President Obama made another effort last week to project fiscal discipline — and reminded Congressional Democrats why he sometimes exasperates them.

Amid heightened public concern over spending, the White House disclosed that Mr. Obama wanted increased authority to strip wasteful projects from spending bills.

That is, wasteful projects placed in spending bills by members of Congress — which is controlled by Democrats, who do not appreciate the suggestion that, while doing Mr. Obama’s bidding in a threatening election season, they have not been minding the fiscal store.

“Congress is working to try and rein in spending — how about pointing that out?” groused Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland.