Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON - President Obama's puny election year plan to consolidate a handful of government agencies and programs is about three years and $4 trillion too late.

With America's jobless rate stuck at a few tenths below 9 percent, and his dismal job approval polls in the mid-40s -- the equivalent of a failing grade -- Obama is attempting to impersonate a budget cutter. He's fooling no one.

For the last three years, he's been spending our money like there's no tomorrow, signing billions of dollars in bills to create dozens of agencies and assorted bureaucracies that ar ballooning the federal payroll. But he's had little to say about the need to reduce the size of government, let alone attack rampant duplication in a dangerously obese government that teeters on the edge of insolvency.

Can this flip-flop have anything to do with the fact that he now faces a very tough re-election campaign? Or that polls show Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, with a slight edge in the general election? You betcha.

Nearly a year ago, Obama delivered his State of the Union address, calling for a leaner and more efficient government. Then he went back to work on enlarging the government with his multi-trillion dollar national health care scheme, a huge Consumer Financial Protection Agency that is hiring armies of bureaucrats to regulate out lives, and running up deficits that make George W. Bush look like Ebenezer Scrooge.

If he wanted to cut down the size of the government and eliminate the deficit, where were his proposals when he got here? Why did he wait until the start of his re-election campaign?

He came into Washington in January 2009 with a trunk full of ideas how to spend money, and immediately began spending $800 billion on a jobs stimulus that created few jobs. But that was small change compared to what came next: massive spending and huge budget deficits.

In 2009, he ran up a $1.4 trillion budget deficit, followed by a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2010, another $1.3 trillion in 2011 and is well on his way to an estimated $1 trillion in 2012.

So here he comes with his plan, if Congress gives him the authority, to create a new department that will merge the Commerce Department's trade and business functions with the Small Business Administration (SBA), Office of U.S. Trade Representative, Export- Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Trade and Development Agency.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.