Freeze Frame is Not Right for Dems January 26, 2010Posted by Dwight Furrow in Dwight Furrow's Posts, politics.
Tags: budget cuts, Obama
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.
For political commentary by Dwight Furrow visit: www.revivingliberalism.com