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In Campaign, Obama Promised “Net Spending Cut”

Welcome Instapundit Readers!!

When shortly after taking office, President Obama was challenged by a “Republican senator over the contents” of his “stimulus” package, he replied tersely, “I won.” It was as if he saw his election not as a mandate to act on his campaign promises, but to do whatever he wanted.

It seems that some defenders of the president seem to think he won a mandate to increase domestic spending at an exorbitant pace. So much so that one of our readers contended that the tea party movement “was voted down in earnest last November.

Was it?

Did Obama campaign on doubling, trebling even the federal budget deficit? No, he campaigned against the then-incumbent president’s profligacy.  As he said in the third debate:

But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.

Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.

Emphasis added.  And although Obama faulted W’s profligacy, his own spending proposals are of “a whole different magnitude” than the budgets of his predecessor.

So, no, the American people didn’t “vote down” lower spending last fall.  When many independent voters, wary of high-spending Democrats, heard the then-candidate’s words, they took them to heart and were reassured he would not be like his then-congressional colleagues.

They didn’t vote against spending cuts in choosing Obama.  They voted for them because Obama promised to cut spending.  And not just in that debate.  Note, that he says he had proposed such a cut throughout his campaign.

He can’t say he won a mandate to increase spending as he has proposed in his budget because he didn’t campaign for such increases.



  1. Nope. The American people voted to assuage their White Guilt. Now they can say “NO! We’re not racist anymore. See!!! We voted for that black guy!!!”.

    Why else would they elect a boob with the thinnest resume of any president in history? Why else would douchebag liberals carry on so about how Palin was “unqualified”, and yet NEVER answer what qualifies Il Douche and Joe Bigot?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — April 12, 2009 @ 5:54 am - April 12, 2009

  2. Below is Peter Orszag, OMB director, talking about the deficits on the daily show. He’s making an arguement, i’m not saying that its gospel, but it attempts to explain why such an increase in spending is designed long term to cut deficits. At the very least, its an attempt to apply logic to the seeming madness.

    The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10cPeter Orszag Pt. 2thedailyshow.comDaily Show Full EpisodesEconomic CrisisPolitical Humor

    Link to it if the embedded version dont work:

    As for the way that Obama talked about how he would bring about cuts in the budget, which effectively sounded like a line item veto power, the federal executive doesn’t have that power! Clinton vs. City of New York made it categorically unconstitutional, i believe. It was always a hustle. I think McCain was an even bigger, more inept, hustler, hence his epic fail.

    Comment by Scottland — April 12, 2009 @ 7:58 am - April 12, 2009

  3. We misunderstood him.

    When he spoke about a “net spending cut,” he meant that we’d have so little money left after we — and our children and our grandchildren — paid for his “programs” that WE’D be the ones who would have to cut OUR spending.

    Comment by Julie the Jarhead — April 12, 2009 @ 10:53 am - April 12, 2009

  4. I don’t know how people fooled themselves into thinking that he would cut spending more than John McCain, thats great a leap to make. I really have my doubts on how high of the list of voter’s priorties that federal spending was. Considering things like the war, health care, energy, economy were all bigger issues though I guess the issue of TARP and bank bail outs might have brought federal spending into a closer to home issue.

    But this is what people wanted, a wonderous new fresh start…

    Comment by Darkeyedresolve — April 12, 2009 @ 11:00 am - April 12, 2009

  5. Obama wants to spend our way out of debt. Can’t happen. In the campaign he said we would have to live within our means. When do we start?

    Comment by Cecil — April 12, 2009 @ 12:06 pm - April 12, 2009

  6. We can’t spend our way out of debt. Obama should know that.

    Comment by Cecil — April 12, 2009 @ 12:13 pm - April 12, 2009

  7. In keeping with his campaign promises, the following quote can be found at

    “The Obama-Biden plan will cut taxes overall, reducing revenues to below the levels that prevailed under Ronald Reagan (less than 18.2 percent of GDP). The plan is a net tax cut — his tax relief for middle class families is larger than the revenue raised by his tax changes for families over $250,000. Coupled with his commitment to cut unnecessary spending, Obama will pay for this tax relief while bringing down the budget deficit. ”

    My favorite line is the last part: “Obama will pay for this tax relief while bringing down the budget deficit. ”

    What? Is he going to write a check?

