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  • Morning Bell: Obama's Net Spending Cut Promise

    Earlier this week the Treasury Department released its 2008 Financial Report of the U.S. Government. According to the report, while government revenues stayed relatively flat, increasing only 1%, the government’s net operating cost more than tripled from the prior fiscal year. The report warns: “In both the near and long term, [funding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid] programs will account for a large and growing portion of total government spending. The projected long-term costs are much greater than the resources that will be available to pay for them, particularly as health care costs continue to rise and the population continues to age.”

    Lost in the recent talk of $1 trillion stimulus spending by the next administration is a promise President-elect Barack Obama made to the American people on Oct. 7 in the midst of the presidential campaign. Speaking in front of a live national audience, Obama said: “So we’re going to have to make some investments, but we’ve also got to make spending cuts. And what I’ve proposed, you’ll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he’s proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I’m cutting more than I’m spending so that it will be a net spending cut.” Obama is hardly the first president to promise to rein in spending, but very few have actually kept their promise to the American people. We sincerely hope Obama can change that practice. To that end, Heritage offers the following guidelines to help him:

    • Take the Promise Seriously: Lawmakers are already using the recession as an excuse to dust off old spending wish lists and dubiously call them “stimulus” bills. With the 2009 projected budget deficit already approaching $1 trillion, additional “stimulus” spending would be unaffordable, not to mention ineffective in rescuing the economy. In this rush to expand government, cooler heads must prevail. Setting priorities are more important than ever, and the promise of a net spending cut must stand in the way of an unaffordable spending hike.
    • Define ‘Net Spending Cut’: Campaign promises are often based on slippery rhetoric and accounting, so it is important to define “net spending cut” precisely and publicly. Obama should simply define “net spending cut” as what it means in layman’s terms to the millions of Americans who heard the pledge: Washington spending fewer total nominal dollars next year than this year. Any redefinition would justifiably be seen by many voters as nothing more than another misleading campaign promise.
    • Cut Farm Subsidies: The first place to look for spending offsets should be farm subsidies — America’s largest corporate welfare program. Taxpayers spend $25 billion annually on farm subsidies, the majority of which are granted to commercial farmers, who also report an average income of $200,000 and an average net worth of $2 million. More than 90% of all farm subsidies go to growers of just five crops: wheat, cotton, corn, soybeans and rice. Just as producers of fruits, vegetables, beef and poultry currently thrive without subsidies, so can other farmers.
    • Use PAYGO to Prevent Expensive New Entitlements: The 110th Congress reinstated Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rules requiring new entitlement expansions or tax cuts to be deficit-neutral. They have since ignored it. Obama pledged to make PAYGO a centerpiece of his budget agenda. For PAYGO truly to help government live within its means — and for Obama to fulfill his promise of a net spending cut — he must use it as a tool to offset expansions of entitlement programs with equal reductions in existing entitlements. This is more responsible than dismissing PAYGO whenever it becomes an inconvenient impediment to new spending.

    When announcing the nomination of Peter Orszag to head the Office of Management and Budget, Obama expanded on his fiscal discipline pledge by stating that “budget reform is not an option. It’s a necessity.” He said federal budgeting would require “tough choices.” “There are just going to be some programs that simply don’t work and we’ve got to eliminate them,” he added. Heritage looks forward to helping Obama keep his net spending cut promise.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    15 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama's Net Spending Cut Promise

    1. NANCY RUSSELL PA says:


    2. gigi,hooHobe Sound, says:

      He's made lots of promises… I am sure yet that ut was not connect in this governor's schemnes..,,

      We'll all find out sooner than later.


    3. LVKen7@Gmail.com - says:

      Recently, Obama, on his Change.gov site

      started = "Open for Questions" feature.

      Notice that – Most of what O will do is

      Fix Messes BuSh started.

