Remember Vice President Al Gore's promise to "reinvent government" and take a whack at the bloated federal bureaucracy? One year later, the Veep's now claiming he's saved taxpayers $47 billion (and counting). President Clinton and Gore marked the initiative's first anniversary with a report that touted the 71,000 federal jobs eliminated. Sound like hype? TIME Washington correspondent Suneel Ratan, a close student of the unglamorous effort, says the Administration really does deserve some back patting on this one: "There seems to be more of an effort to empower the front-line people to cut through the bureaucracy." BTW: For a little perspective, consider that the number of federal employees hasn't been this low since the Kennedy Administration.