Obama’s Plan to Cut Bureaucracy and Boost Efficiency Will Save Taxpayers

President Barack Obama asked Congress on Friday for the authority to close down the U.S. Commerce Department and merge six agencies in an effort to simplify the bureaucracy so that it may better meet the demands of a 21st century economy.

Hot Feature: Agricultral Stocks Pop and Drop After USDA Report

Obama’s move echoes a common theme in the campaigns of Republican presidential candidates, who have led the call for reducing government and limiting its influence.

Obama said the overhaul is needed to create “an effective lean government” and will make it easier for businesses to get help to export their goods by creating a yet-to-be-named department focused exclusively on exports.

Obama hopes to break up the Commerce Department and move all parts unrelated to trade and business, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to other government agencies.

The plan would not only increase government efficiency, but would also “save businesses time and save taxpayer dollars,” Obama said in outlining his request.

He wants to fold together the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and five other export bodies housed in various other departments into one new department, giving businesses a single point of contact within the government and ensuring that federal spending goes further to boost sales abroad.

Obama’s goal is to double U.S. exports in five years, from $1.57 trillion in 2009 to $3.14 trillion by 2015. Another goal of the streamlining is to save the government roughly $3 billion over 10 years, though it may lead to the loss of 1,000 to 2,000 jobs through attrition, said one official.

Don’t Miss: January Consumer Sentiment Reaches 8-Month High

To contact the reporter on this story: Emily Knapp at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com