Now They Want to Stop Spending?

Posted: Jan 26, 2010 5:40 PM
In a game-changing announcement two days before President Obama’s State of the Union address, the White House has called for a freeze in discretionary spending in 2011. As a constant advocate to rein in government spending, I am pleased that President Obama has publicly acknowledged the need to cut spending—unfortunately, he does not seem to take the task too seriously.

President Obama’s announcement comes only after he increased 2010’s spending levels by 13 percent.  Announcing a freeze after first increasing your budget is like touting one’s fiscal restraint when they have cut up maxed out credit cards.   Even if spending is frozen or reduced in the 12 annual appropriation bills, that does not guarantee emergency measures, similar to the so-called stimulus bill will not be introduced and in-turn, be added to the deficit.

In fact, he seems to have failed to garner support from his own party. According to The Hill, several House Democrats immediately rejected the idea. Citing that this change may actually hurt the economy, Congressional Democrats would rather see the White House spend more federal dollars than less. In the slight chance Congress actually follows the President’s suggestions, only $250 billion will be saved in 10 years. That’s less than half the amount of the so-called stimulus package and less than one-third the cost of the Democrats’ health care legislation.  

It is not too late. Only a fraction of the stimulus funds have actually been spent and health care seems to be all but dead in Congress.  I welcome the President’s spending freeze, but I challenge the Administration not to stop there. If the President is serious about controlling our national debt, he needs to readdress his agenda and stop pushing a national energy tax or government take-over of health care.