2009 May 07 Thursday
Obama's $17 Billion Budget Cut

A lot of people on the political right are complaining because Obama's trying to promote his image as fiscally responsible by making a $17 billion budget cut. Obama's telling reporters to report the cut as "substantial". But I see another angle here that commentators seem to have missed: Obama's reporting the cut as a way to fund more spending on other government programs.

While the $17 billion in projected savings represents a small portion of the proposed budget, Mr. Obama insisted that “that’s a lot of money, even by Washington standards.” It was enough to pay for a $2,500 tuition tax credit for millions of students, for larger Pell education grants, he said, “with enough money left over to pay for everything we do to protect the National Parks.”

Shannon Love tries to make the scale of the cut more understandable by lopping off zeroes. If we think of the budget as $3500 then Obama's cut amounts to 10 cents and he's borrowing $1800. Update: Correction: The $17 billion amounts to $17 saved out of $3500. The 10 cents came from a previous proposed cut. I happen to be living as a fire evacuee (tens of thousands evacuated) while writing these posts and my living conditions (noise, heat, smoke) are cutting into my ability to think clearly.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2009 May 07 01:14 PM  Economics Government Costs


Comments
Stopped Clock said at May 7, 2009 6:07 PM:

Are you sure? Wouldnt the 10 cents out of $3500 comparison put the federal budget up in the quadrillions range?

gcochran said at May 7, 2009 8:37 PM:

A dollar.

blognormaldiffusion said at May 8, 2009 5:27 AM:

(17x10^9/3.5x10^12)*3500 = 17 dollars, dude.

Stopped Clock said at May 8, 2009 5:35 AM:

Sorry I didnt read the target link. It seems they are talking about the $100 million "trimming" that Obama proposed a few weeks ago and not the $17 billion which I only first heard about today.

Bled Whyte said at May 8, 2009 6:38 AM:

$17 Billion? That's enough to keep GM running for a month!

And BTW, I just read that CA may need $20 Billion next year. Probably closer to $60 Billion..."Say goodbye to Hollywood, say good bye my baby..."

Bled Whyte said at May 8, 2009 6:40 AM:

$17 Billion? That's enough to keep GM running for a month!

And BTW, I just read that CA may need $20 Billion next year. Probably closer to $60 Billion..."Say goodbye to Hollywood, say goodbye my baby..." Better buy some more Spam and ammo on the way home today...

AMac said at May 8, 2009 9:15 AM:

Among the programs that Obama is targeting is one by which the Federal government pays some of the costs borne by state and local governments to imprison illegal aliens convicted of crimes. Bush tried to kill this program, too.

Because there are too many violent illegal-alien felons being pointlessly warehoused in our nation's prisons and jails. Were this practice to continue, they might lose the chance to apply for amnesty. Once the Obama/McCain/Bush Open Borders legislation is passed.

I guess we could fight this injustice by writing our representatives to demand that amnesty slots be reserved for prisoners. Nah, Obama's probably right, it makes more sense just to terminate the program. Another victory for efficiency in government.

Randall Parker said at May 9, 2009 9:31 AM:

Bled Whyte,

California's fiscal problems get even worse in the coming years. If the Democrats gain a greater than 2/3rds majority in the legislature we could get hit by some really big tax hikes. Since I'm a big saver I hope the tax hikes come as sales tax increases rather than income tax increases.

Some wordy bastard said at May 9, 2009 9:50 AM:

Randall Parker says:

"California's fiscal problems get even worse in the coming years. If the Democrats gain a greater than 2/3rds majority in the legislature we could get hit by some really big tax hikes. Since I'm a big saver I hope the tax hikes come as sales tax increases rather than income tax increases."

It seems to me that in anycase, CA has a problem. The current levels of anti-business legislation will simply force more and more businesses out of CA. It already looks more interesting to start high-tech enterprises elsewhere, in any event.

CA is doomed.

Bled Whyte said at May 9, 2009 12:15 PM:

"Since I'm a big saver I hope the tax hikes come as sales tax increases rather than income tax increases."

Don't worry Randall, we'll get both. You can count on that. Didn't you hear, we're all rich now! And saving money?! WTF!? You're hoarding cash that people could use, you bastard! Fucking kulak wrecker!

Randall Parker said at May 9, 2009 7:41 PM:

Bled Whyte,

California runs the risk of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. California's poor need me more than I need to live in California. Lots of other productive people here can decide to go where the taxes are lower. Some have already left.


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