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Obama Proposes A Spending Freeze On What?

After having assured retiring Democratic Congressman Marion Berry that the defining difference between his administration in 2010 and that of a far more accomplished and experienced politician like Bill Clinton in 1994 is the very power of his personality and appeal, we learn tonight that The Won will throw us a fiscal bone during the State of Union address Wednesday.

President Obama plans to announce a three-year freeze on discretionary, "non-security" spending in the lead-up to Wednesday's State of the Union address, Hill Democratic sources familiar with the plan tell POLITICO.

The move, intended to blunt the populist backlash against Obama's $787 billion stimulus and an era of trillion-dollar deficits -- and to quell Democratic anxiety over last Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate election -- is projected to save $250 billion, the Democrats said.

The freeze would not apply to defense spending or spending on intelligence, homeland security or veterans.

The proposal is in line with a plan floated by Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), a fiscal hawk, who told Bloomberg's Al Hunt last week that there was a "fighting chance" Obama would propose a freeze in most discretionary spending by the federal government as part of his address.


News alert for Senator Bayh: No one will believe this, and if you thought this might help your decline in the polls against a potential challenge by Mike Pence then you obviously haven't noticed that that ship, like the one in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Virginia and New York has already sailed.

If the President wanted to make a serious impression on voters he could end the TARP slush fund, walk away from ObamaCare (and all of its iterations), strong arm the repeal of the Stimulus Legislation, veto Cap and Trade and, in general, act as William Jefferson Clinton did in 1995. All of these things might give him a fighting chance, but as Dan noted below, this president wouldn't know the difference between a life preserver and an anvil (unless of course, he could see his own reflection on the shiny surface of the anvil....but that's an evil thought for another post). Because of his superior political instincts, Clinton lunged for the life preserver. Obama, it seems, continues to beg for the anvil. So be it. Let him have it.

Republicans in Congress should ask for a specific list of discretionary spending cuts that Obama will freeze and promptly compare them with disbusements already made under the 2009 Stimulus Bill. These comparisons should make for good campaign ad material in 2010. Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the first signal from Hillary that she has seen enough. As much as I despised the Clintons and their policy, they were accomplished and proven politicians who must be greatly offended by the amateurs occupying their former place of business.

Update:
It gets so much better. Liberal Democrats are having a fit already.

Obama will promise to veto any budget that exceeds that threshold, NOT adjusted for inflation, over the next three years. $250 billion would be saved over the baseline. Here's the talking point: this component of government spending will be at its lowest level relative to GDP since 1950.

Liberals fear that discretionary spending cuts are like fig leaves with sharp edges. They're designed to cover something ugly and yet they hurt -- they hurt those who most rely on government services, who tend to poor and non-white.

Hmmm, "fig leaves with sharp edges"? I'll leave it to our readers to discuss how the language of the debate is looking for BHO.

Update Two: The Weekly Standard is telling Bill Clinton to call the office.

Regarding President Obama's extraordinary "Well, the big difference [between] here and in '94 was you've got me" comment to Arkansas congressman Marion Berry: Well, in '94 they had Bill Clinton--who had won statewide in a pretty conservative state (Arkansas) something like seven times, and who was the fourth challenger in the 20th century to oust an incumbent elected president, following in the footsteps on Wilson, FDR, and Reagan. Clinton got on the wrong side of the voters in '94, but recovered and was the first Democrat re-elected to the presidency since FDR. Judging from this comment, unless Obama's instinct for self-preservation overcomes his egotism, and his ambition subordinates his narcissism, Obama won't be the second.

Meanwhile, my colleage Matt Continetti has left a message with President Clinton's spokesman at the Clinton Global Initiative requesting an interview. President Clinton--this is no time to be a shrinking violet. Call Matt at 202-293-4900. He'll be glad to talk.

I am tempted to say I would pay to watch this comedy but I actually already am, I just don't know the price. But it is priceless none the less.


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Comments (20)

So we won't spend the entir... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

So we won't spend the entire $787 billion, but will save $250 billion? We're rich! Woohoo! Yachts and pink Cadillacs for everybody!

"...there was a "fighting c... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...there was a "fighting chance" Obama would propose a freeze in most discretionary spending by the federal government as part of his address."

Has Barry gotten approval from Nancy for this? I'm sure Nancy has other 'projects' back home that she needs the taxpayer to carry for her. Was $116 FUCKING MILLION enough for the San Francisco Bay Marsh Mouse Habitat? Don't count that $250 billion as "saved" yet Barry.

So, how will this impact du... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

So, how will this impact dumbass, meatheaded, stupid trips to attend idiotic, worthless, mindless conferences on the "global warming" farce?

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/25/cbsnews_investigates/main6140406.shtml

Just asking.

