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A spending freeze is not enough

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:54 am - January 26, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Congress (112th)

“Hours before” the president proposed a spending freeze in in the State of the Union address, the Republican House took a small, but significant step in the direction of real spending control, voting “256-165 to slash spending this year to 2008 levels ‘or less’“:

Seventeen Democrats, mostly from the conservative Blue Dog Coalition, joined 239 Republicans in approving the measure. No Republicans voted against it.

Recall that a Democratic Congress (albeit one subject to a veto from a Republican president) set the spending levels for 2008.  Too bad they didn’t go back to 2006 levels before Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats increased spending at a greater rate than did the prior spendthrift Republican Congresses.

This “proposed partial budget freeze” would be “on non-security related discretionary spending“:

The FY 2011 budget was $3.8 trillion; $1.415 trillion of which was discretionary spending. The president’s proposal would save, according to estmates, roughly $400 billion.

Last year President Obama proposed a three-year hard freeze on non-security discretionary spending, which White House officials said would save $250 billion over the next decade. (Non-discretionary spending includes items such as Social Security and Medicare

Ed Morrissey calls this freeze “a fallback position by a President afraid of losing his buying power with the public.”  (Read the whole thing.)

This spending freeze will only lock the increased spending in place — and not just the increases of the past two years, but also of the two before that — not to mention the previous six years when George W. Bush governed with Republican Congresses (well, for the better part of the 107th Congress, Democrats ran the Senate).

The Republicans have a good idea in going back to a previous baseline, but they’re not going far enough back.

If the president is serious about holding the line on spending and reining in the deficit, he’ll have to do more than just offer a spending freeze, he’ll also have to acknowledge just how far back our spending problem goes and govern accordingly.

In his campaign, then-candidate Obama did recognize that we’d been “living beyond our means.”  As president, he has yet to govern in the spirit of that rhetoric.  The “net spending cut” he promised has instead become a massive spending increase.  And now he wants to cut spending by holding that increase in place.   No wonder Americans don’t think his rhetoric matches his record.



  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Colin Copland, DNC Fail!. DNC Fail! said: A spending freeze is not enough #tcot #tlot […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention GayPatriot » A spending freeze is not enough -- — January 26, 2011 @ 3:40 am - January 26, 2011

  2. The centerpiece of his new budget priority seems to be construction of a high-speed train system that is unneeded and unwanted at a cost of hundreds of billions; because liberals have this Cargo Cult mentality that says we have to build status symbols like high-speed rail whether they are economically desirable or not.

    Comment by V the K — January 26, 2011 @ 7:43 am - January 26, 2011

  3. …because invade and spend and drill, baby, drill conservatives have this Cargo Cult mentality that says we have to build status symbols like Hummers, Denalis, Escalades, etc whether they are economically desirable or not. ‘Cause they love kissing Saudi ass.

    Visit a country with a decent rail system and you’d probably change your mind. We have Detroit / General Motors to thank for dismantling ours.

    Comment by Auntie Dogma — January 26, 2011 @ 8:27 am - January 26, 2011

  4. BTW, who will build this high speed rail network that no one but a few liberal elites actually wants? The French-Canadian high speed rail company or the Chinese high-speed rail company?

    Comment by V the K (Assistant to the Regional Manager) — January 26, 2011 @ 9:48 am - January 26, 2011

  5. Au contraire, Obama is going to hire the experts at Japan Railways…on wide-gauge track that can’t be used for what American rail does best, move container freight and bulk coal and ore.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 26, 2011 @ 10:11 am - January 26, 2011

  6. *yawn* Another fact free rant from Granny Goodness.

    Hint, what’s the most popular ‘car’ in the world? the F150. No one wants to use rail, unless their Joe Biden and have chauffers at both ends.

    Cut baby cut, drill baby drill.

    In Granny’s case… whine baby whine!

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 26, 2011 @ 10:20 am - January 26, 2011

  7. Livewire, Auntie Entity comes from the Levi school of, “We elites will drag the proles kicking and screaming into our utopia, where they will forsake the convenience of the automobile and the speed of air travel in favor of eternally subsidized rail.”

    Comment by V the K (Assistant to the Regional Manager) — January 26, 2011 @ 12:30 pm - January 26, 2011

  8. Visit a country with a decent rail system and you’d probably change your mind. We have Detroit / General Motors to thank for dismantling ours.

    In the 1890’s we built a fantastic rail system and rail junction towns popped up all over the United States. Farmers brought produce to the railroad. They bought goods in the towns to take home. Small factories got parts by rail and shipped by rail. Any railroad atlas of the period will show you how vast and interlaced this system was. In WWI, Bernard Baruch standardized cans and crates to fit standardized pallets to fit standardized box cars and to fit standardized holds in ships.

    Small towns were connected with an interurban system of trolleys. Men sent post cards in the morning telling the wife 50 interurban miles away when he would be home for supper. Mail was delivered several times a day and the penny postcard was as good as a slightly delayed telegram.

    Then, the road system opened America to real choice in travel, where you live, how you get there. After WWII it became far more efficient to use trucking. The railroads responded by creating “piggy-back” service for truck trailers. But the service was a time killer and too expensive for the shippers. Instead, regional truck freight service popped up everywhere.

    By 1960, long haul passenger rail was all but dead. Compare the 1960 rail atlas to the 1890 rail atlas. Short lines, interurban trolley lines and dedicated passenger rails are gone.

