Video: Obama on spending freezes during the campaign

posted at 8:48 am on January 26, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

To borrow a phrase from Glenn Reynolds, they told me if I voted for John McCain, we’d get budget gimmicks like spending freezes — and they were right! Barack Obama used to deride McCain’s call for spending freezes during the campaign, and Naked Emperor News has a short video reminder at Breitbart:

The Washington Post puts this in perspective:

Under mounting pressure to rein in mammoth budget deficits, President Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a three-year freeze on federal funding that is not related to national security, a concession to public concern about government spending that could dramatically curtail Obama’s legislative ambitions.

The freeze would take effect in October and limit the overall budget for agencies other than the military, veterans affairs, homeland security and certain international programs to $447 billion a year for the remainder of Obama’s first term, senior administration officials said Monday, imposing sharp limits on his ability to begin initiatives in education, the environment and other areas of domestic policy.

Although the freeze would shave no more than $15 billion off next year’s budget — barely denting a deficit projected to exceed $1 trillion for the third year in a row — White House officials said it could save significantly more during the next decade. They described the freeze as a critical component of a broader deficit-reduction campaign intended to restore confidence in Obama’s ability to control the excesses of Washington and the most lavish aspirations of his own administration.

“You can’t afford to do everything that you might have always wanted to do. That’s the decision-making process that the president and the economic team went through,” said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe the speech the president will deliver on Wednesday night. “We’re not here to tell you that we’ve solved the deficit. But you have to take steps to control spending.”

But as Ed Whelan notes:

Only the reader who makes it to the carryover page will learn that the freeze would not apply to “entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” “would not restrain funding for the $787 billion economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress early last year,” would not “apply to a new bill aimed at creating jobs,” and would be “unlikely to affect the approximately $900 billion health-care bill.”

The problem has gone far beyond a freeze. One look at the base number frozen will inform anyone familiar with the budget that this is nothing but window dressing. Obama proposes to freeze around $450 billion of the federal budget — a budget that is over $3.6 trillion for fiscal year 2010. He’s freezing less than 13% of federal spending.

Let’s also have a little history lesson.  When George W. Bush and a Republican Congress issued their final budget, FY2007, the federal government spent $2.72 trillion.  Democrats took control of Congress and issued their own budget for FY2008 and negotiated it with Bush for his signature, spending $2.98 trillion.  Democrats didn’t bother to negotiate the FY09 budget with Bush, instead issuing continuing resolutions for spending and delivering a final budget of over $3.1 trillion.

The FY 2010 budget represents an increase over that ’09 budget of more than the amount that Obama proposes to freeze, and the frozen portion amounts to less than half of what the Democrats have added to the federal budget since taking over Congress. That’s not fiscal discipline — it’s simply spending exhaustion.  The budget needs cutting, paring discretionary spending back to ’07 levels just to start, and finding ways to reform entitlements instead of expanding them beyond all measure.

This freeze is nothing more than a political shell game.  Democrats increased spending by $900 billion over three years, and now they plan to freeze 13% of a budget while leaving massive loopholes for more social engineering that has utterly failed in 2009, while taking credit for being fiscally responsible.  It’s laughably transparent, but not in the good sense.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Tap-Dancer-in-Chief.

This is delicious.

singlemalt_18 on January 26, 2010 at 8:51 AM

I can’t wait until a Republican is President and we can get these yearly deficits back to 800 billion…

BadgerHawk on January 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

“A riot is an ungly thing… undt, I tink, that it is chust about time ve had vun!”

AubieJon on January 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

I was against spending freezes before I was for them.

Disturb the Universe on January 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

You can’t make this stuff up. ( :

yoda on January 26, 2010 at 8:53 AM

No matter what, this will end badly. Hyperinflation is the only way out of this mess now. In less than 10 years on this course we will be unable to even service the interest on our debt let alone expand or fund anything with the Federal budget.

Johnnyreb on January 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Nukelar

faraway on January 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Tap-Dancer-in-Chief.

This is delicious.

singlemalt_18 on January 26, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Taking advice from former ballet dancer Rahm Emanuel?

Wethal on January 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Lies, All lies.
He is in over his head.

OmahaConservative on January 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Brain Freeze

faraway on January 26, 2010 at 8:55 AM

You can’t afford to do everything that you might have always wanted to do.

