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Friday, May 8, 2009

The $17 Billion Drop In the Bucket

Editorial Cartoon by Gary Varvel

I subscribe to the The Heritage Foundation's Morning Bell. Each morning, I have an accurate breakdown of the day's hot topic from a conservative perspective. If you aren't already subscribed, I highly recommend you sign up. Here is The Morning Bell's breakdown of Obama's proposed $17 billion cut:
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:
As (The Heritage Foundation's) 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.”
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