Unfortunately, President Obama is demonstrating anew how he is the most ideological president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. During his State of the Union address, the President rattled off a long list of new big-spending projects which he termed “investments.” He made no mention of trying to lower the deficit, except to say, falsely, that he had already cut trillions. However, the President’s definition of “cuts” relies on creative accounting that would make Bernie Madoff blush. These so-called “cuts,” as recently profiled in a Washington Post piece, come from slowing the growth of federal programs rather than actual reduction or by simply claiming credit for projects that are already completed. For example, the Census Bureau received credit for a “cut” by not re-conducting the census in 2011. The Department of Transportation also got credit for a “cut” when it canceled projects that had never existed in the first place, and Congress got credit for not spending money to build the already-built Capitol Visitor’s Center.
House Republicans who have fought for spending cuts are now facing their moment of truth. The looming sequestration cuts, a mere two cents out of every dollar the federal government spends, are set to go into effect March 1st.
All House Republicans have to do is absolutely nothing, something Congress is usually really good at doing, thereby letting these modest spending reductions take effect.
It would seem that this moment of truth for House Republicans is not particularly difficult but already some GOPers are nervously suggesting that perhaps cutting 2 cents on the dollar from federal discretionary spending may be going too far. Every House Republican campaigned last year on the need to rein in government overspending in order to get our economy moving again. Now is the time for these elected leaders to keep their word and keep these modest cuts to a federal government that spends over $3.6 trillion a year.
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