These children are learning very slowly.

sammypants on January 26, 2010 at 8:55 AM

This sounds more like strategic frostbite to me. A way to get rid of – or starve – the things he doesn’t like.

AubieJon on January 26, 2010 at 8:56 AM

$250 billion in savings over 10 years is $25 billion per yearly budget. Out of a $3+ trillion budget. This is nothing more than a joke. What’s more, it is an insult. Does The Whine actually expect us to think this is a good thing or does He recognize that we all see this as a kabuki theater.

I don’t know whether to laugh or be angry.

rbj on January 26, 2010 at 8:56 AM

“A riot is an ungly thing… undt, I tink, that it is chust about time ve had vun!”
AubieJon on January 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Puttin’ on the Riiiitz!

I wish this Administration was a Mel Brooks movie. Unfortunately, it’s for real and incompetant. Did Barack The Magnificent expect no one to go back and reference his campaign? How…unprecedented.

kingsjester on January 26, 2010 at 8:57 AM

It wasn’t freeze – freeze?

yoda on January 26, 2010 at 8:59 AM

A spending freeze will be meaningless if the deficit still comes out to over a trillion dollars. And that’s what has the American people so concerned.

This is just more misdirection by the White House. It gives them a worthless talking point their people can use on all the talk shows as a diversion when the subject of the deficit or unemployment is brought up.

Doughboy on January 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM

In proposing a less-than-comprehensive freeze on federal spending, the president is recycling an idea from the 1988 campaign. George H.W. Bush offered something similar, which he called a “flexible freeze.” In his only clever line of the entire election year, Michael Dukakis dismissed it as “an economic slurpee.”

NRO. Heh.

Wethal on January 26, 2010 at 9:00 AM

No matter what, this will end badly. Hyperinflation is the only way out of this mess now. In less than 10 years on this course we will be unable to even service the interest on our debt let alone expand or fund anything with the Federal budget.

Johnnyreb on January 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

We could always just default on the debt.

BadgerHawk on January 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Obama: “Let’s still dumb Bush’s national security policy and crazy old coot’s fiscal policy!”

He always reminds me of the boss in the Fed Ex commerical.

Caper29 on January 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

The Presidency
Is not a good place to have
On-The-Job Training.

Haiku Guy on January 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

No matter what, this will end badly. Hyperinflation is the only way out of this mess now. In less than 10 years on this course we will be unable to even service the interest on our debt let alone expand or fund anything with the Federal budget.

Johnnyreb on January 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Unfortunately, I too think that the real damage is yet to come. Without draconian cuts in government and government employee benefits, and a reigning in of entitlements, we are on our way over the one’s precipice.

Make no mistake, the actions needed could make alot of what we now know, unrecognizable.

singlemalt_18 on January 26, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Tap-Dancer-in-Chief.

This is delicious.

singlemalt_18 on January 26, 2010 at 8:51 AM

Guess the Won watched Chicago.

nyx on January 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM

The difference between my spending freeze and McCain’s spending freeze is you’ve got me.

Disturb the Universe on January 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM

“A riot is an ungly thing… undt, I tink, that it is chust about time ve had vun!”

AubieJon on January 26, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Heh. Love that.

Jaibones on January 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Ed, don’t they release a transcript of the SOTU the day prior to it?

rightside on January 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

All day and all night Thursday, conservatives need to be on the tv explaining how the ‘budget freeze’ isn’t at all what the administration is going to be selling it as.

myrenovations on January 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

And now a word from the bull$hiter in chief…

sdd on January 26, 2010 at 9:06 AM

I assume the GOP has warned the rank and file not to boo or yell “You Lie” but can the GOP stop its people from just laughing out loud?

Wethal on January 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Ponzi in Chief

DrStock on January 26, 2010 at 9:09 AM

I am following the President Barack Hussein Obama fiscal plan.

I used my credit cards and bought myself a new Corvette, deck boat, RV, pickup truck, two snowmobiles, ATV, Harley and a Gulfstream V, but I have also decided to eat out one less time per month to keep spending down.

Bishop on January 26, 2010 at 9:09 AM

The difference between my spending freeze and McCain’s spending freeze is you’ve got me.

