Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on May 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

When Barack Obama ran for the presidency, he promised to enforce fiscal responsibility once in charge of the executive branch. He pledged to go through the budget “line by line” to eliminate government waste in order to “restore confidence” in Washington DC. Obama repeated this pledge just three weeks ago in his April 18th message to America:

Well, Barack Obama is a man of his word. (All right, all right, stop laughing.) According to the Associated Press, Obama has finished scouring the budget — and has found a whopping 0.5% of the budget to trim:

After a line-by-line scrub of the federal budget, President Barack Obama has signed off on a roster of 121 budget cuts totaling $17 billion — or about one-half of 1 percent of the $3.4 trillion budget Congress has approved for next year.

Budget Director Peter Orszag briefed Democratic lawmakers on a partial roster of the cuts Wednesday before a public release on Thursday. Obama also is fleshing out the details of the $1.3 trillion portion of the budget that he requested Congress pass through appropriations bills for the budget year beginning Oct. 1.

Some of the cuts are sure to rankle lawmakers, such as the elimination of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which gives money to states to help defray the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants who commit crimes. President George W. Bush tried and failed to kill the $400 million program several times.

A senior White House official said the cuts would total $17 billion, with about half the savings coming from the Pentagon budget, and the other half from domestic programs. Most of the savings, $11.5 billion, would come from appropriated programs.

That’s it. Apparently, we were all wrong. 99.5% of the federal budget is meat, and Obama found all the fat in that $17 billion. Just to remind everyone, $17 billion comprises just 4.25% of the increase in the federal budget under Obama.  It amounts to somewhere around 2.2% of Porkulus.  Obama just signed an omnibus spending bill that cost $410 billion, against which the cuts are about 4.25% as well.  The pork-barrel line items in the omnibus spending plan alone amounted to almost half of what Obama just cut ($7.7 billion).  And just to emphasize the point, the $17 billion amounts to 0.85% of 2009′s deficit, and only 1.7% of the lowest deficit projected by the Obama administration in any of the next ten years.

Heck, even an amateur could do better than this.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!


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That’s all Pelosi would let him cut…we all know he is a limp wristed weak man.

jbh45 on May 7, 2009 at 8:10 AM

It’s like those people that eat three pepperoni bacon chicken and cheese slices, with some mozzarella sticks, garlic knots

Then they say

Oh I’ll have a diet coke

blatantblue on May 7, 2009 at 8:12 AM

Heck, even an amateur could do better than this.

Your MAC and IP address have been recorded by DHS and you shall soon be receiving a visit from a bus load of ACORN activists….

doriangrey on May 7, 2009 at 8:14 AM

Hell, he’ll still be using that line-by-line speech in 2012. And his supporters and the drive-bys(I know, I’m being redundant) will accept it at face value.

Doughboy on May 7, 2009 at 8:15 AM

Oslime-a is too black to fail. Just ask the MSM.

csdeven on May 7, 2009 at 8:15 AM

Never has have so few owed so much to so many.

[Yup, fixed that -- thanks! -- Ed]

Kralizec on May 7, 2009 at 8:17 AM

99.5% of the federal budget is meat

Is that beef or pork?

forest on May 7, 2009 at 8:17 AM

Is that beef or pork?

forest on May 7, 2009 at 8:17 AM

Hey, pork is meat…. White meat, or so they say… Hmmmm, Obama likes white meat….. Things that make you go…. Hmmmmmm

doriangrey on May 7, 2009 at 8:20 AM

Mr. Obama has lot’s of people, places, and institutions to pay back with our money Ed…

Keemo on May 7, 2009 at 8:22 AM

Obama piddling, yet again.

Loxodonta on May 7, 2009 at 8:28 AM

0′s taking over Gibb’s Souter press conference was from The American President, and his budget cutting (office supplies in bulk) is from Dave. I guess that’s what was mean by “Obama seems more open to using celebrities for policy formulation and getting ideas.”

Quisp on May 7, 2009 at 8:29 AM

It’s just money, they can always make more when they need it.

Bishop on May 7, 2009 at 8:30 AM

But Obama reads it well from the TOTUS, so it must be true.

Right_of_Attila on May 7, 2009 at 8:31 AM

The “meat” in the budget is indeed pork. Proof that Obama and Congress love us.

mr.blacksheep on May 7, 2009 at 8:37 AM

How many pennies from that kids you tube video is that?

ctmom on May 7, 2009 at 8:39 AM

Tiny cuts, much coming from defense and programs like supporting states for housing criminals the feds should be getting out of our country in the first place?

