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Obama Calls For Streamlined "Government 2.0"


From CBS News' Maria Gavrilovic:

(LAS VEGAS) Barack Obama promised to streamline the federal government today under a plan he jokingly called "Reinventing Government 2.0."

At a town hall meeting focusing on energy reform, Obama said government should become more consumer friendly and accused Democrats of getting too "regulation happy" by inundating the system with red tape. He praised Al Gore's efforts at reform but said not all of the former vice president's ideas were implemented.

Obama then offered his own plan: "I want reinventing government 2.0 under the Obama administration. I want us to really emphasize and figure out how can we minimize the federal bureaucracy as much as possible. Cut through as much red tape as possible and make sure that consumers, meaning the tax payers, the ordinary citizens feel like they are getting a good deal on their government when they are interacting with them at every level."

He argued that big government is not necessarily better and urged the federal government to take a page from the private sector.

"The private sector has become more efficient out of necessity because it affects their bottom line," Obama said. "We've got to create similar incentives inside the federal government."

Obama said several government agencies, including the U.S. Post Office, should streamline their operations. However, when it comes to energy policy, he argued that some regulation is necessary. "We should have as light a hand as possible while still making sure that we've got tough, tight standards on the things that are going to protect our environment in the long term."

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