Free Markets, Free People


Obama offers nothing in the way of budget cuts

President Obama is asking for budget cuts from his Cabinet:

President Obama plans to convene his Cabinet for the first time today, where he will order members to identify a combined $100 million in budget cuts over the next 90 days, according to a senior administration official.

The budget cuts, while they would account to a minuscule portion of federal spending, are intended to signal the president’s determination to cut spending and reform government, the official said.

Obama’s order comes as he is under increasing pressure to show momentum toward his goal of eventually reducing the federal deficit, even as he goes about increasing spending in the short run to prop up the economy and support his priorities.

That’s it? $100 million? John Miller over at the NRO describes that as a “a rounding error at a Department of Agriculture regional office.” What a joke.

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17 Responses to Obama offers nothing in the way of budget cuts

  • Remember when Obama & Friends were arguing that people were being obnoxious for criticizing 8 BILLION in earmarks since it represented less than 1% of the budget?

    But 100 million in budget cuts…now that’s something to crow about!

  • If Obama cuts out the Waygu beef and the personal pizza delivery service, we can get that $100 mil easily

  • Richard Nixon once ordered federal departments not to spend appropriated funds. It was called “impoundment”. Not surprisingly, a federal judge ruled that Congress (yes, the one that behaves like teenage boys with access to whiskey and car keys) authorizes and appropriates funds. Not the President.

    What really irks me is that one of the “examples” used on the news was that the DHS spends $100MM on office supplies. But, Jenius Janet told her boss that they could save $50mm  through “buying in bulk”.  What was not explicit in the piece was that the savings were over 5 years. IE, roughly 10%. Not the 50% annual savings that was implied.

    Aren’t all government agencies supposed to “buy” their office supplies from the GSA? You know, the GSA that buys black pens made by the Lighthouse for the Blind by the trainload. Or am I hopelessly out of date.

  • My favorite comparison was that 100 million is what we pay daily in interest on the obama stimulus package.

  • TAO is counting on most Americans being unable to distinguish one “big number” from another.  Million dollars?  Billion dollars?  They are both sums so far outside the experience of most people that, on a gut level, there isn’t that much of a difference.  So, when TAO crows that he’s saving $100 million, that sounds like real money to quite a few people.  That tubby idiot Gibbs tried to make that argument when MiniTru had the temerity to ask him about why the president was boasting about such a paltry sum.

    It would be of interest to conduct a public poll along  the following lines:

    Approximately how much money does the federal government plan to spend this year?

    (A)  $300 million

    (B)  $30 billion

    (C)  $3 trillion

  • Of course, I predicted that Obama would cut spending, and now I’ve been proven right. You dense righties ought to just bow down and worship my godlike powers of political science.

    Instead, you’re just whining that it’s not enough. Typical (eyes rolling). Can’t you see that it’s a big number? After all, it’s got an “illion” in it.

    I think you’re all just frustrated that Obama is doing such smart and wonderful things, and you don’t know how to react. So you lash out in anger. Just like you do at me all the time. It’s so obvious. I’ve completely got your psychology figured out, and all that stuff people here claim to have figured out about my psychology is dead wrong, do you hear, dead wrong!!! I don’t either come here out of some weird psychological compulsion to validate my self worth by finding others to lecture down to! I simply want content-laden discussion and debate in which you all admit that I’m right about everything. But you meanies won’t do that, oh no! Well, I see right through YOU. So there.

  • I think many of you greatly underestimate the intelligence of your countrymen.  Possibly because they often disagree with your politics or act in a manner that you don’t understand.
    Not saying that there aren’t a number of yahoos that really will think that 100M is some huge number, not realizing that’s comparable to them saving a buck when it comes to government spending.  But really, your problem is with the gov’t, not them.  You want a better polity, stop calling them morons and join efforts to get them educated and engaged.
    The Tea Parties are an example of a more engaged public, though I think they are mostly political theater. 

    • I suppose I can be considered a hypocrite on this subject.  On the one hand, I think that the American people generally “get it right”: our national instincts are good, though we admitedly sometimes take rather a long time to reach the right decision.

      On the other hand, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that many of my countrymen (God bless ‘em!) are ignorant to the point of being morons.  For example, if I recall correctly, a majority of Americans thought in 2008 that the GOP still controlled the Congress.  A sizeable minority think that the government has its own money, some mythical, magical revenue stream apart from what it collects in taxes.  Even people who know a bit about the government and policy seem content with arguments that would evoke jeers from a bright sixth-grader, such as “The other side does it, too!” Look at political commericals: they seldom (if ever) appeal to intelligence and knowledge, but rather to base fears and emotions.  Why?  Because the politicos know that there’s not much point in making intelligent arguments to voters, who would merely be bored / confused by them.  “Four legs good, two legs baaaad” is about the speed for many voters, especially democrats (spit).

