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According to a senior administration official, the proposal is a follow-through on Obama’s promise to create a leaner, more efficient bureaucracy. But the move may also be aimed at blunting Republican criticism that Obama’s policies have stunted business growth and bloated the federal budget at a time of ballooning debt.

We asked you to share your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #shrinkinggov. Here are some of your responses.

#shrinkinggov Yes, as commerce and trade are not direct benefactors to the public, and enable too much corporate influence in govt.

— Chris (@qualsh) January 13, 2012

@washingtonpost it’s a good start, but it surely isn’t enough when it comes to the debt were facing... #shrinkinggov

— Mac Cramer (@MacCramer) January 13, 2012

@washingtonpost how about eliminating some departments altogether #shrinkinggov #notmerging

— John Wright (@JohnWright1952) January 13, 2012

@washingtonpost Its OK. Needs to work w/ congress & cut dead weight. $3 billion is pocket change compared w/ $15 trillion debt #shrinkinggov

— Jake Springer (@Jake__Springer) January 13, 2012

Readers are weighing in on the news (add your own thoughts in the comments below).

sanfran6003 writes:

Fascinating. Obama is executing a co-optive strategy like Bill Clinton. Whatever the President's motives, the people win. There will likely be an announcement that the redundant government workers will be absorbed into other agencies [just my guess].

DOps writes:

This at face value looks like a positive thing. But, it should be assessed against the backdrop of the beaurocracy of ObamaCare, its hidden costs and fees through insurance rates, and the 1,000 people brought in for the Consumer Protection Bureau.

If I thought he was sincere about this concept of simplifying and reducing the size of government, I would have liked to see the off-setting consolidations offered as a part of his vast expansions. Otherwise, this is just an election ploy...