Disturb the Universe on January 26, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Ok, that was funny. And sadly it’s probably true. He also stole McCain’s idea of a tax on Cadillac health care plans after ripping him for it during the campaign.

Doughboy on January 26, 2010 at 9:10 AM

rather than say that the freeze is only 13% of the budget, the Republicans need to say that the freeze doesn’t touch what the Dems want to do to us with healthcare.

tie it to the Obamacare bill. that is the only thing the Republicans know for sure that is a winner for them.

kelley in virginia on January 26, 2010 at 9:11 AM

I know the GOP can’t yell out tomorrow night. Would it be okay if they just sat there eating buckets of popcorn? I think that would be hilarious.

kingsjester on January 26, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Brings to mind this parody of another bogus Obama budget savings plan: Scientists Discover President Obama’s Budget Savings With Electron Microscope http://optoons.blogspot.com/2009/04/scientists-discover-president-obamas.html

Mervis Winter on January 26, 2010 at 9:12 AM

It will be interesting to see the media’s spin on Zero’s non-proposal. A few months ago, they would have hailed it as BRILLIANT! I am cautiously optimistic (but I don’t know why) that they might lift the veil and actually do some analysis on this proposal. I’m all for it if it means we actually spend a little less, but it is a far cry from being a real solution.

stvnscott on January 26, 2010 at 9:14 AM

I know the GOP can’t yell out tomorrow night. Would it be okay if they just sat there eating buckets of popcorn? I think that would be hilarious.

kingsjester on January 26, 2010 at 9:11 AM

With bunches of garlic around their necks.

AubieJon on January 26, 2010 at 9:14 AM

So he is going to put a freeze on entitlement spending until the next Presidential Election cycle when he will campaign on increases for the poor who always vote Democrat.
These people may be that stupid but I’m not.

thomasaur on January 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM

I know the GOP can’t yell out tomorrow night. Would it be okay if they just sat there eating buckets of popcorn? I think that would be hilarious.
kingsjester on January 26, 2010 at 9:11 AM

Noisily too, just digging in to giant buckets of the stuff with their eyes wide. Maybe have one of those popper carts going in the back of the room, the sort you find at car dealerships, overflowing popcorn onto the floor.

Bishop on January 26, 2010 at 9:15 AM

More eye candy for the state run media. Just can’t wait for the articles and commentary on how Obama really got the message from Massachussetts and is finally returning to his deficit hawk roots.

TXUS on January 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Shocker: The populist Marxist-Alinskyite demagogue goes back to middle class-well for another cup of irony.

“You can’t afford to do everything that you might have always wanted to do”

You don’t say. But then again, what’s this “we” stuff, beyond the Democrat leadership? I don’t recall a lot of people asking The Sun King to steal the nation’s check book and go on a political version of a crack-infused psychotic spender-bender.

Then for the perp to come back and lecture the victim on the need for prudent sobriety is beyond silly, it is delusional.

The man is an economic illiterate who gets tripped up on remedial finance, such as “Profits and Earnings Ratios” yet he is going to fix global finance?

The man needs a caretaker not an agenda and a teleprompter.

R Square on January 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM

This entire administration is a contrived farce. Like irritated animals Obama’s going to throw the public a few scraps and hope they stop biting at his ankles. This pandering, child like behavior towards the people is despicable.

rplat on January 26, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Why not really go for it and include the Pentagon? If they just cut the earmarks for Jack Murtha we could save hundreds of millions iof dollars. Even most Republicans would agree that there is as much fat in the defense budget as there is in the domestic budget.

rockmom on January 26, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Simply laughable. The Titanic is sinking, and he’s passing out dixie cups for people to bail with…

Midas on January 26, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I know the GOP can’t yell out tomorrow night. Would it be okay if they just sat there eating buckets of popcorn? I think that would be hilarious.

kingsjester on January 26, 2010 at 9:11 AM

They should all be texting on their Blackberries or playing solitaire like those legislators in Connecticut.

rockmom on January 26, 2010 at 9:20 AM

I predict that this will be the most self-centered b.s.-filled SOTU Address in the history of this country. This freeze is the most blatant hypocritical window dressing pulled by a POTUS since The Porkulus Bill. Waitasec…that was this very same POTUS, wasn’t it?

kingsjester on January 26, 2010 at 9:25 AM

I want a bullcrap buzzer for the State of the Union tomorrow. Granted, he would never get a complete sentence out….BUT…..it would be entertaining.

search4truth on January 26, 2010 at 9:25 AM

Is it possible that the One is not aware of the concept of video recording???

