Obama’s Proposed Budget ‘Cuts What We Canít afford to Pay For What We Cannot Do Without’

In his weekly national address on Saturday, President Obama likened the budget he will propose on Monday to ‘family pocketbook choices.’ According to the Washington Post, Obama’s proposed budget will lead to an ‘overall freeze’ in discretionary non-defense spending over the next five years with ‘difficult cuts’ in some areas to allow for increases in others, namely, education, technology, and infrastructure (including roads, bridges and technology).


The President cited the plight of a Missouri family, David and Brenda Breece, who have chosen to make financial sacrifices in order to finance their daughter’s college eduction.  Politico quotes from Obama’s address:


“Families across this country understand what it takes to manage a budget,” Obama said. “They understand what it takes to make ends meet without forgoing important investments like education. Well, it’s time Washington acted as responsibly as our families do.”

Obama said that the Breece family has had to sacrifice “what they don’t need so that they can afford what really matters,” and that government must follow that example.


“So, after a decade of rising deficits, this budget asks Washington to live within its means, while at the same time investing in our future…..It cuts what we can’t afford to pay for what we cannot do without.”

“That’s what families do in hard times. And that’s what our country has to do too,” he concluded.


The Obama administration is calling for freezing the salaries of non-defense federal employees; getting rid of a number of government-owned buildings that are not in use; and cutting the Pentagon’s budget by $78 billion over five years. Other programs facing cuts include those for energy aid for low-income families, community services and development grants and assistance to restore the Great Lakes. And, the President has threatened to veto any bills that contain earmarks.

Currently, the government is running annual deficits averaging $1 trillion. Republicans are seeking to cut $100 billion in domestic spending in the current fiscal year. As the New York Times says:


To frame the year’s budget debate, Mr. Obama has been arguing for weeks that such deep cuts could threaten the recovery and that the economy’s growth and competitiveness demand some spending increases, as he is proposing, in programs for education, infrastructure, innovation and research.

The administration also contends that its 10-year plan would leave the country in better overall fiscal health than the path envisioned by Congressional Republicans. They would maintain the Bush-era tax cuts after 2012, repeal the cost-saving provisions of the health care law and exempt the military from spending cuts even as they rip domestic spending.

While Mr. Obama will also reduce military spending and some health program costs, neither he nor the Republicans are tackling the unsustainable long-term growth of entitlement programs like Medicare or proposing to raise significant revenues.

In his Republican response, Senator Orrin Hatch said that Obama’s plan is ‘too timid,’ noted the Washington Post:

“The president’s proposal for a freeze in government spending might give the White House a nice talking point……But it is a totally inadequate solution to our nation’s spending problems.”

Hatch, who faces re-election this year and who is ‘eager to display a tough line on fiscal issues to dissuade a strong tea party challenge’—like the one that defeated his former Utah colleague, Republican Sen. Bob Bennett—called for an overhaul of the tax code, changes to Social Security and Medicare, and new trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, commented on the President’s caution, noting that ‘”in this highly bipartisan environment…..It may be better for him to play the role of referee.”’

Photo by RambergMediaImages.


Jeaneen Andretta
Past Member 4 years ago

Keep any environmental costs the same, these are far too vital to play around with.

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

" We need to drastically cut the military budget, first."
Just how big do you think that is? It is not the largest portion of the budget!

"We need regulation of corporations, Wall Street, and banks,"
It is the very regulation of these entities that began the problem & exodud of business to foreign shores. And you think more is going to make it better???

"which have taken OUR money, and run."
Sorry! Business do not take your money! the only entity that TAKES your money is the government.

Y'all need to get off this middle class mantra. The middle class is only under attack in the dreams of the ultra left & Progressives. If you looked at the data you would see they are quite healthy!

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

"does not get out of a recession by pulling back, but by infusing capital into the economy, creating jobs and innovation."

Government capital is only a temporary respite, not a fix.
Government does not create jobs nor engage in innovation!