    In the 1920’s there were hundreds of companies making cars and trucks. General Motors made it possible to own a “standardized” car and get it serviced throughout the country. Nash, Hudson, Packard, Studebaker, DeSoto, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, etc. all disappeared since the 1950’s, because too much duplicate product was redundant and costly.

    The people of the United States created the demand that Detroit/General Motors fulfilled.

    The Auntie of All Dogma is a mistress of her craft. She rails (pun) at false cause and accelerates (pun) the dogma beyond even common reason.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 26, 2011 @ 12:40 pm - January 26, 2011

  9. that says we have to build status symbols like Hummers, Denalis, Escalades, etc whether they are economically desirable or not.

    Except nobody said that we HAVE to build them only that we had to let the American public decide what they wanted to buy. Liberals decided for us because of their belief that the American public are too f*king stupid to make the “right” decisions on their own.

    drill, baby, drill conservatives…‘Cause they love kissing Saudi ass.

    That makes no sense whatsoever. Especially when you consider that liberals are KEEPING us dependent on foreign oil just so we don’t annoy carribou that thrive near pipelines.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 26, 2011 @ 12:54 pm - January 26, 2011

  10. In the 1890′s we built a fantastic rail system and rail junction towns popped up all over the United States.

    Henry Plant and Henry Flagler built railroads which opened up Florida to development as a vacation destination. They were amongst the eeeeeevil “robber barons” that helped build the country.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 26, 2011 @ 1:02 pm - January 26, 2011

  11. Last night Obama showed how adept he is at delivering a song and dance routine … I’m sure everyone here will remember how we spent almost a Trillion dollars 2 years ago in the first stimulus package; much of which we were told at the time, was suppose to go towards infrastructure repair. However, last night Mr Obama said we need to get serious about our infrastructure…. Excuse me, but were we not serious back in February 2009 when the stimulus passed?

    Tax and spend …tax and spend. Nothing has really changed. Once again this president is either counting on a lack of memory to prevail amongst the electorate, or America’s idolatrous peasantry continuing to worship him.

    Comment by Spartann — January 26, 2011 @ 1:23 pm - January 26, 2011

  12. TGC: The rail and steamboat system in Florida of the 1890’s was amazing. Florida was one of the last states that held on to quality passenger service and separate passenger tracks. But the unions finally throttled them in the 1960’s.

    I drove a car equipped for the rails in front of passenger trains on the Florida East Coast from Jacksonville to Daytona in the early 1960’s. The pay per trip was astounding. The purpose was to “detect” explosives set by union thugs to derail the train. After a few very profitable trips, my brain woke me up and I quit.

    Comment by Heliotrope — January 26, 2011 @ 1:42 pm - January 26, 2011

  13. This govenment is awash in money. So much so that millions and billions gets pissed away. Like in any rich family, there are few controls on extravegant wasteful sinful spending.

    The article addresses just utility bills in federal buildings in DC.
    A million dollars in ONE MONTH FOR ONE BUILDING!! $800 LATE FEES!
    Lites left on all night with no one in the buildings.
    Yet last night liberals couldn’t wait to get on tv to talk about upcoming SLASHING OF SPENDING that would hurt real people.
    You could close half the buildings in DC and no one would notice for six months. In november the people voted. Now start slashing.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 26, 2011 @ 2:00 pm - January 26, 2011

  14. We have a resource in America whos end cost is less than a bottle of water. To get it out of the ground, would create hundreds of thousands of great paying jobs. But a handfull of nutty leftests say…naw, don’t think so.
    Instead they want to create cars that run on wind power.They have shut down the drilling jobs off half of our national coasts. Now who are the ones that are crazy weird.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 26, 2011 @ 4:11 pm - January 26, 2011

  15. Holy crow! This years Obama Pelosi Reid non budget deficiet is
    $1.5 TRILLION. How much is that for crying out loud? I can’t fatham it.
    I think during Reagans term, for the first time the annual budget first broke $1.5 trillion total. Am I wrong?
    Ehh liberals. dumb and inept.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 26, 2011 @ 4:19 pm - January 26, 2011


    I was wrong!!
    In 8 years Reagan and Congress spent 7.5 Trillion dollars.
    They averaged less than a Trillion dollar budger per year!
    Now Obamas DEFICIET is greater than everything Reagan spent in a years time!
    Shoot people wake up!!

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 26, 2011 @ 4:22 pm - January 26, 2011

  17. Look at Reagans spending…

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — January 26, 2011 @ 4:25 pm - January 26, 2011

  18. […] A spending freeze is not enough […]

    Pingback by Economics, Politics, News, Links (01/26/11) — January 26, 2011 @ 11:32 pm - January 26, 2011

  19. Gene. . I do want you to note who was in control of the house of representatives, which controls the purse strings, during the Reagan years. And also compare the Congressional presented budget to the submitted budget. And you now very well that the deficits were more due to congressional democrats than due to the president.

    Just like coincidentally, the worst year of deficit for W was when Democrats too over the power of the pursestrings.

    Comment by Ryan — January 27, 2011 @ 7:03 pm - January 27, 2011

  20. Economic desriabilityu is not what the GOVERNMENT says is economically desirable. . economic desirability is what the people economically desire. . .which are those vehicles you mentioned,

    Comment by Ryan — January 28, 2011 @ 7:59 am - January 28, 2011

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