Donning his red cape and a dashing Speedo leotard with a spiffy blue “BO” on the front, our illustrious President is leading the way on making the 'tough choices' to get America out of this recession:
President Obama plans to convene his Cabinet for the first time today, where he will order members to identify a combined $100 million in budget cuts over the next 90 days, according to a senior administration official.
Whew! We're saved now. That $100 million is key. I think we can expect to see the stock market roar back today, don't you? Oh, wait…what? It dropped another 300 points? How is that possible?
Outside of Obama-land, let's put this budget cut into perspective:
[I]n a $3 trillion budget, a $100m spending cut is equivalent to a person who makes $50,000 a year declaring proudly that he will cut a whopping $1.67 from his expenses.
An aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R, Ky.) adds this striking comparison:
[T]he government will pay $100 million in interest per day over the next ten years on the stimulus bill.
[I]magine that the head of a household with annual spending of $100,000 called everyone in the family together to deal with a $34,000 budget shortfall. How much would he or she announce that spending had be cut? By $3 over the course of the year—approximately the cost of one latte at Starbucks. The other $33,997? We can put that on the family credit card and worry about it next year.
In a rare moment of economic honesty, Obama even admits it's style over substance:
The budget cuts, while they would account to a minuscule portion of federal spending, are intended to signal the president’s determination to cut spending and reform government, the [senior administration] official said.
Some more perspective on the Obama's seriousness to cut costs (from the original link above):
Obama apparently wants to answer the Tea Parties by showing that he’s capable of limiting the growth of government, but $100 million barely registers in Washington these days — and certainly does nothing to slow down the Obama spending juggernaut. Compare this pittance to some of the other numbers that Obama has produced:
- $100 million from a $3.5 trillion budget for FY2010: 0.0029%
- $100 million from the $1.2 trillion White House deficit projection for their FY2010 budget: 0.008%
- $100 million from the $700 billion Porkulus stimulus bill Obama demanded: 0.013%
- $100 million from the $634 billion “down payment” on nationalized health care: 0.016%
- $100 million from the $555 billion omnibus spending plan completing the 2009 budget: 0.018%
- $100 million from the $13 billion in pork from the omnibus spending plan: 0.77%
The cuts that Obama proposes don’t even amount to 1% of the pork Obama signed into law last month in the omnibus spending bill.
Keep in mind that all of those circles were passed into law. So, if you want to really compare it accurately, you'd have to have a much, much bigger circle to reflect all of them added together.
He's doing this to establish his image as a budget cutter. Does he expect to get away with this magical PR stunt? Absolutely. How? By relying on ignorance and stupidity, of course:
President Obama has reportedly been working closely with noted behavioral economists, and their studies have shown that most people are “insensitive to scope,” meaning they are not very good at putting large numbers in their proper context. People will react about the same to a policy proposal whether the cost/benefit is $10 million, $10 billion, or $10 trillion. Consequently, the $100 million cut may seem huge to many voters.
Translation: he's relying on ignorant and stupid people to be unable to fathom how insignificant this budget cut is, probably through the media obediently trumpeting this insignificance loudly and often enough that the Stupid will eventually accept it. What's really sad is that most of his followers will do it eagerly and without question. That's why the rest of us need to stand up and point this out.
And now, a timely reminder of what Obama has done to our national debt:
This is all Obama and the Democrats, mind you. Their attempts to blame Bush are becoming increasingly hard to swallow as the truth gets out to more and more people. In fact, on a related note, an increasing majority of Americans (now 52%) believe that the government is going to do 'too much' to 'fix' the economy:
Normally, I'd say better late than never, but in this case, I'm not convinced it will make a difference. I sincerely hope I'm wrong.
There's my two cents.