White House goes green: Federal 2009 Budget to be delivered online

Looking to save $1 million, 20 tons of paper, or close to 500 trees, the White House said today President Bush’s 2009 Federal Budget will for the first time be posted online. The E-Budget will be available for downloading at the Office of Management and Budget Web site on Feb. 4.  

Typically the White House has paper-bombed congress and anyone else who wanted to read the budget with a tome which can reach 3,000 pages and weighed multiple pounds each.

The Associated Press reports that non-computer users out there, or old-timers as it calls them, will still be able to buy paper copies of the four-volume budget from the Government Printing Office. But at more than $200 each, the electronic version looks pretty good.

Jim Nussle, the White House budget director announced the move by e-mail to reporters. According to the AP, Nussle took the step after a few months running the Office of Management and Budget, where hundreds of old budget volumes are gathering dust on bookshelves or are being put to use as platforms for computer monitors. He reads the budget on his computer, where it's searchable.  

"In terms of fiscal savings, we estimate the E-Budget will save nearly a million dollars over the next five years," Nussle said.

Perhaps giddy from the online budget news, White House senior staff today started first of its kind blogs about President Bush's current trip to the Middle East. Press Secretary Dana Perino said the online updates will be called "Trip Notes from the Middle East" and posted on the White House Web site, whitehouse.gov. 

 Perino said the practice may be used for future trips as well.  

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