President Obama convened his Cabinet for the first time today and instructed department heads to trim their budgets by a combined $100 million over the next 90 days, cuts he said would help overcome a "confidence gap" among the American people about the use of their tax dollars.
While in any town, USA, $100 million is a lot of money. However, in DC, it's pocket change especially when you consider that they will spend $3.5 trillion in this year alone. That is largest federal budget ever by far.
To put it in perspective to the everyday Joe and Jane, let's say one has a $30,000 per year salary and budget. It would be the equivalent of that person cutting almost $900 yearly, or $75 monthly, out of the budget. It is not really that much.
"In the next few weeks, we expect to cut at least 100 current programs in the federal budget so that we can free up those dollars in order to put them to use for critical areas like health care, education, energy, our foreign policy apparatus," Obama said.
So, what this says to me is that he isn't "freeing up those dollars" so we can pay back our debt. No, he is going to respend the money. Contrary to CNN's belief, that doesn't make him fiscally responsible. He still the big spender. He's just going to spend his money elsewhere. This isn't going to get us out of debt any faster.
"I'm very pleased about the work that we've done, but we've got more to do," he said. "And one of the things that everybody here is mindful of is that as we move forward, dealing with this extraordinary economic crisis, we also have a deficit, a confidence gap, when it comes to the American people. And we've got to earn their trust. They've got to feel confident that their dollars are being spent wisely."
This will not satisfy those who were protesting the spending orgy in Washington. They will see it for what it is. It's just a ploy to soften his opposition's stance to him. He doesn't want the TEA party movement to gain any more momentum. He wants to get any protests that are against his policies out of the news. If he doesn't, the truth about his policies will be brought into the light, and his approval ratings will continue to fall.
This token gesture is just that a token gesture. In the big scheme of things, $100 million means nothing especially since the money he "saves" will be respent on other equally inadequate in decreasing the deficit.
Ed Morrissey of Hot Air explained that the $100 million is equal to "a whopping 0.0029% of the budget". Ed broke it down for us:
• $100 million from a $3.5 trillion budget for FY2010: 0.0029%
• $100 million from the $1.2 trillion White House deficit projection for their FY2010 budget: 0.008%
• $100 million from the $700 billion Porkulus stimulus bill Obama demanded: 0.013%
• $100 million from the $634 billion “down payment” on nationalized health care: 0.016%
• $100 million from the $555 billion omnibus spending plan completing the 2009 budget: 0.018%
• $100 million from the $13 billion in pork from the omnibus spending plan: 0.77%
The cuts that Obama proposes don’t even amount to 1% of the pork Obama signed into law last month in the omnibus spending bill.