Green Room

Obama in 2010 SOTU: Let’s freeze federal spending for three years

posted at 3:56 pm on February 12, 2013 by

Flashback – January 27, 2010:

…Families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions.  The federal government should do the same.  (Applause.)  So tonight, I’m proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year. Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.  (Applause.)  Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected.  But all other discretionary government programs will.  Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.  And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will.  (Applause.)  We will continue to go through the budget, line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can’t afford and don’t work.

In fiscal year 2011, the federal government spent $3.63 trillion.  In 2012, outlays grew to $3.796 trillion.  President Obama’s FY 2013 budget proposed $3.803 trillion in spending.  The White House has missed its budget deadline for FY 2014.  Over the three fiscal years Obama targeted for a spending freeze, Uncle Sam will rack up more than $3 trillion in annual deficits.  At the start of FY 2011, the gross national debt was $13,561,623,030,891.79.  As of this writing, it is $16,521,073,600,217, and counting.  For some perspective, President Clinton’s FY 2000 proposal called for $1.77 trillion in federal spending.  The US government ran a surplus of $230 billion that year.  The final Republican-controlled budget during the Bush administration (FY 2007) proposed $2.73 trillion in total spending.  That year’s deficit was $161 billion, with across-the-board “unpaid for” tax cuts in full effect at home, and the US military engaged in two wars abroad.

The White House insists that President Obama has presided over an era of “significant fiscal restraint.”  The president frequently takes credit for various “savings” and cuts, including the GOP-pushed Budget Control Act of 2011, and money not spent on war.  Though the federal budget has only increased incrementally since 2009, each of Obama’s subsequent budget proposals has built upon the huge spike in “emergency” spending that occurred in 2008 and 2009, during the teeth of the subprime mortgage crisis and economic collapse.  In other words, he’s used a hugely inflated baseline to institutionalize a “new normal” in federal spending.  President Obama’s most recent budget proposes more than $5.8 trillion in annual federal spending by 2022, and never comes close to primary balance.

(Note: None of these figures include accrued entitlement obligations, which soar into the tens of trillions. It’s also worth recalling that candidate Obama pledged to oversee a “net spending cut” in 2008.)

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The White House insists that President Obama has presided over an era of “significant fiscal restraint.” The president frequently takes credit for various “savings” and cuts

Cuts.
They keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means.

rbj on February 12, 2013 at 4:21 PM

Expiration dates. I bet we are going to hear about:
– Green energy
– Jobs
– Investing in schools & infrastructure
– Balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class
– The rich need to pay their fair share
– How i don’t need a 30 round magazine or a defense rifle

tommer74 on February 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

Expiration dates. I bet we are going to hear about:
– Green energy
– Jobs
– Investing in schools & infrastructure
– Balancing the budget on the backs of the middle class
– The rich need to pay their fair share
– How i don’t need a 30 round magazine or a defense rifle

tommer74 on February 12, 2013 at 4:50 PM

I hope he gives it all. Throw it out there, doesn’t hide, gives it his snarciest best. Tired of listening about what he isn’t when we all know what he is.

itsspideyman on February 12, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Are fiscal conservatives still buying into the lie of surpluses? The simplest item to convey would be that the last time The Debt was paid upon was 1957. The closest we came to that was 1 year of revenue/outflows at negative $18bil. Unless the Treasury Dept. is wrong.

Seriously just pull up Treasury website. I haven’t been in a while and it was more difficult than it should be to find. When you do, enjoy the 1920’s.

John Kettlewell on February 12, 2013 at 9:52 PM


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