PatriotRider on January 26, 2010 at 9:28 AM

Wait. Somebody help me clear this up. Since Candidate Obama & President Obama are on opposite sides, which one’s the RAAAAACIST here?

I’m so confused.

OhioCoastie on January 26, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I’m up for the cryogenic freezeing of this azzclown, and having buzz-brained Biden as CIC…..really, I’d prefer that…..I ain’t kidding.

Jerome Horwitz on January 26, 2010 at 9:31 AM

Using Obama as a role model, I am taking steps to get my own financial house in order. I have vowed not to increase my spending on olives to any higher than 2009 levels.

John Deaux on January 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Obama can start by grounding taxpayer funded Pelosi-Air.

There is no greater example (that I am aware) of the disconnect between the oligarchs and the plebes. Nancy and her husband are worth between $25-$100 million yet they and a handful of oligarchs grab a million dollar bag of cash from the treasury to pay for their extravagant travel and accommodations to visit Copenhagen. Moreover, this was a global meeting that at its core is about limiting freedom and taking personal property.

R Square on January 26, 2010 at 9:34 AM

I want a bullcrap buzzer for the State of the Union tomorrow. Granted, he would never get a complete sentence out….BUT…..it would be entertaining. search4truth on January 26, 2010 at 9:25 AM

How about a shock collar for every time he lies? Just a teeny, tiny, bit of a jolt, nothing harmful.

I’m blessed with a class during the speech so I won’t have to watch. I’m more excited about the Apple Tablet device coming out this Wednesday.

Mojave Mark on January 26, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Ed, don’t they release a transcript of the SOTU the day prior to it?

rightside on January 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

They release a few excerpts to get everyone talking. Most of the time the excerpts are what the president wants to unveil that he believes are his best ideas. I expect this spending freeze, DADT, and the bank tax to be in the excerpts.

He will trumpet his success at reducing the deficit by .014, remove DADT to throw the left wing a bone, and finally attack the evil bankers who he has made deal after deal with. Sounds like a perfect plan. None of unwashed masses could possibly comprehend the man’s brilliance.

txaggie on January 26, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Congress Went to Denmark, You Got the Bill

OmahaConservative on January 26, 2010 at 9:43 AM

But, what will I feed my pony?

Rovin on January 26, 2010 at 9:45 AM

This reminds me of the old saw about locking the barn door after the horses have been stolen. In his entire career all he has ever done is connive a way to spend Other Peoples Money.

Just another lie from a not so polished Liar.

old trooper2 on January 26, 2010 at 9:45 AM

And will Al Gore support another freeze?

Rovin on January 26, 2010 at 9:46 AM

It’s time for the American People to start charging this dunce “over the limit fees” for his, and his wife’s, completely irresponsible spending.
And put all his credit cards on hold.

Cybergeezer on January 26, 2010 at 9:50 AM

Kabuki Theater doesn’t cover what is happening. Bukkake theater is more like it.

Holger on January 26, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Those of us who can count have been warning legislators for 30 years about entitlement programs. Now, it’s over. These out of control, unfunded pension behemoths have bankrupted us and the only solution is for the living generations to suck it up for as long as it takes to pay off a defined term for these bloodsuckers. Sorry, there’s no alternative. Here in CA, ridiculous unfunded state worker pensions have similarly destroyed us along with other outrageous and worthless social initiatives. As a teacher, I know that my retirement contract can not possibly be honored. And I take full responsibility. I chose this route. It’s time we all grew up and accepted the historical fact that we allowed social engineers to enervate America. We allowed government to collude with business to alter the invisible rules of the free market. We allowed media to convince us that not giving people free lunches and medical care and day care and…it’s goes on and on – was an indication of a sick and cold soul. Folks, the American experiment is over. It’s time to begin the experiment anew.

mr1216 on January 26, 2010 at 9:55 AM

I want a bullcrap buzzer for the State of the Union tomorrow. Granted, he would never get a complete sentence out….BUT…..it would be entertaining.

search4truth on January 26, 2010 at 9:25 AM

A drinking game would be nice. Two suggestions…

1) Every time he uses the word “I”.
2) Every time he tells a lie.

