There is money to be saved in US budget by ending mandatory translation services

Thomas Lifson:
President Trump has a gigantic opportunity to accomplish two goals via an executive order.  James Varney pointed this out in the Washington Times:
Since the dawn of the 21st century, the U.S. government has operated under mandatory translation rules for its documents and services, a pricey option that President Bill Clinton imposed via executive order near the end of his tenure in August 2000.
In essence, the order meant that if a person with limited or no English language skills had a problem with accessing federal services, then that was the government's problem.
Mr. Clinton's move "required federal agencies to examine the services they provide, identify any need for services to those with limited English efficiency (LEP), and develop and implement a system to provide those services so LEP persons can have meaningful access to them," according to the description provided at, a website created to help the process.
There is no question that this massive translation effort costs billions of dollars a year:
The last time federal officials took a look at the cost, during the first term of President George W. Bush, the Office of Management and Budget fixed it at $2 billion annually.  If that price has held steady, then it would mean taxpayers have shelled out more than $30 billion on mandated translations of the government's business.
Democrats are on the record celebrating the power of presidents to issue executive orders and change federal policies.  Barack Obama's boast that "I have a pen and I've got a phone" was immediately preceded by a promise: "We're not just going to be waiting for legislation in order to make sure that we're providing Americans the kind of help they need."  And Bill Clinton, who issued the executive order requiring translations, was advised by Paul Begala, who celebrated that power with the immortal words, "Stroke of the pen.  Law of the land.  Kinda cool."
Polls show over 80 percent of votes think English should be the official language of the US so the move would likely have popular support.  It would also eliminate the "press 2 on your phone for Spanish."


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