Obama budget director blames old computers for inefficient, ineffective government

Christmas PD5FM $10 discount“A big reason why the government is inefficient and ineffective is because Washington has outdated technology, with federal workers having better computers at home than in the office,” Ian Swanson reports for The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.

“This startling admission came Thursday from Peter Orszag, who manages the federal bureaucracy for President Barack Obama,” Swanson reports. “The public is getting a bad return on its tax dollars because government workers are operating with outdated technologies, Orszag said in a statement that kicked off a summit between Obama and dozens of corporate CEOs.”

MacDailyNews Take: If ever there was a reason to have Al Gore on Apple’s Board of Directors, this would seem to be it. Get on the horn, Al!

Swanson continues, “Obama is meeting with CEOs to solicit their views on how to improve the federal government with new information technology.”

“Obama had proposed the meeting in April. CEOs from Craigslist, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe Technology and Monster.com are among those taking part,” Swanson reports. “Those attending the summit are to break into smaller groups to discuss streamlining government operations, improving customer service and maximizing return on IT investments.”

MacDailyNews Take: That’s some summit guest list. Sheesh. Maybe Apple should crash the gate?

For some real positive change, the government should stop wasting time and money proposing summits that never happen (April?! It’s January of the following year already!) with social networking and employment sites, a freakin’ bloated multimedia software company, and the exact company that ushered in the Dark Ages of Personal Computing, Microsoft, and begin to systematically replace outmoded junky Windows PCs and antiquated Windows Mobile/BlackBerry devices with those that are:

• More versatile: Run the world’s largest software library, not a subset like Windows
• Better built: Last longer, higher resale value
• Far safer: Not one virus, not single one
• More satisfying-to-use: Creating workers who want to work with their computers and devices more and are therefore more productive

Yes, the Apple Mac OS X and iPhone OS platforms.

After all, one of the most successful companies, if not the most successful company on the planet runs on the Mac OS X and iPhone OS platforms. You’d think that maybe, just maybe, others would be able to notice that rather blatantly obvious fact and begin to figure it out.

Unfortunately, the fact that it would be smart, effective, and efficient to choose such a course virtually precludes government from doing so.


  1. This article really captures how rapidly President Obama has fallen in the polls. Strategists mulling whether he should go to Massachusetts to aid the sagging Martha Coakley note that he still has good numbers in the state, but he generates such a negative reaction in opponents that any trip to Massachusetts could be counterproductive.

    The intensity of voters who view him unfavorably, or who disapprove of his job performance, is so high that an appearance with Coakley could bring out more GOPers ready to vote for Brown than it could Dems set on their nominee. “Obama is radioactive in polls,” said one senior Dem operative who has seen the campaign’s internal numbers. “Every time they dropped his name in a poll, it was awful. So you just can’t take those kinds of chances.”

    The Dems are staring at another potential disaster. First New Jersey and Virginia, and now they’re looking at Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat possibly going to the Republicans.

    Oh, by the way, “It’s not Ted Kennedy’s seat, it’s the people’s seat.”

    UPDATE: Obama is going anyway.

    This is what happens when the weak-minded get manipulated by the media to vote for a misguided ultra-liberal neophyte.

  2. So MDN finally sees some of the other benefits to Al Gore being on Apple’s board…

    Steve Jobs Doesn’t offer board positions to idiots or anyone else that can’t bring serious value and value to Apple…Don’t doubt the man.

  3. It’s not ‘hope and change’…

    It’s “Hoax and Blame”!

    Inefficient and ineffective government starts from the top down… No amount of shiny new fast computers is going to help because you can’t fix stupid!

    And that is my ‘PC’ “Truth to Power” crap for the day!

  4. If the Dems are having problems in Massachusetts with the bloated manatee in a suit’s vacated seat, they’re dead in 2010.

    Thank the feckless Obama and Dem congress for that.

    Four more years wasted, unless it gets the Republican party back on track to fiscal responsibility. If so, the pain will have been worth it.

    Go Scott Brown!!!

  5. As more and more programs and software is web based, the actual hardware make little difference.

    I regularly access Gov’t sites on-line. The fact that that program has issues is another matter. Point is access by a Mac or Pc is easy with a internet connection. The only limitation is what browser you can use. Some site won’t support Safari. So one starts over in Firefox….

  6. Getting the government to switch over to Macs? Now that is change I could believe in!

    Hussein, do it … make the changeover happen on your watch. Then, resign and get the hell out of Washington before you bankrupt the nation, moron.

  7. I’m sure 1000s of lazy, stupid, ineffective, over paid federal employees have nothing to do with the inefficiency of the Federal Government.

    Like the computers in education myth, computers aren’t the problem, it’s the employees.

  8. While the government may have old, outdated computers, the real problem is that they have old, outdated, inefficient, ineffective people managing those computers.

    Note I said managers, and not workers. The rank and file has to use what they are issued, just like the rank and file anywhere else.

    Having worked on the development of a few government systems, I can tell you that the initial specification calls for all sorts of bells and whistles. As time goes by, they want changes made to the specification, which only slows delivery. So at some point, they start removing features (fortunately, they are usually the features yet to be implemented). Eventually, the system is declared complete, and is put into service.

    A lot like how Microsoft transformed the system full of grand ideas that was “Longhorn” into the miserable pile of crap that they delivered called “Vista”.

  9. It amazes me to hear all this ridiculous anti-Obama, anti-Dem rhetoric.
    People seem to forget that it was the last Republican administration that is responsible for our current positions on foreign soil and the economy. The Obama administration has been in office one year. What do you expect miracles? That is kind of what you are saying about the dems isn’t it?
    Dems have no illusions. The fixes we need are going to take time and some real political will. The current games we play are doing nothing but destroying this country.
    Who do you have that could do better? There have been no solutions offered up by the other side of the aisle. Just more rhetoric. And what position would we be in now had McCain/Palin been elected? He is a tool of the corporations and she is an idiot.

    Now, since this is a tech site can we stop turning every story that has even the slightest connection to government into a political gripe-fest?

  10. Can you imagine the response if Al Gore got involved and the government announced some new initiative for Mac OS X? Angry rightwingers would cry foul because he’s on the Apple board of directors and owns stock in the company. The libertarians who run MDN, clamoring for Al to “get on the horn,” would be up in arms if Al contacted Obama and produced favorable results for any other company in which he had such deep ties.

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