Yeah, about what I expected from this clown.

cs89 on May 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM

A senior White House official said the cuts would total $17 billion, with about half the savings coming from the Pentagon budget

Yippee.

BadgerHawk on May 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM

He could save a bit more if he confiscated Dodd’s and Jefferson’s freezers.

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 8:44 AM

How many pennies from that kids you tube video is that?

ctmom on May 7, 2009 at 8:39 AM

42.5

BadgerHawk on May 7, 2009 at 8:46 AM

What an ineffective teacher Obama remains as a guest lecturer.

Mr. Infomercial put you to sleep.

I’d have HATED being in one of his study groups.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM

Oh I’ll have a diet coke

blatantblue on May 7, 2009 at 8:12 AM

That’s a perfect analogy.

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM

A senior White House official said the cuts would total $17 billion, with about half the savings coming from the Pentagon budget

Saw that coming. Another stat for you, Ed: Earl Devaney expects roughly 3.25 times that amount of stimulus money to go to fraudulent use alone.

I wonder if any of Murtech’s set-asides will be affected?

DrSteve on May 7, 2009 at 8:55 AM

Obama remains the sort of study partner who never does his own reading, his own thinking, his own synopsis. He simply downloads his master’s message and regurgitates it ad nauseum.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 8:56 AM

Yippee.

BadgerHawk on May 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM

I was going to say the same thing. So they are cutting roughly 8.5 billion from the defense budget? After adding in the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afganistan. Meaning overall, a MUCH larger cut in defense.

Time to buy more ammo.

todler on May 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM

Biden: I’ll have a Root Beer with that.
Obama: And a bottle of water to go. What will you have to drink, Biden?
Biden: Got that covered in my order.

Great listener, The One ain’t.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM

Seventeen Billion dollars is what happens when you use a scalpel not an ax. It would truly be a tribute to George Bush to say that his budgets were 100 percent meat, and that the only fat came in with the Obama budget, but even I couldn’t get that past my lips.

eaglewingz08 on May 7, 2009 at 9:04 AM

Cosmetic surgery.

Loxodonta on May 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

eaglewingz08 on May 7, 2009 at 9:04 AM

To use the “scalpel” analogy, it’s kind of like have a patient with a 2kg tumor in the abdomen, and removing 100 grams and leaving the rest intact.

cs89 on May 7, 2009 at 9:08 AM

Oh, and 50 grams aren’t tumor cells, but part of the intestine.

cs89 on May 7, 2009 at 9:09 AM

Legislators and industries on the bribe are never satisfied no matter how much they take from tax payers. The level of incredibility is so far past incredible, there remains no adjective strong enough for Pelosi’s rot.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 9:09 AM

About have came from the Pentagon. I guess the Federal government spending money on a strong national defense doesn’t seem appropriate to Obama.

hawksruleva on May 7, 2009 at 9:10 AM

ummm, make that HALF, not have.

hawksruleva on May 7, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Obama: And a bottle of water to go. What will you have to drink, Biden?
Biden: Got that covered in my order.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM

The President is killing the earth, one plastic bottle at a time.

BadgerHawk on May 7, 2009 at 9:13 AM

I guess the Federal government spending money on a strong national defense doesn’t seem appropriate to Obama.

hawksruleva on May 7, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Democrat Congress refuses to appropriate funds for the military, while building up the Homeland Security fascist federal forces. Obama wants his green shirt youth corp.

WHY the census so soon?! It seems too soon since the last federal census–Ten years??? The Hispanic groups have already insisted they will not respond, defeating the point. Birth records from hospitals supply citizen growth rate more accurately than either a mail-in form as GWB had or a door-to-door counting (SAFETY ISSUES!), anyway. The hiring of census workers is TEMPORARY so that all record collection has no permanent accountability. And the unskilled minimum wage workers are being given the latest hand held invasive computer technology and tracking the GPS point of each door.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Ah yes, forcing southern border state taxpayers to bear more of the financial burden of illegal aliens’ crimes against them — crimes that are increasing in number because of the federal government’s refusal to uphold its constitutional duty to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. What could be more fair than that? But hey, the unions and grievance-mongering entitlement thugs like ACORN are getting plenty of taxpayer $$$ in this budget, so all’s well./

AZCoyote on May 7, 2009 at 9:28 AM

BadgerHawk on May 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM

The Precedent continues to undermine the safety of our military, my son included. Damn.

