Obama Adds a Trillion to the Deficit, Cuts $17 Billion

The Obama administration released it’s whopping $3.4 trillion budget proposal today ushering in a new level of government growth and taxpayer obligations down the road. Of the $3.4 trillion, the plan also includes $17 billion in cuts to some 121 programs or eliminates them altogether. The $17 billion equates to about one-half of 1 percent of the total budget. So instead of 100% of trillions in new spending, we’ll be getting 99.5% of trillions in new spending.

WaPo reports:

The Obama administration today unveiled details of a $3.4 trillion federal budget for the fiscal year beginning in October, a proposal that includes substantial increases for a number of domestic priorities as well as a plan to trim or eliminate 121 programs at a savings of $17 billion.

In a statement delivered at the White House after the budget details were released, President Obama defended the cuts from critics on both sides — those he said would fight to preserve the targeted programs and others who consider the reductions insignificant.

“We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits don’t matter and waste is not our problem,” he said. “We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration — or the next generation.”

While many government employees do valuable, thankless work, Obama said, “at the same time, we have to admit that there is a lot of money that’s being spent inefficiently, ineffectively and, in some cases, in ways that are actually pretty stunning.” He cited several examples, including a $465 million program to build an alternate engine for the Defense Department’s joint strike fighter, a program that Pentagon brass neither wants nor plans to use.

Obama said some proposed cuts are larger and more painful than others, while some would produce less than $1 million in savings. “In Washington, I guess that’s considered trivial,” he said. “But these savings, large and small, add up.” He said of the $17 billion total in projected savings, “Even by Washington standards, that should be considered real money.”

Obama also stressed that the proposed cuts do not replace the need for “large changes” in entitlement spending.

I find it very funny how President Obama speaks of fiscal discipline at the same time he releases the largest spending increase the country has ever seen. $17 billion in cuts is a small start, however, how can that be squared with billions more in new spending?

This appears to be taking 1,000 steps forward with trillions in spending, realizing you went too far, and then taking 1 step back with $17 billion in cuts to programs that need cutting anyway.

It also appears many of the cuts overlap with cuts examined by the Bush administration as well.

Bloomberg also breaks it down by numbers:

Even with the proposed cuts amounting to only about one- half of 1 percent of the total budget, Obama is confronting resistance in Congress and from interest groups seeking to keep alive favored programs. In 2008, then-President George W. Bush, working with a Democratic Congress, proposed ending or reducing 141 federal programs. Of those, 29 were terminated or trimmed for a savings of about $1.6 billion.

Unlike past years, the administration won’t release until May 11 its “analytical perspectives” or “historic tables” that help explain its spending decisions and put them in context. Obama repeated his pledge to cut the deficit in half by the end of his term in 2012.

Though the White House is trying to focus public attention on cuts, federal spending is on the rise. The blueprint Congress adopted last week provides for a 9 percent increase in domestic discretionary spending and a 4 percent defense increase.

I’m wondering how you increase spending by $1 trillion over the next decade and then point to $17 billion in cuts to make up for it? Also, if that is just a start, will we be cutting another trillion from the budget to trim it back to a manageable size?

The bottom line is that President Obama believes in big spending and big government, this simply is an illustration of that. President Bush also believe in big spending as well, this is an ongoing problem.

Therefore, these $17 billion in cuts to programs that were wasteful to begin with do not even begin to put a dent in the doubled national deficit.

$17 billion does not change this chart either:

If Prsident Obama is actually serious about reducing the deficit, perhaps he should set his goals to the levels of President Bush’s reckless spending before he can make some headway.

I applaud President Obama for cutting things which probably should have been cut years ago. However, I am dismayed by the trillion dollar increases in spending which makes the billion dollar cuts pale in comparison.

If I spend $100,000 and then propose spending $200,000 while cutting $1,000 to make up for it, that is a massive net increase, not a cut.

Furthermore, this budget proposal cuts off the successful Washington, DC school voucher program which makes no sense whatsoever. That program was successful and producing results yet President Obama nixed any future funding let alone expansion.

Update

Here is President Obama debating Senator McCain during the 2008 campaign. In this clip, within the first 2 minutes, Obama lays out his argument that earmarks only represent $18 billion which isn’t much at all and doesn’t fix the problem.

So which is it, President Obama? Does $18 billion matter more now than it did then are you just putting on a good show for the cameras?

Yet another example of what Obama said on the campaign trail being diametrically opposed to what he’s doing and saying now.