Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cutting $17 from a $3,400 Budget

The Washington Post reports that President Obama will trim or eliminate 121 programs totaling $17 billion from his $3.4 trillion budget. Bloomberg adds projected deficit and domestic spending numbers. Reuters doesn't cut The Won any slack with the headline: Obama budget cuts have little deficit impact. I'll put the numbers in terms we can all understand:

$3,400 (2010 Budget)
(2010 Projected Deficit-Bloomberg)
81 (2010 Domestic Spending Increases-Bloomberg)
17 (2010 Trimmings and Eliminations)
*All figures in $1,000,000,000

Here's Obama as quoted by the WaPo:
"We can no longer afford to spend as if deficits don't matter and waste is not our problem," he said. "We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration -- or the next generation."
Got that? Obama increases domestic spending by $81 billion while trimming $17 billion and talks about how "we can no longer afford to spend..." The WaPo continues:
In any case, [White House budget director Peter] Orszag said, "$17 billion a year is not chump change by anyone's accounting."
Hey Pete, $17 billion is irrelevant when you increase spending by $81 billion in the same budget! Why do I have to write that?

Keith Hennessey (via Instapundit) observes that Bush proposed more spending cuts and that Obama's cuts come largely from defense spending while Bush's came from domestic spending. Apparently the complaints about "out-of-control" spending during Bush's two terms were not about the quantity of spending, but about which votes our betters in Washington were buying with all that money.

Update: Eric Fry at Daily Reckoning nails it:
Here’s a news flash folks: Money you do NOT borrow does not constitute “savings.”

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