Obama’s “belt-tightening” just useless spin

Posted on April 20, 2009

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President Barack Obama, in a bid to appear more fiscally responsible, today told his Cabinet to look into finding ways to save $100 million. The article is a wire news report that is harshly scathing in its analysis, indicating Patterico is right when he says the media honeymoon may be ending fast. Here’s the problem – while it’s nice to talk about any kind of cutback in federal spending, $100 million is literally just a drop in the bucket. Hot Air notes the figure is only 0.0029% of the 2010 budget, which Press Secretary Robert Gibbs tries to ridiculously describe as “big money.”  (And after, the article notes, Gibbs laughed off $8 billion in earmarks as “miniscule”)

And what makes the “responsible” pledge even more laughable is that on the same day, President Obama proposed a $100 billion loan for the IMF. So much for all those potential savings, eh, Mr. President?

After the mammoth stimulus and omnibus spending bills, coupled with a bloated budget with the biggest deficit in history, the President knows he must appear fiscally responsible. This is especially true in light of the widespread and successful Tea Parties last week held against out-of-control government spending, which despite derision by cable news anchors and the liberal elite, are still viewed favorably by 51% of the population, along with another recent poll that says 52% of us fear the government will do too much. So the order to the Cabinet is a purely political gambit designed to let the administration off the hook by saying, “See? We tried to cut back and tighten our belts!”

But the problem with the “savings proposal” is that it’s so ineffectively microscopic that it only ends up making Obama look unserious about fiscal responsibility (which he is, by the way). Obama had hyped the announcement in his weekend radio address, but this proposal only serves as a reminder of how flagrantly reckless government spending has already been, and how it proves to continue in the future.

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Posted in: News, Politics