Obama to Propose Spending Freeze
Posted on Jan 25, 2010
As part of his State of the Union address Wednesday, the president is expected to call for a three-year freeze on non-military, non-entitlement discretionary spending that amounts to a small fraction of the budget. It’s a stunt, for the most part, aimed at soothing budget-conscious independents.
That doesn’t mean it won’t hurt. Freeze is actually the wrong word. Because Barack Obama’s plan, as it’s being reported, doesn’t allow for inflation, it’s actually more of a spending cut.
So how is the White House going to pay for this middle class mini-stimulus package that was announced Monday? By sneaking it into the current fiscal year, before the budget freeze kicks off in October.
Here’s why this is just silly. The United States spends about a trillion dollars a year on the military, including the wars and homeland security. The White House’s best estimate of savings from its spending freeze/cut (and again, this is according to media reports) is $250 billion over 10 years. Whoop-dee-doo. —PZS
New York Times:
The freeze would cover the agencies and programs for which Congress allocates specific budgets each year, from air traffic control and farm subsidies to education, nutrition and national parks.
But it would exempt the Pentagon, foreign aid, Veterans Administration and homeland security budgets, as well as the entitlement programs that make up the biggest and fastest-growing part of the federal budget: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
White House / Pete Souza