Well, if he has to have SOM... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Well, if he has to have SOMETHING to talk about at the State of the Union speech it might as well be another lie. We're sort of prepared for that sort of thing anyway.

"...(cuts)hurt those who mo... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...(cuts)hurt those who most rely on government services, who tend to poor and non-white...."

In other words the very same people the Democrats have had sucking at the public teat since LBJ's "Great Society". If we'd just given these people the TRILLIONS spent on their behalf since 1965, they'd be wallowing in money today - and targeted by Obama as "the evil rich".

Well, this is the type of s... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Well, this is the type of stuff that Clinton started floating in the SOTU address the January immediately after the '94 midterm debacle. Whereas Obama is sending up shift-to-the-right trial balloons nine months before his first midterm. Reading between the lines, therefore, one can't help but conclude the Democrats' internal polling is telling them this November will be a '94-style wipeout.

It won't be a State of the ... (Below threshold)
davidt:

It won't be a State of the Union Address. It'll be a State of Obama Address.

Bayh can rest assured that ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bayh can rest assured that Obama is on the case and thus his seat is safe.

How about a 25 year freeze ... (Below threshold)
Flu-Bird:

How about a 25 year freeze on pork barrel spending by all those dadgum hawgs in WASHTINGTON D.C.

President Obama plans to pa... (Below threshold)

President Obama plans to pardon jailed Former Louisiana Democratic Congressman Bill Jefferson, who he will then appoint as Czar in charge of the freezing of the deficit.

I'm laying in some Bushmill... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm laying in some Bushmill's for Wednesday's speech. Every time Barry says "I" or "Me", I'm taking a shot. Every time Barry says "let me make this perfectly clear", I'm taking a shot. Every time Barry lays off blame on Bush, I'm taking a shot. Every time Barry mentions "bipartisanship", I'm taking a shot. Every time Barry mentions "crisis", I'm taking a shot.

I figure I'll be shitfaced within 5 minutes.

Only a freeze? Back when he... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Only a freeze? Back when he was campaigning, Barry promised a NET SPENDING CUT. Not just a wimpy freeze, but an actual cut. (He even kept promising this AFTER the financial bubble burst.)

That's ok. We knew and he knew that was a lie back then. We know and he knows that is a lie now.

Hugh : "Meanwhile, I'm stil... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Hugh : "Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for the first signal from Hillary that she has seen enough. As much as I despised the Clintons and their policy, they were accomplished and proven politicians who must be greatly offended by the amateurs occupying their former place of business."

Bill was a left leaning political animal with a wonky Leftist wife helping him. Hillary is an ideologue with Bill helping her. Big difference.

I knew Bill. Bill was a President of mine. Hillary is no Bill.
(She's still more qualified than Barry, though.)

She wasn't any great shakes as a Senator and she sure as hell isn't any great shakes as SecState.

How about a salary freeze o... (Below threshold)
914:

How about a salary freeze on these worthless politicians like Obama until they show a smidgen of profitability and accountability for all losses they've created?

The banker's hand out bonus check's and Barry cries afoul. Yet continues to pocket millions Himself for doing nothing but screwing America backwards. Stupid fuc.

I don't believe it.E... (Below threshold)
Hank:

I don't believe it.
Everything he says has an expiration date.
Why should this be different?

Side note: I'm worried about GarandFan.
He may die of alcohol poisoning before the SOTU ends.

The expiration date in this... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

The expiration date in this particular case is 2020, if I heard the news story correctly. Same crap they pulled on healthcare "savings". I like the part where they promise the savings over a 10 year period, as if they'll still be in charge next year.

Reminds me of the fast-talking trailers you hear on all those car ads.

GarandFan, don't DO it! Alcohol poisoning can be a killer. Think of your FAMILY!

If GF drank a glass of wate... (Below threshold)
epador:

If GF drank a glass of water instead of a Bushmills shot, he'd be water intoxicated with a serum sodium of 110 and seizing before the first standing ovation. [that's what I would watch for, to see if there ARE any standing ovations - I'd save the Bushmills for every tepid response from the Democratic side of the aisle].

This is just more smoke and... (Below threshold)
Shawn:

This is just more smoke and mirrors.

He plans on freezing spending levels where they are now.

So what?

The spending orgy we have seen this past year is what got us to this point.

So he's basically giving himself free reign to keep spending this way.

Sheesh.

Hey guys, thanks for your c... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hey guys, thanks for your concern. Momma just informed me that I WILL NOT be allowed to watch the SOTU. She-who-must-be-obeyed says that she doesn't want to have to buy another television set. (Hey, the glass slipped out of my hand! Honest!)

It's good to see him recomm... (Below threshold)
Roy:

It's good to see him recommend cutting spending, because if he doesn't do it a lot this year, the rest of us are going to - starting in November.




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