On October 7, long after Lehman Brothers collapsed and the extent of our economic downturn was known, Teresa Finch of Nashville, Tennessee, asked both presidential candidates: “How can we trust either of you with our money when both parties got — got us into this global economic crisis?” Then-candidate Barack Obama replied: “What I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I’m cutting more than I’m spending so that it will be a net spending cut.” A “net spending cut.” That is what the President of the United States promised the American people. And of all the promises that President Barack Obama has broken, his “net spending cut” broken promise is the most flagrant by far.
The Obama administration is clearly aware of the yawning gap between their rhetoric and reality. That is why on April 21, President Obama ordered his cabinet to identify $100 million in spending cuts in each of their agency budgets. Never mind that this cut amounted to just .006% of this year’s estimated $1.75 trillion budget deficit. But the Obama administration’s audacity did not end there. Today the White House will unveil $17 billion in proposed cuts for next year’s budget. While $17 billion is a 1,700,000% improvement on $100 million, it still comes out as a farce when put in the proper perspective:
- First, Obama’s proposed $17 billion cut is still less than half of 1% of his proposed $3.69 trillion FY2010 budget.
- Second, half of the cuts Obama wants to make are in defense spending and were already announced by Defense Secretary Roberts Gates.
- Third, the cuts are half as ambitious as the $34 billion in cuts former President George Bush proposed last year.
- Fourth, the cuts have little chance of actually happening. The Democrat controlled Congress approved less than $2 billion of President Bush’s spending cuts.
- Finally, and most importantly considering President Obama’s October 7 promise to the American people: The proposed cuts, if adopted by Congress, would not actually reduce government spending. Obama’s budget would increase overall spending; any savings from the program terminations and reductions would be shifted to the president’s priorities.
As our own Brian Riedl told USA Today: “These presidents’ budget cuts are typically a public relations exercise, because presidents rarely put the weight of the White House behind these cuts and … allow Congress to ignore them.” And as far as that public relations battle goes, former Congressional Budget Office director Rudolph Penner tells the Washington Post: “They have a long way to go to show fiscal restraint.”
- The Los Angeles Unified School district pays 160 union members roughly $10 million a year to do nothing.
- Silicon Valley executives are telling the Obama administration’s hunt for revenue to finance his massive spending increase to leave them alone.
- Centrist Democrats who don’t want a massive new energy tax to kill jobs in their districts are telling Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to set aside the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill.
- The economic stimulus bill enacted in February contains $3 billion that ACORN could receive, and the 2010 federal budget contains another $5.5 billion that could also find its way into the group’s coffers.
- It’s still not too late to order the perfect Mother’s Day gift: Rebecca Hagelin’s “30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.” The guide every busy Mom needs features a forward by Sean Hannity, personal stories from Rebecca, as well as anecdotes from other parents.