Friday, April 19, 2013

Day 83, April 19

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."

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