Obama “tightens” government’s belt by 0.5%

The president, criticized by Republicans for his excessive spending, cuts $17 billion from his $3.4 trillion budget.

by Michael Naragon

In the midst of the current economic slowdown, President Obama has gone through the budget line by line, looking for excess.  The result?  Taxpayers are now responsible for only $3.38 trillion.

“All across this country, Americans are responding to difficult economic times,” Obama said Thursday as he announced the savings, “by tightening their belts and making tough decisions about where they need to spend and where they need to save.”

“The question the American people are asking is whether Washington is prepared to act with the same sense of responsibility,” he said. “I believe we can and must do exactly that.”  For a family with a budget of $50,000, 0.5% is $250.

Obama praised his economic team for finding the pittance of cuts, warning that there were those in government who would love to spend that 0.5%.  However, the president stated that the government needs to be circumspect about its spending.

“$17 billion a year is not chump change by anyone’s accounting,” he proclaimed proudly.  Unfortunately, given the scope of the Obama budget, he has turned $17 billion into “chump change.”  We have reached a dark day in our nation’s history when a president can cut that amount from the budget and it’s virtually negligible.

Congress has already cut about $10 billion from the president’s budget, and they will surely return to their constituencies claiming their fiscal responsibility.  Obama himself held a fiscal responsibility summit with congressional leaders in February.  Apparently, the result of those discussions was a plan to spend trillions of dollars, test the poll numbers, then cut out a symbolic portion so that the American people would buy the illusion that the government was actually cutting back.

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