Government Report Shows Gore's "Reinventing Government" Program Produced Phony Results, Elusive Savings

July 7, 2008 - 8:24 PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - One of America's leading taxpayer groups today slammed Vice President Gore and the Clinton Administration for making bogus claims concerning the impact of Gore's vaunted "Reinventing Government" initiative.

Americans for Tax Reform cites a new report issued by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, which states simply that the Administration "claimed savings from agency-specific recommendations that could not be fully attributed to its efforts."

For example, the Administration takes credit for 100% of $8.5 billion in savings resulting from future reductions in NASA's budget. Those savings, however, can be attributed at least partly to budgetary spending caps imposed by Congress, along with management reform initiatives unrelated to Gore's program.

"While Al Gore was off inventing the Internet," said ATR President Grover Norquist, "he may not have paid sufficient attention to more basic skills, like counting. The GAO report found that Gore and his people double-counted more than $2 billion in savings from reforms at just two agencies. He then went on to claim $7 billion in Energy Department savings that resulted from the end of the Cold War."

Gore's "Reinventing Government" or "National Performance Review" (NPR) initiative was launched in March 1993 and issued recommendations to make government "work better and cost less." The program experienced a rough start, however, when the White House in early 1993 attempted to cover up the firing of the White House Travel Office staff ("Travelgate") by claiming (falsely) that the firings were the result of Gore's review.

When the NPR issued its reports in Sept. 1993 and Sept. 1995, they were quickly dismissed by taxpayer groups as not "reinventing" government, but rather "rearranging" government. "It now turns out that even the modest savings claims from the NPR's weak recommendations were bloated," said Norquist.

For more information go to the Americans For Tax Reform.