In his first cabinet meeting President Obama requested a $100 million in spending reduction from his $3.69 trillion budget. The cabinet officers have 90 days to achieve this goal. The number sounds impressive, which was the intention of the White House spin masters. An examination demonstrates the meaningless nature of this gesture. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this year’s federal deficit to be $1.8450 trillion. Once that $100 million is cut, it will be only $1.8449 trillion. If we do that every 90 days, it would eliminate the 2009 deficit by the year 6558.
At the briefing this morning, Jake Tapper of ABC News questioned White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: “When you were talking about an appropriations bill a few weeks ago you said $8 billion was ‘being minuscule’ — $8 billion in earmarks. Now you are saying $100 million in proposed cuts is a lot, but $8 billion is small?”
Dun Suber of the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail said “President Obama’s $100 million cut is a joke. He really thinks Americans are dumb enough to fall for it.”
Commentators on both the left and the right where not buying this public relations stunt. Liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has been one of the President’s biggest defenders. His most recent blog post says:
“$100 million here, $100 million there ‘pretty soon, even here in Washington, it adds up to real money,’ says the president. Except, you know, really it doesn’t. Let’s say the administration finds $100 million in efficiencies every working day for the rest of the Obama administration’s first term. That’s still around $80 billion, or around 2% of one year’s federal spending.”