“Exclusive: President Obama to Propose Budget Freeze and Earmark Ban Tonight”
Re-imaging himself as a fiscal conservative, is he? Is that what we’re supposed to believe? From Jake Tapper, ABC News:
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 an overall budget freeze, 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.
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 as part of an overall budget freeze, which given the annual rate of growth is often seen in Washington, DC, budgeting as a cut.
The FY 2011 budget was $3.8 trillion.
As for earmarks, President Obama has long been critical of the process in which members of Congress insert their pet projects into legislation without having them first go through the normal appropriations process, but Congress has continued to put billions of dollars of such projects in bills that arrive at the president’s desk.
Freezing the budget after increasing discretionary domestic spending by 84% is hardly a sacrifice.
But it will be sold that way.
John McCain believes this signals a President wedded to fiscal responsibility; protein wisdom, conversely, believes it’s time for John McCain to put himself out to pasture, and take Colin Powell and Pat Buchanan with him.
The TEA Partiers in the House want to slash the federal government back to 2006 levels; they want to do the hard work of actually cutting spending and bringing our fiscal house to order. By proposing a budge “freeze” tonight, Obama hopes to present himself as a fiscal hawk concerned with the federal deficit — while setting up the GOP to do the actual cost cutting, which Obama and the Dems will subsequently frame as hurting woman, children, minorities, and the elderly.
And as he sets this up, he’ll call for civility — and the camera will zoom in on Republicans and Democrats, sitting together, in comity and harmony.
Making Paul Ryan’s rebuttal a televised downer.
We’re being played. And because it’s so obvious, I have to believe that the Republicans who go along with this ruse are being played happily. Because big government is good for business — regardless of which party establishment one belongs to.