Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama Proposes a Dishonest, Cynical Token Spending “Freeze” in One Tiny Place in the Budget, While Continuing Reckless Spending Everywhere Else

Obama continues to amaze me, and not in a good way. His self-destruction continues with his ridiculous, cynical budget “freeze” proposal. Reeling in the polls and having just seen his ultraliberal agenda explicitly rejected in liberal Massachusetts via the Brown Senate election, he apparently thinks this ploy will win him bona fides among independents. To rescue our nation from the severe and unprecedented national indebtedness he and his fellow Democrats have caused, Obama now proposes a “spending freeze” to help control spending. A spending freeze sounds good, so Obama hopes it will fool the foolable.

But this proposal is a fraud even his supporters know is risible. It freezes, but does not reduce, only about 12.5% of the entire federal budget and only for three years. Says the liberal New York Times (link): “The payoff in budget savings would be small relative to the deficit: The estimated $250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3 percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is expected to accumulate over that time.” And even if such a “freeze” were enacted, with all the budget trickery up their sleeves Democrats would get around it anyway and spend whatever they like “freeze” or no “freeze.”

Furthermore, any spending freeze at all, however insignificant, seems to contravene what the Democrats have argued all year as they racked up this huge deficit -- that more government spending of any kind for any purpose is exactly what is needed to “jump start” our economy out of recession. So now at the same time that the Democrats are talking about another massive spending bill to improve the economy (i.e., to lower unemployment) after the first $787 billion failed (in fact, unemployment has risen), Obama proposes less spending in one small place because of the massive deficit. So should the federal government now spend even more money (which it has to borrow mostly from foreigners) or less?

Should Republicans support this proposed “freeze” for its symbolic value even if there’s no meat to it? Perhaps so. But for Obama, it is incoherent, and only a sign of his desperation to halt the well-deserved slide in his fortunes.

John M Greco