Within a day of arriving in Washington after Harding's death, Coolidge met with his own budget director, Herbert Lord. Together, they started a new policy of cutting budget items, including spenidng on the District of Columbia's public works. In a public statement, Coolidge said, "We must have no carelessness in our dealings with public property or the expenditure of public money. Such a condition is charcteristic of undeveloped people, or of a decadent generation."
"A Two Percent Club" for executive branch staffers who managed to save two percent in their budgets was the first announcement. That was closely followed b a "One Percent Club," for those who had achieved two or more already. Finally, a "Woodpecker Club," for department heads who kept chipping away, was instituted.
Coolidge even looked at the use of pencils in the government. "I don't know if I ever indicated in the conference that the cost of lead pencils in the government per year is about $125,000," he told the press in 1926. "I am for economy, and after that I am for more economy."