Shout out to hawkdriver! Stay safe.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:29 AM

My employer laid off a bunch of people this week (thankfully not including me). We simply have to get the job done for less money in this economy. We have no choice, because the stockholders won’t put up with losing money, and their representatives on the Board of Directors would replace the CEO if these layoffs didn’t happen.

But somehow, government rarely seems to be able to figure out how to do a job with less resources. They always need more, more, more.

The Monster on May 7, 2009 at 9:31 AM

I’m so glad we have a TOTUS that will save us so much money on things we don’t want by cuttig the things we need.The saddest part is the fact that doughboy is 100% percent right about the drive-bys accepting this B.S.,and spinning it to sound like The One is doing the people a favor.

DDT on May 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM

This is the equivalent of finding a quarter and two dimes in your sofa, while the house is burning down.

rbj on May 7, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Since I was barely expecting him to follow up on his word to take out one hundred million, I am genuinely surprised at the actual number.

amkun on May 7, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Just to remind everyone, $17 billion comprises just 4.25% of the increase in the federal budget under Obama

How are you getting your numbers, because the last annual budget President Bush signed was for the 2008 year which was $2.9 Trillion and it had a $120 billion deficit. There was the one time tax credit for $300 billion, but that was not part of the annual budget.

There was no budget signed for the 2009 year, which caused agencies to lock spending at the previous years levels and we survived by spending bills to get through the year, so President Obama inherited a annual budget that was $2.9 trillion.

Now we have them report he is proposing an annual $3.4 Trillion budget, so that is a $500 billion increase to me.
(Oh side note: It was reported $3.6 Trillion last week so where did this $200 billion go to in a week?)

That means it is a cut of 3.4% (17/500) to the increased spending he is proposing, not 4.25% and that is only for the annual budget. This does not include the pork spending feast bill numbers or any other one time spending bills.

JeffinSac on May 7, 2009 at 10:09 AM

I wish the federal budget would come down with the Swine Flu.

PappaMac on May 7, 2009 at 10:10 AM

When Barack Obama ran for the presidency, he promised to…

Jake Tapper compiled a list of more than 30 audacious promises from Barack Claus:
http://jgapinoy.blogspot.com/2008/10/from-jake-tapper-of-abc-news-obama.html

jgapinoy on May 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Jake Tapper compiled a list of more than 30 audacious promises from Barack Claus:

I make less than $250K. Where’s my tax cut?

Steve Z on May 7, 2009 at 10:33 AM

“invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade”;

The above was one of Obama’s promises recorded by Jake Tapper. Hmmmm…$15 billion a year for 5 million jobs comes out to $3,000 per year per job, or about $1.44 per hour. Doesn’t that violate minimum wage laws? Or does he plan to hire illegal aliens?

Steve Z on May 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Hmmmm, Obama likes white meat….

Over Michelle’s dead body.

txag92 on May 7, 2009 at 10:58 AM

He knows that all he has to do is say something and his worshippers automatically believe it is fact. They are not about to allow reality to seep into their heads.

drjohn on May 7, 2009 at 11:14 AM

How about cutting the car, and gasoline usage from the budget? The rest of us have to pay for our own gas, to , and from work, and to any other activities, or chores we might have to do. No one pays for that, but us. So why are we paying for such a luxury for others, who don’t seem to be performing well in their duties, at all?

How about we quit spending tax payer money on frivolous nonsense. Especially since a majority is unhappy with this kind of waste?

How about downsizing government, getting cabinet members to pay their late taxes, with interest, and penalties?

How about we limit trips, and flights, with Air Force One, to maybe…1 every few months?

And I’m an amateur. If I were in charge of the cutting, that would just be the beginning.

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Take a little stroll around the USAJOBS website sometime and see how many of those jobs you think are really critical to the functioning of America. The fat in this government is unbelievable and disgraceful. I know people in corporate America who are doing jobs that 10 or more people used to do – that is what SHOULD be happening in the government. I almost would not are about the dollar amount, if the Precedent would simply say he is ordering a 5 percent across the board cut in the federal workforce and freezing new hires I might start taking him seriously.

