Pursuing a path of deficit reduction and government reform, President Obama will tonight in his State of the Union address call for a ban on earmarks and he will propose a five year budget freeze on non-security related discretionary spending, ABC News has learned.
The proposals come as the president prepares to tackle the deficit and debt and as he faces a House of Representatives in Republican hands, many of whose members include those affiliated with the Tea Party who may be willing to embrace both moves.
This is really laughable. He’s called for an earmark ban, since 2007, when he was running for the presidency, and that never stopped him from signing any bills that had thousands of earmarks in it, like Stimulus and his health care legislation.
Second, it seems that he’ll be speaking out of both sides of his mouth tonight. He’s supposed to call for a freeze on spending but then go on to say that we need to spend more. Huh?
The president will propose some new spending in certain areas that address the speech’s theme of “How We Win the Future”: innovation, education and infrastructure. But those increases will be proposed within the context of a proposed partial budget freeze.
I’ve wrote on his call for more spending earlier.
This really is really rather pointless. Republicans have already banned earmarks in the House and the Senate Republicans were able to kill the omnibus bill that was full of earmarks, when the Democrats tried to ram it down their throats during the lame duck.
Also, as Ed Morrissey explains, this budget “cut” isn’t really a cut:
It’s a cut in Beltwayese, in other words, because normally we’d expand spending instead of reducing it. At least that isn’t as bad as Washington usually gets about cuts, which politicians usually define as a decrease in the rate of spending increases. And don’t expect that definition to become defunct in the next two years, especially on the Democratic side of the aisle on Capitol Hill.
Let’s not even get me started on Obama’s record on reigning in spending.