Hey, I just cut 1/2 percent of the budget!

posted at 12:45 pm on February 1, 2010 by King Banaian

The Obama administration has released a long document of its terminations, reductions and savings in the FY 2011 budget.  Over the weekend it displayed a few of these for the Sunday news programs, calling them “tough choices.”  So how tough are these?

The largest three items of the $20 billion in reductions proposed are

  1. Completing the nationalization of the student loan program.  Ed has already written on this one.  It removes $8 billion in subsidies to banks for making student loans, using the Federal government’s ability to borrow money instead of the banks using theirs.  They’ll argue it saves money.  But it greatly expands the Federal control of education, permits the handing out of favors to students who become public sector employees, and subjects students to Congressional whim instead of financial market uncertainty.  I’m not sure students will like that trade-off.  The administration is calling a takeover of the student loan market 40% of its “budget cutting exercise”.
  2. End the NASA Constellation program that sends astronauts back to the moon by 2020.  $3.466 billion is to be saved by this.  I’m usually inclined to like these privatizations, which is why I suspect it won’t survive.  There are states in the South that are already beneficiaries of this spending, and some people can’t stand that other people are making money on space exploration.  Most voters like space exploration (example) and it’s just not something people will look at and want to kill.
  3. Kill the C-17 program.  It’s baaaack, after being rejected by the Senate last October.  You want to really believe they’ll change their minds this time?  Fuhgeddaboudit.  That’s $2.5 billion of the $20 b.

The remainder is a lot of small items, from turning off the lights at the Department of Labor (you actually win an award in government for suggesting computers be powered off at the end of the workday, for saving a whole $20,000 in a budget of $3,800,000,000,000) to consolidating reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The items in the Saturday list saved relatively little (the Brownfield Economic Development Initiative they mentioned is about $18,000,000, for example.

But much like those larger program above, each of the smaller programs has someone backing them in Congress. While I completely agree that the Save America’s Treasures program, established to help celebrate the millennium, is about ten years past its stated purpose, it does have a purpose to someone.  Many of the ideas in here were ideas that existed before this administration.  Many of them will outlive his administration, as well.

And at the end of the day, what will we have?  If nary a one of these proposed cuts pass, what pain will be visited on the Congress?  We will have a budget deficit of $1.29 trillion rather than a budget deficit of $1.27 trillion.  Would anyone notice?  That’s what Congress hopes.  Yes, I suppose someone will want to argue that it saves additional money down the road, but spending cuts are all about maintaining an option to cut later — and favoring friends in the meantime — rather than cutting now and losing those friends.


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

Line by Line…..

ted c on February 1, 2010 at 12:48 PM

Igor Panarin

Mason on February 1, 2010 at 12:49 PM

The great hope of Obama, bambi’s banana republic.

tarpon on February 1, 2010 at 12:50 PM

To paraphrase the boy king, ” Well thats the way budgets work ” as quoted in SOTUS followed by much laughter

bluegrass on February 1, 2010 at 12:50 PM

That $3.8 Trillion in spending just sort of “snuck in”
there.

Emperor Norton on February 1, 2010 at 12:52 PM

And another way Obama thinks money can be saved; But, not our nation:
OBAMA MOVES TO CEDE POWER OF THE INTERNET.
http://newsmax.com/Headline/obama-internet-iana-united/2010/01/31/id/348514

Cybergeezer on February 1, 2010 at 12:54 PM

So let me get this straight, everyone is projecting tremendous budget defecits out for at least a decade on the order of 10% of annual GDP as far as the eye can see, and they apparently are not too worried about this? Seriously, even what is projected for the next few years is simply unsustainable and should cause the dollar to crash immediately. Why is this not happening? And more importantly, who is going to loan us that kind of money?

Johnnyreb on February 1, 2010 at 12:54 PM

November

PatriotRider on February 1, 2010 at 12:54 PM

I foresee a war with the United States before the Dumb One leaves office; And there will be capitulation to our enemies under his rule.

Cybergeezer on February 1, 2010 at 12:57 PM

The only explanation for this behavior is that they fully intend to exploit the coming suffering and chaos they created in order to implement their marxist hell progressive utopia.

ClanDerson on February 1, 2010 at 12:57 PM

0 is a cretin.

