Have you heard that George Bush and the White House want to charge anyone (including lawmakers) $200 a piece to read a hard copy of his proposed budget? The Administration claims that they want to save money on printing...and laughably to save trees. Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) framed it perfectly, “It’s pennywise and pound-foolish....” Well Bob you are on the right track, but even a Ben Franklin quote doesn't sum up the ridiculousness of this move.
The Office of Management Budget will post the president's budget online at www.budget.gov and forego distributing 3,000 hard copies to lawmakers and federal agencies. The administration says its decision was meant to cut unnecessary spending and reduce wasted paper.
"This is a good business decision. ... It puts the focus on going green. It makes logical sense," Karen Evans, who is in charge of government technology issues at the OMB, told the Washington Post.
The environmental impact of charging for printed budgets remains to be seen, but Evans estimated it will save OMB $1 million over the next five years. The budget is generally about 2,200 pages long, so if every copy that normally was handed out for free was not printed, about 6.6 million sheets of paper would be saved. According to rough statistics compiled by ConservaTree that would save about 800 trees. Nearly 4 billion trees are harvested for paper around the globe every year.
Hmm, 800 versus 4,000,000,000. Bush's policies advocate for
At least this brings about one moment of bipartisanship, both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill thinks that this idea is a waste of time. Pound foolish indeed.