    I shudder to think where he plans to get all this money from. After the 257% federal tax increase on ONE item, cigarettes, and knowing that our fossil fuels are next, I find myself stocking up on firewood, firelight, and tuning up my old treadle sewing machine…

    Comment by JLWilson — April 12, 2009 @ 3:37 pm - April 12, 2009

  8. If you remember, immediately after the 2nd or third debate (I forget which), Axelrod (if memory serves) was asked by Brit Hume, on Fox, if he could expand on what “net spending decrease” meant. He said it meant tax increases. I wonder if there is video of this on youtube.

    Comment by lorien1973 — April 12, 2009 @ 9:37 pm - April 12, 2009

  9. A leftist lied?? Say it ain’t so!!

    Comment by Blacque Jacques Shellacque — April 12, 2009 @ 10:04 pm - April 12, 2009

  10. shhhh Obama lied shhhhhh.

    Comment by Gene on Pennsylvania — April 12, 2009 @ 10:58 pm - April 12, 2009

  11. Aw, you guys just don’t understand new math.

    Comment by Richard Swan — April 12, 2009 @ 11:03 pm - April 12, 2009

  12. Who was naive, Obama or those who believed him?

    Comment by Loyola — April 13, 2009 @ 1:21 am - April 13, 2009

  13. […] Gay Patriot –  “(Obama) can’t say he won a mandate to increase spending as he has proposed in his budget because he didn’t campaign for such increases.” In fact, he notes that Obama, in his third debate with John McCain last year, said that “there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments. Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut.” Instead we have a largely Obama-driven deficit through the first six months of the fiscal year of $957 billion. This BizzyBlog commenter nicely and correctly pegs Obama’s involvement in and major responsibility for the spending side of said deficit. The POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy that began in June of last year gets the “credit” for the downturn that has resulted in drastically reduced receipts to the Treasury. […]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog » Lucid Links (041309, Morning) — April 13, 2009 @ 6:40 am - April 13, 2009

  14. The anointed one did keep his promise one time. In his new budget he has cut defense spending. He is following Clinton´s lead to weaken our military. I just hope there are no salary increases for the legislature being planned.

    Comment by Roberto — April 13, 2009 @ 12:47 pm - April 13, 2009

  15. I’m not sure what the big deal is. As I look over the budget, I see that spending on nets has been cut. So what are you whining back?

    Comment by INCITEmarsh — April 13, 2009 @ 1:14 pm - April 13, 2009

  16. #15 – Boy, do we need to spell this out, or what? Here goes:

    The American Tax Foundation estimates that under the Obama plan 63 million Americans, or 44% of all tax filers, would have no income tax liability and most of those would get a check from the IRS each year.

    The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis estimates that by 2011, under the Obama plan, an additional 10 million filers would pay zero taxes while cashing checks from the IRS.

    The Snob should call it for what it is: an income transfer, a federal check, from a taxpayer to a nontaxpayer. After all, it is the Dhimmicrat way of buying votes.

    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 14, 2009 @ 3:06 pm - April 14, 2009

  17. […] of them?” (That $13 bucks helped a lot, thanks!  But I would have preferred the promised net spending cut.)  They won’t speculate who’s eventually going to pay that money back, if we’re […]

    Pingback by The Greenroom » Forum Archive » When The Party’s Over — April 14, 2009 @ 10:39 pm - April 14, 2009

  18. […] cost of this president’s programs (and contrasted them with his campaign promise of a “net spending cut“), they began to […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Why Obamacare is tanking, but the bailouts and “stimulus” got through — July 24, 2009 @ 4:45 am - July 24, 2009

  19. […] “Net Spending Cut” Obama promised during the campaign has turned into a massive increase in Federal spending, […]

    Pingback by ObamaCare … the MS Vista of Government Programs « Teh Resistance Blog — September 1, 2009 @ 10:03 am - September 1, 2009

  20. […] seem finally to understand that Obama’s campaign promises notwithstanding, that under his leadership, that “every domestic difficulty, great […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Blue Dog Spending Fatigue (BDSF)? — October 22, 2009 @ 1:11 pm - October 22, 2009

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