I would combine the two, but I want to make it past the first minute.

csdeven on January 26, 2010 at 9:55 AM

It’s all crashing down around Him:

Indonesia mulls tearing down Obama statue
(AFP) – 1 day ago

JAKARTA — Indonesian authorities said Monday they are considering a petition to tear down a statue of US President Barack Obama as a boy, only a month after the bronze was unveiled in Jakarta.

Brat on January 26, 2010 at 10:01 AM

From Michelle’s blog: (I can’t post there yet)

Obama proposing spending freeze is like…

Ordering a diet coke to wash down 10 supersized fastfood combo meals.

shick on January 26, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Caper29 on January 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

He’s EXACTLY like that guy. That’s funny.

I can’t stand to listen to him any more. He’s so FULL OF IT!!!

Obama (circa 2008): McCain’s spending freeze idea is like using a hatchet when you need a scalpel.
Obama (circa 2010): I think a spending freeze is a good idea.

McCain (circa 2010): I told ya that two years ago President Pantywaist. Well, what are you waiting for? Get your hatchet sissy boy!! What? You can’t lift it? When I was in the military, we used to carry 30 hatchets each weighing 20lbs uphill both ways in the snow. You know what, Sarah, I think you need to help Barack “bend over” Obama with that. He can’t do it on his own; he’s delicate muscles can only lift “scalpels” and magazines with his face on the cover.

xax on January 26, 2010 at 10:06 AM

mr. president, it’s a little late to try and convince us that you are being genuine about addressing our spending and deficits. It really is true arrogance to say such things and not have the intellectual honesty to know that the American people see right through the games.

pjean on January 26, 2010 at 10:06 AM

From Michelle’s blog: (I can’t post there yet)

Obama proposing spending freeze is like…

Mr. Creosote having only a wafer-thin mint.

shick on January 26, 2010 at 10:04 AM

shick on January 26, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Obama proposing spending freeze is like…

The NJ Nets playing an NBA game.

rbj on January 26, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Personally, I’ve had it up to here with teenagers running the country.

Doesn’t everybody have to grow up sometime?

Apparently not if you are a Marxist and are clever enough and willing to spend 99% of your time, and billions of public dollar to trick and fool the public.

notagool on January 26, 2010 at 10:49 AM

What a joke!!!

The Senate version of ObamaCare is supposed to cost $900 billion over 10 years, or $90 billion per year on average, and no benefits to anyone until 2013, while taxes go up and Medicare benefits are cut. By simply scrapping ObamaCare, American taxpayers could save nearly 4 times what would be saved by a spending freeze, avoid a tax increase, and no one would lose any benefits!

Obama could probably win back most of his support in the polls by asking Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts, and he would probably get the vote of every Republican in Congress. If businesses knew they could count on low taxes for another year or two, they would hire more, and unemployment would start dropping. But Obama is too proud to admit that the EEEEEEEVIL BOOOOOOOSH got something right!

Steve Z on January 26, 2010 at 10:54 AM

But, but, but … I thought The Unprecedented was a proponent of nuanced spending freezes! What about the chiiiilllldren?

ya2daup on January 26, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Classic. It’s not a “freeze.” It’s a partial, conditional, temporary and demagogic suspension of certain politically calibated budget items without any regard for the larger deficit dangers and designed only to stanch political bleeding, distract public concerns and buy time for a newly energized cram-down of healthcare.

rrpjr on January 26, 2010 at 11:33 AM

My God this man is just so absurd. He denounces Bush, and trashed McCain, and his plans. Then goes out, and mirrors them, when he has nothing more productive to contribute?

M is for moron,

O is for oaf

R is for rediculous

O is for Obama

N is for Nincompoop

capejasmine on January 26, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Will the repubes stand and clap for him again?

Ris4victory on January 26, 2010 at 1:23 PM

0 is such a slow learner. To seriously cut the deficit, all he has to do is cancel the remaining “stimulus”.

Oleta on January 26, 2010 at 2:39 PM

Man has this liar aged! Must be hard work being a fool!

jgdp on January 26, 2010 at 3:51 PM