On Monday, President Obama held his first cabinet meeting where he instructed department heads to cut their budgets by $100 million. Apparently Obama feels such trivial photo ops will be enough to fulfill his promise to make the government more fiscally responsible.
Even the "mainstream" media had trouble containing their laughter:
Writing in the Associated Press, Andrew Taylor and Calvin Woodward remarked that Obama's cuts are "the equivalent of asking a family that spends $60,000 in a year to save $6" and are "less than meets the eye. Many of the savings he asked them to achieve are already under way and are included in the calculation."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted: “
The Cabinet has been asked to find $100 million in savings in a $4 trillion budget. And any amount of savings is welcome. But according to Congressional Budget Office numbers, that’s about the average amount we’ll spend every single day on interest payments alone on the Stimulus package.House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-OH) pointed out:
“The Administration’s new talk of trimming a meager .0025 percent from the $4 trillion federal budget just doesn’t square with its reckless record on borrowing and spending. Washington Democrats have spent the past three months doling out more taxpayer dollars than every previous President combinedRepublican Alternative: Real Cuts Across the Board
It's not just enough to complain about the absurdity of Obama's big show of cutting the budget for paper clips. Republicans have an alternative. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a series of bills which offer Congress a choice of cutting the budget in non defense/homeland security discretionary spending by either 1%, 2% or 5%.
Blackburn goes on to cite once again all the wasteful spending in massive spending bills recently signed into law by Obama. Easy savings could be found here that would quickly amount to real money.
As a former official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I learned you could easily cut 10% in wasteful spending from most federal agencies with little or no reduction in the services those agencies provide. Bulk buying of paper clips at DHS is a sound fiscal move but it shouldn't stop there.
Expect more dog and pony shows from Obama on fiscal responsibility. But until he reigns in runaway spending it won't make a dimes worth of difference!