Dear Uncle Sam
Uncle Sam, sometimes you talk a little funny. Once
I heard that you had hexiform rotatable surface compression
units? What are those?
Let's see, the answer to this could be a little complicated.
The diagram below explains it best.
June 1, 1998, President Clinton signed a memo telling
all government employees to start using plain
language that people can understand. So, I can't
have hexiform rotatable surface compression units anymore,
only nuts, and any big organization has a few of those
(ed. note - speak for yourself "Uncle Sam").
Uncle Sam, I heard that the Federal government eliminated
640,000 pages of internal regulations and another 16,000
pages of regulations affecting businesses and the public.
I'm doing a science project, and I'd like to know how
much these regulations
Well, let's see. Those 656,000 pages of regulations
used about 328,000 sheets of paper. There are 200,000
sheets of standard U.S. office paper in a ton. So, the
eliminated regulations weighed about 1.64 tons.
Uncle Sam, where did the phrase "red tape" come from?
In the time of the Civil War, the Federal government folded long,
bulky documents into three sections and then bound them
together with narrow red ribbon. To free the documents,
the reader first had to spend time cutting and removing
the red ribbon. As the words "tape" and "ribbon"
were used interchangeably in the 1800's, this process
was known as cutting "red tape". The term,
"red tape" has lived on to describe any time-consuming,
seemingly unnecessary bureaucratic requirement that
delays getting the job done, i.e., reading the documents.
Uncle Sam, I understand that reinvention is saving lots
taxpayers' money. So, where’s the money going, and how
is it being used?
Actually, we have two kinds of savings. First, some
of our improvements help us plan better, so we can budget
the anticipated savings for new projects or programs.
That way, in planning the budget, the money can go to
the agencies that need it most. Second, unexpected savings,
or budget surpluses, go back to the U.S. Treasury. This
money then goes to pay down the national debt. Six years
ago, our national debt had grown to a whopping 50 percent
of our annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Now, it
is down to nearly 40 percent of our GDP and falling.
Reducing our national debt means lower Federal interest
costs in the future, lower interest rates, and more
prosperity for all Americans.
Uncle Sam, where did you get your name?
No one is certain, but the most popular theory is
that my name came from Sam Wilson, a meat packer in
Troy, New York. During the war of 1812, each barrel
of meat he prepared for the U. S. Army was stamped
US. Supposedly, the soldiers he supplied came to
call Sam Wilson "Uncle Sam." Over time, "Uncle Sam"
became synonymous with the U.S.A. My best known picture
appeared on a U. S. Army recruiting poster created by
James Montgomery Flagg in 1916. A slightly altered version
of that poster is at the top of this article.
a question to Uncle
Uncle Sam is a rather busy fellow and can't answer every
question that he might get, however, he will answer
some of them directly, others will be answered in the
next issue of REGO.)
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