OmahaConservative on February 1, 2010 at 12:58 PM

Hope Michelle is making plans for a bigger veggie garden this year. The only solid response that comes from the White House in this depression that actually feeds the country in any real way.

bluegrass on February 1, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Not taking the First Lady to NYC for a date, how much would that save? $1.2 million?

Rangel charges his Cadillac lease to the government, there’s another $8400.

No more 40-person delegations to Copenhagen or wherever, savings around $50,000 per trip.

Bishop on February 1, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Rush just said there is $237mil in the budget for the IL prison to replace Gitmo.

OmahaConservative on February 1, 2010 at 12:59 PM

why don’t they cut Pelosi’s bar bill and her private airplane trips? That should save a few mil…

and how about Murtha’s airport? that was over $200M wasn’t it?

sarainitaly on February 1, 2010 at 1:01 PM

How about we completely eliminate the departments of Agriculture, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Education — being as they’re entirely composed of money-wasting boondoggles that the Federal Government has no reason to be involved with?

cthulhu on February 1, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Rush just said there is $237mil in the budget for the IL prison to replace Gitmo.

OmahaConservative on February 1, 2010 at 12:59 PM

And it also has crap and tax and healthcare in there.

So if both of those fail, where does that put the budget?

Knucklehead on February 1, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Toenail clippings from a Progressive Behemoth.

Obama, the campaigning conservative-sounding security hawk, now becomes: Obama, the dainty budget barber.

A little bit off the top…

profitsbeard on February 1, 2010 at 1:05 PM

We could do better then this by collecting and donating our loose change.

Cindy Munford on February 1, 2010 at 1:06 PM

Ah, the Gil Scott-Heron Lunar anti-Initiative.

Stephen M on February 1, 2010 at 1:07 PM

Hope Michelle is making plans for a bigger veggie garden this year. The only solid response that comes from the White House in this depression that actually feeds the country in any real way.

bluegrass on February 1, 2010 at 12:59 PM

I read somewhere that the veggies are inedible due to use of sewage compost from the Clinton admin. Just google ‘toxic sludge at white house garden’…

TN Mom on February 1, 2010 at 1:10 PM

Rush just said there is $237mil in the budget for the IL prison to replace Gitmo.

There’s also $200 million for the city that hosts the trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed. And that’s only a yearly estimate, if the trial drags on for five years, it could top a billion.

Nichevo on February 1, 2010 at 1:12 PM

Does Obama’s budget account for the loss in tax revenue due to the millions unemployed?

TN Mom on February 1, 2010 at 1:14 PM

Obama Leads Tax and Spend Democrats Into New Historical Debt—Abortion Rights Advocates’ Boast “Many Will Never Feel Impact”

Rovin on February 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Prediction: Annual tuition increases will now double. Someone needs to start making some serious noise about this student loan business so we can kill it. It is poised to become as big a bubble as the housing Ponzi scheme if it’s not stopped.

I have personal experience with the Direct Loan program. I consolidated with them because it was the only way I could get a lower interest rate at the time. They have three repayment plans. One is the ordinary repayment, where payments do not adjust over time; another is the graduated repayment plan where payments increase over time under the assumption your income will increase during the course of your career. Nothing particularly wrong with these options, as ultimately the loan will be repaid in full with interest.

It’s the third option that will cause the house of cards to collapse one day, the Income Contingent Repayment plan. This creates, in the plainest of terms, a negative amortization loan. You pay what your income permits for 25 years and after that 25 years is up, if there’s a balance remaining on your loan . . . it’s forgiven! I know this because I was on this repayment plan briefly in the early part of my career. I’ve since paid off the loans in full, but how many people do you figure will do that? I tend to think if you’re on the ICR plan now, you’ll probably be on it indefinitely. Does anyone think the government is in any position to forgive some of these loans? When you have a psychology or history grad coming out of some $40,000/year private institution, many of these people are not ever going to earn all that much money — not unless they are entrepreneurial, or they go on to get a grad degree (more debt). And if they decide to settle down in some large urban area like DC, NY, LA as young people are wont to do, they won’t ever dig themselves out the hole. I was in this position myself in my 20s, I know how this scam works. We’re in for another “crisis” in the next five or ten years as more and more of these loans come due and are forgiven. And it will be the rest of us who have already paid off our loans to absorb these costs as the taxpayer. No thank you!

