Obama Names Budget Director, Vows Reform

Names new budget director
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2008 12:49 PM CST
President-elect Barack Obama, accompanied by Budget Director-designate Peter Orszag, speaks during a news conference in Chicago, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Even as he pushes a massive stimulus package, Barack Obama will trim back other parts of the federal budget, the president-elect promised today. “We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness,” he said. “We simply cannot afford it.” To that end, he named as budget director Peter Orszag, a man Obama said “knows where the bodies are buried.”

Orszag’s job will be to scour the budget for programs that can be eliminated or retooled for efficiency's sake. Of the seeming disconnect between his dual calls for deficit spending and fiscal restraint, Obama said he believed the country was tired of the big vs. small government debate. “What the American people want is just common-sense, smart government,” he said. “They don’t want ideology. They want action and they want effectiveness.”