The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Monday it will close nearly 260 offices nationwide.


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The U.S. Agriculture Department announced Monday it will close nearly 260 offices nationwide.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the goal was to save $150 million a year in the agency’s $145 billion budget. About $90 million had already been saved by reducing travel and supplies, and the closures were expected to save another $60 million, he said.

Though this is probably a good thing, the article only notes the amount supposingly saved, without showing how it would actually reduce the agency’s budget. Furthermore, I am puzzled why these cuts are necessary, since the USDA’s budget in 2011 still exceeds what it got in 2008. Both facts make me wonder if these cuts are nothing more than smoke-and-mirrors, designed to make us think they are trimming the budget when they actually are not.

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