More budget smoke and mirrors
Throwing the people a bone
Obama's attempt this week to recast himself as some kind of budget-cutter is laughable if it weren't so cynical and calculated to fool people who are not paying attention. I could try to analyze it, but Cato has done it well already. Although I recommend reading the whole article in full, here's a good bit:
it’s only down in the fifth paragraph where the [New York] Times notes that “The estimated $250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3 percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is expected to accumulate over that time.”
The way this stuff is reported is downright criminal. Author Jason Kuznicki points out:
Spending increases that were planned all along aren’t considered increases at all and do not make the news. Unplanned increases, those over and above the planned ones, are reported as though only the unplanned parts were increases. Large spending increases get extra praise for boldness. Reductions in the rate of spending growth are called “spending cuts.” Real though tiny cuts are described as draconian measures.
I remember the howls of protest when Reagan merely slowed the rate of spending growth. And here is Obama raising spending by $9 trillion and then announcing cuts of a mere $250 billion--pure Alinsky.
To put the numbers in perspective, that's $250 billion out of $9,000 billion. (Yes, a trillion is a thousand billion) And today, Reuters reports:
U.S. President Barack Obama will freeze the salaries of senior White House officials and other top political appointees for savings of $4 million in fiscal 2011, a senior administration official said on Tuesday.
This is likely to be mentioned in the State of the Union address. Really? The largest, most expensive White House staff in history and he's going to save $4 million? That's such a small number as a fraction of the budget my calculator can't even figure the fraction without using scientific notation.