Really, is that why?

A big reason why the government is inefficient and ineffective is because Washington has outdated technology, with federal workers having better computers at home than in the office.

This startling admission came Thursday from Peter Orszag, who manages the federal bureaucracy for President Barack Obama.

The public is getting a bad return on its tax dollars because government workers are operating with outdated technologies, Orszag said in a statement that kicked off a summit between Obama and dozens of corporate CEOs.

And of course, the solution is more spending and taxes.

  1. Benjamin says:

    So we need to spend tax dollars on new computers for everyone? What they need to do is cut expenses and focus on their core purposes as enumerated in the Constitution. Let the state governments or the people do all this other stuff.

  2. Mr. Glum says:

    Isn’t this the way with all corporations?

  3. Phydeau says:

    And of course, the solution is more spending and taxes.

    No, I have a better idea. They should ask the computer fairy to come bring them thousands of new computers for free! Wouldn’t that be great???

  4. Phydeau says:

    #1 Yes, we’re aware libertarians want to return the government to its pre-industrial revolution size and function. (That’s one of the many reasons libertarians are considered nutballs.)

  5. bill says:

    Can you say “UNIX and open source”?

  6. atmusky says:

    IT spending is continuous and forever. Doesn’t matter if it is government or private sector.

    The only real difference is in the private sector if your company can not “afford” to provide modern functioning IT equipment you are in the beginning stages of “going out of business”. In the government when their equipment is old, outdated, and doesn’t function well the “mission” suffers, the costs go up, and employees become inefficient.

    One can discuss the value of having or not having any agency in the government. But does anyone really believe that it makes sense to pay people to due a job dependent on functioning and efficient computer systems and then not provide, maintain, and update the computer systems?

  7. LibertyLover says:

    Sounds to me like he is justifying his position. IOW, he is a creating a problem to justify his solution.

    #4, Pre-Industrial? Hardly. How about Pre-Fed, instead. It was the industrial revolution that turned America into the power it was at the turn of the century. And you know that you troll.

  8. Phydeau says:

    #8 You back again LL? Ah yes, the glory years of the late 1800s/early 1900s, the height of the robber baron era. When people worked 6 days, 14 hours a day, dangerous workplaces, fired if you were injured on the job, horrible air and water pollution, owing our souls to the company store, et cetera, et cetera. The glory days for nutball libertarians. 🙂

  9. Father says:

    We need more binary skip-logic COBOL web-enabled turboencabulators.

    Then we’ll be efficient!

  10. brm says:

    I prefer having my civil servants work on computers that *cannot* view youtube videos.

  11. Phydeau says:

    #12 Are you on your computer at work brm? 😉

  12. SparkyOne says:

    My county’s internet access to the public service front-ends do not exist. There is no electronic application for food stamps. No auto deposit for unemployment. No access to change you address on health care records.

    Here they could spend some IT money and gain value for the citizens but that would provide easy access to health care, housing, food stamps, mental health care, child care and adult care. I am sure that the county board of stupidvisors will never allow that.

    I spent 9 hours in line yesterday and today attempting to complete the paper application for food stamps. I have to go back Tuesday to wait in line again. They now demand proof of citizenship beyond drivers license and DD-214.

    The “golden state” is covered in shit and the stink is never going wash off.

  13. Phydeau says:

    #11 little pedro! insults you make unintelligible! english speak good to make your point across! sheeple!

  14. Father says:


    The Golden State doesn’t want any poor, ugly, hard working, smart, thrifty, literate, reflective people to reside inside its wounderous border. They do what they can to drive them out. Let them have each other.

  15. LibertyLover says:

    #9, You mean the same Robber Barons who were directly responsible for getting the Fed started?


    You really need to read up on your history.

    Read up on Leland Stanford, a governor and senator, who had laws passed in CA to prevent competition against his railroad.

    And on James J. Hill who built the “Great Northern Railroad.”

  16. Improbus says:

    This sounds like my work place. Two to three cycles behind in software and equipment. The servers I am working with have Pentium Pro CPUs and are running NETWARE! Our stuff is so old the only place we can find parts is eBay!

  17. AdmFubar says:

    sounds like m$ shills are hard at work for aquiring our tax dollars for their outdated technology.

  18. clancys_daddy says:

    #19 you work for the state of show me,too? We just moved to XP 3 years ago. Our database software is so old it was written by a guy who retired two years ago. Anybody hear of telnet. You expect me to be fast and efficient with carbon copies?

  19. jescott418 says:

    Ok I guess blaming the Bush administration won’t work anymore. So let’s blame old technology.
    I can only imagine how much a single Dell computer will cost when the government buys it.
    Probably like the $10,000 toilet seat.

  20. Brian says:

    the government is inefficient because it’s the government. That’s why it’s best for it to be as small as reasonably possible.

  21. CrankyGeeksFan says:

    From the linked article:

    “Twenty years ago, people who came to work in the federal government had better technology at work than at home,” said Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget. “Now that’s no longer the case.

    I’m not so sure. Go back 20 years to approx. 1990.
    When the Clinton administration started in January 1993, many of the White House staffers could not believe the number of desks that had a typewriter on them and no computer.

    This isn’t a recent revelation. I have read time and time again on this blog and others of the antiquated IT hardware and software used by the federal government. Hopefully, this doesn’t lead to a more “off the shelf” for its own sake approach to IT.
    Look at the Bay Pines VA Hospital debacle with Oracle.

  22. RSweeney says:

    I think Obama’s brand new $14 million dollar stimulus website with its non-existent zip codes and state districts proves how well the government works with unlimited funds (taken from the taxpayers).

    Orszag, like 95% of the entire Obama administration, has NEVER had a job outside of government and NGO government parasites.

    He couldn’t recognize efficiency if it ran over his foot.

  23. Phydeau says:

    #18 LL, your libertarian utopia in the late 1800s/early 1900s was a horrific time. But all you care about is that the eeeevul guvmint had very little power. That’s why libertarians are nutballs.

  24. LibertyLover says:

    #26, That’s what I thought. No answer, so you just insult.

    Don’t you get tired of getting logically and factually stomped?

  25. Rick Cain says:

    Funny how nobody complains about the lack of technology when we are bombing some 3rd world country. The GOP cheerleaders think the only efficient part of government is our military, worship that golden calf!

  26. Improbus says:

    They don’t worship the golden calf they worship the almighty dollar.

  27. electrohead says:

    You mean they won’t be able to play solitaire.
    Wow this is awful, how long will it take to upgrade?

  28. Paul Camp says:

    Well, yes, in fact that is the solution. Do you know some way to acquire a computer without spending money?

  29. Lone Wolf says:

    This guy operantly has no clue how much a decent modern computer costs. To get a computer with Windows 7 that runs decently you’d have to spend over a thousand dollars.
    Maybe government computers should switch from windows to linux, it needs less system recourses to run fast.

  30. Grace Augustine says:

    A decent modern computer that runs Windows 7 and typical office applications can easily cost less than $500 in the quantities corporations and governments buy, especially if you don’t have to replace the monitor.
    I work in one of those large corporations and we didn’t move off NT 4.0 until it had been off maintenance for nearly a year. We live on XP SP2 now. I expect W7 sometime next decade.
    It’s the constraints on budgets that keep gov’t purchasing from implementing efficiency upgrades. Capital costs are hard to fund.
    And troll-bashing is such a waste of bandwidth … how come Cherman’s posts seem to draw out the least intelligent comments?


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