You can tell that President Obama has been knocked onto his back foot. He's proposing a spending freeze. It will amount, apparently to $250 billion over 10 years.
Politicians always propose spending freezes when they get into a jam. It sounds good in a speech. But the key thing, of course, is "details to follow later."
Columnist Robert Samuelson isn't fooled. The spending freeze is "peanuts," a "rounding error." That's because federal spending in the next few years is estimated at about $3.5 trillion per year. A $35 billion spending cut per year would be one percent. And President Obama is proposing less than that.
Our good friends at usgovernmentspending.com show why this is derisive.
Take a look at the pie chart. The big chunks in the budget are Pensions, Health Care,and Defense. President Obama has taken these off the table. Welfare isn't going to go down, not until the economy picks up. So that means that the cuts are going to come from only 19 percent of the federal budget.
The real facts are that, in the long run, we've got to cut the "mandatory" entitlement programs. That's what President Obama was trying to do in a sneaky way with ObamaCare. He was trying to introduce rationing for Medicare. But the American people blew him away. They don't want rationing. Not yet.
But that's where the money is. Social Security and Medicare. And they will still be there next year. They will still be there in 2013 when the next president is unaugurated.
Anyone want to be president?