Obama: We're totally cutting the deficit, um, next year

A very special message from the same guy who wants you to believe that universal health care will be “deficit-neutral.” Even Politico’s reporters can’t help laughing at him:

President Barack Obama plans to announce in next year’s State of the Union address that he wants to focus extensively on cutting the federal deficit in 2010 – and will downplay other new domestic spending beyond jobs programs, according to top aides involved in the planning…

All presidents promise deficit reduction – and almost always fall short. There is good reason to be skeptical of this White House, too, on its commitment.

For starters, the White House has not dropped plans for an aggressive global warming bill early next year that will be loaded with new spending on green technology and jobs – that would be paid for with tax increases. Democratic lobbyist Steve Elmendorf says the White House focus on deficit reduction could easily kill the cap-and-trade effort. “I think this means cap-and-trade has to go to the backburner,” he said.

Additionally, there is no evidence Democrats are willing to aggressively cut the biggest parts of the budget, such as entitlement programs and defense. Former President Bill Clinton told Senate Democrats at their policy lunch this week that one of the biggest reasons to finish health care is to allow Obama to focus on economic concerns next year – in part with more spending. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said afterward that Clinton had advised getting health care out of the way to “clear the tables and allow the focus to be on jobs and education and infrastructure.” None of that is free.

Says Byron York, surveying the bloodbath in Virginia last week, “So now — well, not actually now, but after passing the massive national health care bill — they have resolved to attempt to convince those independents that they’re not seeing what they’re seeing.” Precisely. Imagine how total The One’s belief in his own ability to B.S. must be that after the stimulus, TARP II, the nationalization of GM, and ObamaCare, he’s actually planning to sell himself as a deficit hawk — while still pushing for cap-and-trade. If he gets voters to buy it, it’ll be a mind trick on par with the “these aren’t the droids we’re looking for” scene in Star Wars. Exit question: Since this is completely politically motivated and designed as damage control for the midterms, I’m guessing the deficit reduction will be done purely through spending cuts (and donations!). When does he finally get around to talking about our inevitable tax hikes? The day after election day in 2012, right?

Update: A question from the comments: Does this mean The One’s a “teabagger” now?