      Much of this is due to lack of interest, which is (I suspect) due to feelings of inefficacy.  Why bother to learn about the government, the budget, and policy when there really isn’t much that the average person can do to affect those things?

      • Can’t really disagree with you on the appeals to emotion.  For the most part, ALL of us are capable of, and routinely do, make decisions based on visceral responses and our feelings of the moment.  I consider myself a very dispassionate person, using displays of emotion mainly as a tool, but I can easily look back and see numerous instances where my decisions were not based on rational thought.
        That STILL doesn’t make me a moron.  It just makes me human.  I think that things are the way they are because most people genuinly don’t have a dog in most political fights.  Those that do, or think they do, tend to “pick a side and stick to it.”  Again, we ALL have that tendency, at least to some degree.
        A little civics and critical thinking education for EVERYONE could help with this.  When I was in high school, it was only taught to college prep and “advanced” students. 

        • Double DFor the most part, ALL of us are capable of, and routinely do, make decisions based on visceral responses and our feelings of the moment…. That STILL doesn’t make me a moron.  It just makes me human.

          I don’t disagree; we all do it.  My “moron meter” starts going off when people are passionate about a subject and either obviously don’t know the first thing about it or else cannot be persuaded by any amount of logic and facts that they might need to (ahem) rethink their position.  It also goes off when there’s a subject that people SHOULD know about but don’t.

          Double DA little civics and critical thinking education for EVERYONE could help with this. 

          I agree.  Unfortunately, civics and critical thinking are NOT exactly stressed in schools these days.  Along with the poll I proposed earlier, it would be interesting to see the results of polls that ask basic questions about the government: how many branches, what each branch does, who various officials are, etc.  To the extent that I’ve seen such polls / surveys, the results have been uniformly depressing.  Small wonder politicians can bamboozle the public so easily and often.

          • Still not stupid…they just don’t care much.  If the milk gets delivered on time and they can afford a few pairs of jeans for the kids, life is good.  Most folks, especially the majority with simple day-to-day worries, don’t care much beyond that.  And they’ll adapt to any number of circumstances unless they think the sky is really falling.
            You directly attack people’s basic beliefs, morality, and livelihood, and you’ll see just how much native intelligence they really have.  Just remember, my people turned out in droves to stop gay marriage in California, in defiance of our Democrat masters.  What a shocker!  Teh blacks SUPPORTED the conservatives when it really MATTERED to them.

  • This reminds me of the theory that if you buy something on sale, you are actually saving money, not spending it.

    Three Card Monte, anyone?

  • ME:  Honey, this isn’t working. 

    OLDLADY: What’s wrong?

    ME: This house!  This debt!  Our business partners!  The budget!  Everything!

    OLDLADY: What do you mean?

    ME: The house is in ruins!  The other day, the cat was killed by crumbling rebar that fell down.

    OLDLADY:  Mittens?!!  Oh, nooooo…

    ME: Sales are WAY down!  We owe way more than we’re taking in.  And we’ve lost respect in the community.  Some other businesses are suffering, and somehow they think it’s our fault.

    OLDLADY: After we got so many of them started?  The ingrates!

    ME: Our business partners…I’m pretty sure they’re crooked.  They’ve been siphoning money to little side projects.  Normally, that’s not a big deal, but some of this stuff.  I mean, A had a parking garage built in the middle of nowhere!

    OLDLADY: A Parking Garage for Nowhere?

    ME: Exactly!  So, what should we do?

    OLDLADY: Welllll…we could hire your cousin to work on the house.  He really needs the work.  He’s so old, he works kind of slow.  And he may need to rework and rework and rework…but he is family, and it might help the house a little bit…

    ME:  OK.  What about the debt?

    OLDLADY:  Oh, we can hid that in the books for years.  When the kids get old enough, they’ll take over the company.  By that time, we’ll have found a way out already or the kids can take care of it.  They’re plenty smart!  As to the respect of the other businesses around here, if we make it LOOK good, it WILL be good.

    ME:  You’re right about that.  I can go for that.  But what about the partners?

    OLDLADY: Well, we can’t really be rid of them.  The contract we wrote with them is pretty airtight.  Maybe we can modify the agreement, make rules for better money management and better ethics?

    ME: Nah.  That’ll never work.  I guess we’ll just stick with them and hope for the best.

    OLDLADY:  Hmmm.  And the budget?

    ME: (a determined glint in the eye) By God, we’ll make real progress there!  The jet, the cars, and the seventeen TVs we planned to buy are vital.  They stay in.

    OLDLADY: Agreed.  And I have to have the six new maids, the chocolate mousse fountain, and platinum busts in the shape of my mother.

    ME: That’s fine.  I know you can’t do without that stuff. (Looking down at sheet of paper) Well, there’s only one thing left.

    OLDLADY:  Not….!

    ME: Yes!  We’ve got to tighten our belts, and now!  From now on…

    OLDLADY:  NOOOOOOOOOOOO…

    ME:  …we use the less soft toilet tissues!

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