Tech Chiefs Offer $1 Trillion Deficit-Reduction Plan

Oct. 8, 2010
Group led by IBM exec Palmisano presents White House with report calling for more efficient use of computers and IT systems to reduce waste.

For all the talk about potentially raising taxes or slashing Social Security in order to reign in the federal budget deficit, a group of technology executives led by IBM chairman Samuel Palmisano believe the answer lies in streamlining government with the smarter use of technology, which can cut government spending by $1 trillion over the next decade.

The executives, which include Dells Michael Dell, Intels Paul Otellini and Motorolas Greg Brown, presented a report to senior White House economic officials and Federal Reserve bankers on Oct. 6 urging that more aggressive efforts be made to consolidate data centers and networks, and use more efficient computers and information systems to better track fraud and waste.

Our report contains straightforward, proven ways to pare back $1 trillion from the deficit while increasing productivity and enabling sustainable competitiveness, said Dell said in a statement. Were serious about helping to provide solutions for the mounting debt crisis, and were optimistic that changes today will help lay the foundation for future job growth and innovation for our country.

The Technology CEO Council, a bipartisan industry group that lobbied in the past for financing for supercomputing centers and promoting commercial use of the Internet, insists its goals are achievable.

The groups recommendations, which appear in a report, One Trillion Reasons, includes streamlining the procurement process, adopting online self-service for federal agencies, and deploying analytics software to detect fraud in federal grant programs, food stamps and Medicare.

According to the report, $200 billion alone could be saved over the next decade by analyzing payments being disbursed through Medicare, federal grants and tax refunds. In 2008, the Government Accountability Office believes the U.S. lost $72 billion to improper payments.

IT overhead could also be dramatically reduced through consolidating the governments many IT centers, which currently cost approximately $76 billion per year. Those costs could be trimmed 20% to 30% over the next 10 years, saving between $150 billion to $200 billion.

Americas growing national debt is undermining our global competitiveness, the council said. How we choose to confront and address this challenge will determine our future environment for growth and innovation.

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