Brother, can you spare $100 million?
Created on April 24, 2009
Can $100 Million Tame the Tempest of Taxpayers' Tea Parties?
Six days after
hundreds of thousands of taxpayers protested more and more deficit
spending to right the economy, President Barack Obama publicly
ordered $100 million in program cuts from his Cabinet
That $100 million may sound like a lot of dough to the average
Joe. To the casual ear, maybe it sounds like more than $10 billion
or $1 trillion. Actually, $100 million might as well be nothing
next to federal spending exploding well past $3.5 trillion.
Other voices helped Americans get a fix on the president"s
ballyhooed $100 million nip and tuck:
In the first Cabinet meeting of his administration April 20,
President Obama acknowledged $100 million is "a drop in the
bucket." He said he has to overcome a "confidence gap" with the
American public. But Obama stood by massive amounts of new
government spending as "the right thing to do" to resolve the
The federal deficit for March alone was $192.3 billion, the
Associated Press reported, and $100 million would represent a
minuscule portion of that sum, roughly one-twentieth of 1 percent.
In February, Obama proposed a $3.6 trillion budget
for fiscal year 2010, which would set in motion -- as of Oct. 1 --
$9.3 trillion in deficits over the next decade.
Heritage"s expert on the federal budget, Brian Riedl,
suggests the president close the confidence gap by showing he
understands the value of frugality and lower taxes over "stimulus"
spending to lift the economy out of recession:
government spending could guarantee economic growth, then why stop
at $800 billion? Why not borrow and spend $800 trillion?" Riedl
writes. "Shouldn't big government countries like France and Germany
be the wealthiest in the world? And shouldn't President Bush's
spending spree have brought economic nirvana? In reality, the $800
billion stimulus bill weakens the economy.
"It takes spending power away from families and entrepreneurs
and puts it in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. It will
raise interest rates, lengthening the recession. And worst of all,"
Riedl concludes, "it dumps $9,400 per household of new debt into
the laps of our children and grandchildren."