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

A nation is not a "family", nor a "corporation", but a COUNTRY with a set of priorities that are not akin to a "family's" nor a "corporation's" problems. A country does not get out of a recession by pulling back, but by infusing capital into the economy, creating jobs and innovation. We need to drastically cut the military budget, first. We need regulation of corporations, Wall Street, and banks, which have taken OUR money, and run. They are not creating jobs, but sitting on OUR money that they were given. Regulations of GREED will help the middle class recoup our losses. Our president needs to make that very clear. (I understand what he's doing, favoring business, with the 2012 election coming up, but he needs to show understanding to the middle class and poor, who do the actual voting in 2012.)

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

"Wish there was more support for early childhood & special education; but I'm glad Pell grants are not proposed to be completely unfunded."

Education gets PLENTY of money!

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

Mary posted a comment:

This makes you a very rare person. One of an extremely small minority that are even willing to attempt to put something concrete to the term "working poor". But does this mean that you perceive the "working poor" as barely getting by? Struggling to put food on the table, pay the rent, clothes, and other necessities?
As it stands right now the "rich" are already paying most of the taxes. It seems to not matter what the tax rates are the Government has never been able to collect more that about 21% of GDP. wether the top tax rate is 35% or 90%. So increaseing taxes will do little to increase money to the Government.

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

A large business is one with more than 500 employees. There are very few of those. A business is classed as large or small based on employees, not revenue. Many small businesses have large revenue.
It does not matter the size of the business they all work the same way. Yes the employees contribute to the success of the company and are rewarded for their contibutions with a sum of money to which they agreed to for providing the company with their services. So they are already sharing in the revenue of the company.
So you are telling me that a teenager could not possibly have enough by working at a job that pays $7.25? It is called minimum wage for a reason. It is the wage that is paid to a neophyte upon thier entry into the work force. Forgeting any paper routes, my first job paid me $1.50 per hour. I quit that to take a job that paid $1.35. That $1.35 got me $46 per week; mom took $15 for room & board, $1 to the church, $20 in the bank, leaving me $10 for the week. Every job from then on was an advancement. You, and the others, seem to take the position that if you get a Min wage job that is all you will ever get. It don't work that way! Never intended to, though it can sometimes get in the way of getting a job.
This is ridiculous! Even fresh out of high school I was able to negotiate various & sundry paymnet terms when necessary.

Duncan O'neil
Duncan O'neil6 years ago

Though I admit that businesses & banks were actually hands on at the time. Wlefare is only for when all other avenues have been exhausted!
Again a rare breath of freshness from an aknowledged member of the left. Good on ya'.
A monetary policy that increases the supply of money does in fact create inflation. True there is an effect where wages & prices increase. But the value of the money in circulation is decreased. If the Government does not continue to increase the money supply the diminuation of the value of the money creates serious problems. For a measure of how serious all you have to do is look to the Weimar Republic. Increasing the money supply was their answer to their problems.
Want to get a check every month from the Government? Support the FairTax!

Problem with this is that you create a class of people that don't or can't get a job and they live off the efforts of others. Survival is not the sole reason to have a job. There is the issue of personal self-worth.
A steady increase in the money supply? Or the Government sending everyone a check? If the latter, where does the money come from? Freedom can not be granted from the rules of a Government progrom! Freedom can only arise when the people are free from the FORCE of Government.
You complain about what I say being "standard fare" yet you provide nothing new yourself. Merely repeating much of what other liberals have said to you.

Carole K.
Carole K6 years ago

Still nebulous to me; cannot see where priorities lie exactly. Wish there was more support for early childhood & special education; but I'm glad Pell grants are not proposed to be completely unfunded. It's true you know, that old saying:"If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!" TY, Kristina, for the article. My hope is that the national climate will soon change so that the education of our children can be seen as worth investing in again.

Tim Cheung
Tim C6 years ago