FY 2011 Budget
Yesterday -- citing CRFB's work -- The Stephen Dinan of Washington Times wrote that President Obama, in his first year, was more successful than President Bush in getting his spending cuts enacted. Several administration officials, including President Obama himself, have repeated this fact. According to the article:
The House voted Wednesday to sustain President Obama's veto of a Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded. Huh? Confused? Why wasn't this front-page news Thursday morning? Because what looked important was simply a bit of budget cooperation between the Legislative and Executive branches of government.
Today’s New York Times article on the difficulty President Obama faces in keeping his promise about deficit reduction and tax cuts, Promise to Trim Deficit Is Growing Harder to Keep, is a precursor to all the stories that will be written before the President’s State of the Union address and the release of his FY 2011 budget on the first Monday in February.
We hope all of our readers had very happy holidays. Now that we are back from our vacation, there is a lot to report on regarding congressional actions right before the holidays, as well as expected actions once they return.
Yesterday, on the heels of President Obama signing a $1.1 trillion "minibus" CRFB released a paper on the importance of controlling discretionary spending growth. The paper showed that, while fiscal conservatives tend to worry about mandatory spending, discretionary spending has actually been growing faster over the last decade. It also devotes a small box to discussing President Obama's proposed spending cuts -- which this blog will discuss in more detail.
The House has been extremely busy today, not only passing a $154 billion jobs bill but also passing a temporary continuing resolution, the defense appropriations bill, and a minor increase to the debt ceiling.
The House passed a bill yesterday containing six of the appropriations bills still lingering in Congress, at a total cost of $447 billion.
There's an intriguing passage in the White House press release on President Obama's stimulus speech at Brookings yesterday:
UPDATE: Stan Collender thinks we might be making ice mountains out of snow hills.
According to a number of news reports, President Obama has begun asking agencies to plan for a discretionary spending freeze next year -- or perhaps a 5 percent cut. The President may propose such as initiative as part of a deficit-cutting themed State of the Union address in January.
Faced with massive debt burdens coming out of the economic and financial crisis – even before the retirement and health care tsunami hits – experts agree we need to get our fiscal house in order, ideally under our own steam - before changes are forced upon us by our creditors. Experts also agree that acting sooner rather than later will mean that the fiscal downsizing needed will be smaller and less painful. Is there anything we can do in the near future (like maybe next year’s budget round) without undercutting the recovery?