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Freeze Frame is Not Right for Dems January 26, 2010

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
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Obama’s announcement of a spending freeze for discretionary programs was a surprise. Cutting the federal budget during a recession, when unemployment is high, is a really dumb idea.

It turns out that this is not really a spending freeze; it is a budget cap that doesn’t kick in until 2011 and allows the administration considerable flexibility in keeping stimulus and other federal money flowing through the economy. In essence, he is doing what he promised during the campaign—taking a scalpel to programs that don’t work and using those savings to fund programs that do.

Despite some of the apoplectic responses in the left blogosphere, this is not a job killer.

But it is still not a good idea. The Obama Administration is negotiating with itself here. Republicans will not give him credit for any budget reductions.

Obama came into office with the task of changing American’s perceptions of the value of government. Now is the time to convince the American public that government has an important role to play creating jobs when private industry has failed.

Instead, by calling this a “freeze”, which is what the Republicans have been calling for, he has reinforced the failed Republican narrative that government is not part of the solution. This is bad economics; it is disastrous social policy. And it sends the wrong message at the wrong time.

Moreover, his so-called “freeze” does not include military expenditures which are the biggest source of waste and fraud in the budget. If we need to scrutinize individual programs for their effectiveness, why does Defense and Homeland Security escape scrutiny?

The answer is that conservatives would whine if he proposed cuts in these areas.

Obama’s tendency to reinforce right-wing ideas continues to disappoint.

book-section-book-cover2 Dwight Furrow is author of

Reviving the Left: The Need to Restore Liberal Values in America

For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com



1. Paul J. Moloney - January 30, 2010

Apparently, one cannot scrutinize the effectiveness of the military without being considered unpatriotic, but if one is patriotic to the degree that they are intelligent, the effectiveness is worth scrutinizing.

If the military cannot defend themselves here against attack, it would seem to follow that the military cannot defend us over there from attack. We are not being attacked over there. We are safe from attack over there because we are not over there. The ones not safe from attack over there are the military people, who do not have to be there because we are not there to protect.

Also, the military is not trying to kill anyone over there who is going to attack us. Anyone who is planning to attack us is not going to send dead people to attack us. People, fighting the military over there, cannot fight the military over there and come over here to attack us at the same time. If anything, the fighting over there is a diversion from focusing our attention on being attacked here.

Also, it was not too long ago that Jimmy Carter condemn the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan. It is still recent history that the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan, having not been able to subdue the people there

It seems more cost effective, to say the very least, to defend ourselves from attack from here. Having a strong military did nothing to stop 911. In Texas it was someone other than a military person who put an end to the attack. Sending tanks to another country is not going to stop someone from attacking us here. Anyone planning to attack us is going to go where the military is not, so as not to have their plans disrupted.

It may be true that we can never spend enough on defense, if we are actually being defended. There is no reason to allow anyone planning to attack us to put an unecessary economic burden on us.

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