’s radical cuts in our military.”

Come again?

Romney is referring to the automatic spending cuts, or “sequestration,” required by the Budget Control Act of 2011. For those suffering memory loss of the sort afflicting Romney, that legislation came about when Republicans threatened to throw the country into default unless Democrats agreed to automatic budget cuts if a “supercommittee” couldn’t reach a bipartisan agreement (which it couldn’t, naturally). Continue reading “Romney can’t have it both ways on defense spending, tax cuts”

Opinion: Big labor could use some love

By Juan Williams – 09/04/12 05:00 AM ET

It was so quiet yesterday at the 2012 Democratic National Convention site that the media focused on street protests.

Big Labor is joining Occupy Wall Street protests to send a message to President Obama and the Democrats: If you win the election in November, it will largely be because of our efforts — and you will owe us.

It is no secret that the labor unions are livid at the Democrats for holding their convention in North Carolina, a right-to-work state where only 2.9 percent of the workforce is unionized — the lowest in the entire nation.

The actual venue for the convention, the Time Warner Cable Arena, was constructed with non-union labor and uses non-union workers.

Not a single hotel in Charlotte, where the convention speakers and attendees will be staying, has unionized workers. Continue reading “Opinion: Big labor could use some love”

Unions dig in for Obama despite disappointment with his record

By Kevin Bogardus – 09/03/12 09:48 PM ET

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Organized labor is working hard for President Obama, looking upon him as the lesser of two evils compared to GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Labor has been repeatedly let down by Obama, who didn’t put his strength behind legislation that would have made it easier to organize unions and signed trade deals opposed by workers.

Unions only reluctantly supported his healthcare law, which lacked the public option championed by labor. And they were deeply upset by his decision to extend the Bush-era tax rates for the wealthy in a December 2010 deal with congressional Republicans. Continue reading “Unions dig in for Obama despite disappointment with his record”