THE BLOG

The Report on Useless Reports

01/17/2013 06:36 pm ET | Updated Mar 19, 2013

This Week's Poll from the Lester & Charlie Institute of Forward Thinking!

File this under the Department of Redundancy Department.

We learned this week that the Office of Management and Budget -- the largest office in the Executive Office of the President of the United States -- decided to make itself useful in eliminating government waste. And so it issued its Report on Useless Reports!

In it, the OMB identified 376 reports, all mandated by Congress, that it spotted as redundant, pointless, completely ignored or -- as far as we can tell -- just bizarre.

Like the one called Consideration of Proposals for Posthumous and Honorary Promotions and Appointments. (What? Does someone in government desperately miss having Checkers Nixon to kick around?)

There's even a useless report identified in the OMB's Report on Useless Reports that is itself a "Report on Reports." So, in a way, we're talking about a Report on Useless Reports on Useless Reports. Aren't you glad to know your government is working this hard? And here you thought they were just sitting around waiting for Michele Bachmann to guest star in Hot in Cleveland.

And -- dare we say it -- what if the OMB's report is, in itself, useless? What if nothing changes? Yikes. This is starting to get a little to Kafka-esque, even for government.

Not that we should be surprised. There's so much in politics these days that seems pointless. Grover Norquist pledges. Karl Rove's brain. John Boehner's tube of sunblock. And the paper that Mitch McConnell's state dinner invitations are printed on.

It's enough to make anyone wonder if anything in government is useful any more. Not that we're against government. Far from it. The only thing that we'd like to make small enough to drown in a bathtub is Donald Trump's hair.

So we are trying to ward off some anti-government existential despair before we end up asking Ron Paul for a glass of his Kool Aid. We need your help in remembering that -- surely -- there are some things in government that ARE useful. Right? Help us liberals get back on track and tell us what YOU think!

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