Ronald Reagan’s first act as President in 1981 was ordering a federal hiring freeze.

rockmom on May 7, 2009 at 12:13 PM

As I recall, during the debates McCain wanted to cut pork and Obama said it only amounted to about $17 billion of the Federal budget, and therefore was inconsequential. He claimed his ‘line by line’ program would be better.

Funny how it comes out to that same inconsequential $17 billion.

Only now, I guess it’s a big deal.

MagicalPat on May 7, 2009 at 12:22 PM

I can hardly wait to see all the ‘cuts’. After all, this is the same administration that screwed investors (aka SPECULATORS) out of $500 MILLION in the Chrysler fiasco. And the same administration that tried to screw military reservists by having them foot their own medical bills for injuries sustained while on active duty just to save $650 MILLION.

Given that past is prologue, I wonder who else these petty assholes are planning on screwing while ignoring 8,000+ earmarks..

GarandFan on May 7, 2009 at 12:37 PM

The Precedent continues to undermine the safety of our military, my son included. Damn.

Shout out to hawkdriver! Stay safe.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:29 AM

Prayers for your son, and for hawkdriver. :)

It angers me to no end, that they cut defense spending, in a time of war. And this is supposed to be our smartest president ever?

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Obama brings pinking shears to a rendering

Mallard T. Drake on May 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM

What don’t you people understand about “anointed”?

oldleprechaun on May 7, 2009 at 12:50 PM

The above was one of Obama’s promises recorded by Jake Tapper. Hmmmm…$15 billion a year for 5 million jobs comes out to $3,000 per year per job, or about $1.44 per hour. Doesn’t that violate minimum wage laws? Or does he plan to hire illegal aliens?

Steve Z on May 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM

Nah. The immigrants will get the high paying union jobs. Those $1.44 jobs will go to us. Don’t worry though. I’m sure meals are included. If you eat it slow, that handful of rice can sustain you all day!

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 12:51 PM

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 9:23 AM

As an amateur genealogist, I find the census a gold mine for info, but the info has to be taken with a grain of salt bcs people LIE about things.
So if they do want accurate demographic info, you are 100% correct they should comb public records databases.
This would be a more efficient use of the $$ going to the census.
The census worker that came to our driveway just asked us if we lived there & if this was our address & we said yes & they left.
Then I got the huge booklet in the mail to fill out myself.
Tell me why they had to pay somebody to drive way out in the country to my house?

Badger40 on May 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM

If you eat it slow, that handful of rice can sustain you all day!

capejasmine on May 7, 2009 at 12:51 PM

Something Gulag prisoners learned a long time ago!

Badger40 on May 7, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Ed, you assume our children is learning math.

Schadenfreude on May 7, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Ed, you missed the real lede — but then, it’s buried in a different AP article:

Those [$17 billion a year] savings are far exceeded by a 2 1/2-inch thick volume detailing Obama’s generous increases for domestic programs. And instead of devoting the savings to defray record deficits, the White House is funneling them back into other programs.

I believe that’s called the “Beltway shuffle.” And read on; some of the “savings” are entirely illusory:

Obama is also claiming savings from eliminating a host of accounts typically earmarked by members of Congress such as a $10 million West Virginia highway project obtained by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and $15 million obtained by Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for diesel emissions reduction grants.

Obama is also proposing $145 million in savings from a clean water program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency which bankrolled 301 earmarks this year.

But Obama is not actually proposing to kill thousands of earmarks funded in the $410 billion catchall spending bill passed in March.

In fact, some of the cuts, like terminating production of C-17 cargo aircraft and phasing out direct payments to farmers with sales exceeding $500,000 annually, have already been rejected by Obama’s allies in Congress.

Paul_in_NJ on May 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

True to form, 1/2 the cuts from the Defense budget.

AZfederalist on May 7, 2009 at 7:18 PM

Ed, you missed the real lede — but then, it’s buried in a different AP article:

Paul_in_NJ on May 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Son of a… Well, that’s gone down the memory hole; the article has been edited — the parts I quoted above are gone.

Paul_in_NJ on May 8, 2009 at 7:45 AM

Ed, you missed the real lede — but then, it’s buried in a different AP article:

Paul_in_NJ on May 7, 2009 at 3:40 PM

Son of a… Well, that’s gone down the memory hole; the article has been edited — the parts I quoted above are gone.

Ah, but the article lives on elsewhere!

Paul_in_NJ on May 8, 2009 at 7:53 AM