I also wonder how these @ss clowns think they can take over the cost of lending to students for graduate and professional school. The cost of tuition and the like is exponentially higher for law school, med school, business school, and many of these students take out additional personal loans to cover the cost of living expenses and the like while they’re in school. Is the federal government going to shell out $200K plus to every one of these students as well? Where is that money going to come from?

The unfortunate thing is many young people — most of whom are Obama supporters — are stupid and all they will see is “FREE $$$$ FOR COLLEGE!!!” They lack the critical thinking skills to recognize that nothing is free, and somehow, some way, they’re going to end up paying for this racket. Unfortunately, so will the rest of us who actually paid our way through school ourselves, or scrimped and sacrificed to pay off the loans we did receive.

NoLeftTurn on February 1, 2010 at 1:20 PM

Cybergeezer on February 1, 2010 at 12:54 PM

What the hell is he thinking? ugh

becki51758 on February 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM

Why does the radio news keep talking about Middle Class Tax Cuts? What are they talking about? What Tax Cuts?

kooly on February 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Suggestion: Cut Pelosi’s trips – and cut off her booze.

GarandFan on February 1, 2010 at 1:40 PM

@ NoLeftTurn – you are dead-on right…a house of cards is what it is. The unspeakable truth is that college is not appropriate for everyone.

On the budget-cutting moves, have they considered printing on BOTH sides of the paper? Someone on the inside should suggest it and get an award.

connertown on February 1, 2010 at 1:45 PM

What I love best about the marketing of this budget gimmick are the claims of what we’ll save over the next 10! It just tickles me to hear how cutting $25b every year for the next 10 years will save us $0.25 trillion dollars. Of course, the idiots expect us to be more impressed with saving a good part of trillion dollars and to forget that their deficit spending, if it continues apace will increase the debt by (conservatively) $15 TRILLION over that same time period.

MJBrutus on February 1, 2010 at 2:00 PM

End the NASA Constellation program

Well, for all that manned space flight is a wast of time, a rocket that big would have been very nice for getting really be telescopes into orbit. I’ve been told that with an 8 m one, we could resolve planets orbiting other stars.

Count to 10 on February 1, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Why does the radio news keep talking about Middle Class Tax Cuts? What are they talking about? What Tax Cuts?

kooly on February 1, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Is that the little withholding gimmick they played?

Count to 10 on February 1, 2010 at 2:18 PM

My sophomore sees it as free money for college.
We need to say it loud and say it often. This is insane and all about distruction.

ORconservative on February 1, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Apparently, enslaving the future college graduates with insurmountable debt is part of the Obama administrations master plan for the Democrat Party.

Cybergeezer on February 1, 2010 at 3:42 PM

Boiling frogs…

lovingmyUSA on February 1, 2010 at 6:57 PM

Add the projected state deficits to the federal one, and we are on a highway to h*ll at warp speed.

onlineanalyst on February 1, 2010 at 7:14 PM

Apparently, enslaving the future college graduates with insurmountable debt is part of the Obama administrations master plan for the Democrat Party.

Cybergeezer on February 1, 2010 at 3:42 PM

ObaMao is grooming them to become government “service” workers; ie., serfs for the State. Wait until they are sent to farming collectives.

onlineanalyst on February 1, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Political Math just made a video about this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMH9QZdjS2Y

YehuditTX on February 1, 2010 at 8:14 PM

I decided my business budget will mirror Barry’s. We’ll collect 210,000 in revenue and spend 380,000 in expenses (that’s after showing courageous fiscal restraint by cutting 1/2% — we returned the office’s new latte machine). Our superb color copier will do most of the magic, we’ll just copy Barry’s print shop strategy for federal reserve notes.
.
Barry is such a Godsend. This makes budgeting so easy. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?

Mark30339 on February 1, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Turning off the computers at the end of the workday means that everybody loses five minutes or more of productive work time when they must be turned on. And since urgent items are likely to be in email, the delay is likely to propagate to others. How does, say, twenty minutes of the office worker’s time compare in dollar value to the power needed to keep the processor and disks (but not the monitor) running overnight?

njcommuter on February 2, 2010 at 1:18 AM