      Below are some of the top questions, and the answers that our transition team members have put together as part of the Open for Questions feature:

      Q: "Will you lift the ban on Stem Cell research in your first 100 days in office?" James_M, Nashville, TN

      A: President-elect Obama is a strong supporter of Federal funding for responsible stem cell research and he has pledged to reverse President Bush's restrictions.

      Q: "What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?" Diane, New Jersey

      A: President-elect Barack Obama does not believe an economic crisis is an excuse for wasteful and unnecessary spending. As our economic team works with congressional leadership to put together a plan, we will put in place reforms to ensure that your money in invested well.

      We will also bring Americans back into government by amending executive orders to ensure that communications about regulatory policymaking between persons outside government and all White House staff are disclosed to the public.

      In addition

      all appointees who lead the executive branch departments and rulemaking agencies will be required to conduct the significant business of the agency in public so that every citizen can see in person or watch on the Internet these debates.

      Q: "What will you do to promote science and mathematics education to Elementary and Middle School students?" JasonWyatt, Raleigh, NC

      A: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will put children first by investing in early childhood education, making sure our schools are adequately funded and led by high-quality teachers, and

      reforming No Child Left Behind.

      They will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. They will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.

      Q: "Will you consider legalizing marijuana so that the government can regulate it, tax it, put age limits on it, and create millions of new jobs and create a billion dollar industry right here in the U.S.?" S. Man, Denton

      A: President-elect Obama is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana.

      Q: "What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?" Kari, Seattle

      A: President-elect Obama is deeply committed to restoring the rule of law and respecting constitutional checks and balances.That is why he has pledged to review Bush Administration executive orders. President-elect Obama will also end the abuse of signing statements, and put an end to the politicization that has taken place within the Department of Justice and return that agency to its historic and apolitical mission of fair and impartial administration of justice.

    4. gigi,hooHobe Sound, says:

      Just think…he's not been sworn yet…What if he's involved in the Gov. B's schemes?

    5. Pingback: Obama’s Net Spending Cut Promise « Conservative Thoughts and Profundity

    6. Doris Morgan, Oklaho says:

      Review the present administration's Executive Orders. What a breath of fresh air…..I gather

      he's a fast reader.

    7. luhut/indonesia says:

      The Prtesident Obama should check balance real income and own fund, check un current realfinance which is floating in and out of USA/


    8. Pingback: BrianFaughnan’s blog » Obama to Balance the Budget… Someday ::

    9. Pingback: ChooseTheHero.com » Blog Archive » Obama to Balance the Budget… Someday

    10. Pingback: Obama to Balance the Budget… Someday | Flipping the News

    11. david richfield says:

      eligible to be potus?

      What is there about the special prosecutor's request that obama not obliderate current investigations' evidence by commenting, that you idiots don't get?

      Can't we wait one more week, without you guys using this as a political football?

      Isn't there enough football on the small corporate fascist tv for u?

      how can you blame the guy who still is standing in the on deck circle?

      Why not blame the bastardbush.??????

      He's responsible, and the philosophy of the aynrand neocon idiots.

      blame your selves.

    12. W Howard Baker, Bard says:

      With the stimulus package promised and the need to provide government jobs for all the private sector jobs that he will be eliminating through the the elimination of the coal industry, we will see an inflationary depression that will make what happened to the Weimar Republic in the 1930's look like a cakewalk. We, here in the U.S., had a deflationary depression where people lost jobs and didn't have any money but food and things were cheap. An inflationary depression, on the other hand, is where you have tons of money and can't buy anything as items of food and others keep rising in price faster than you can keep up.

      Presently, there seems to be a thought that we will be in the inflationary depression within 2009. This will lead to anarchy and the rise of a strongman to quell the anarchy. If our coming president follows the teachings of his mentors, he will arrange it to be that strongman. He has already said that he wants to institute a "civilian corps" that will have the same capability as the military. What is the purpose of such a "corps"?

      Is this the time to make sure that we, as patriots that still uphold the Constitution and the Second Amendment, make sure that our shooting skills are still good and pick up some more ammunition? Should we do all, that we can do to have the people aware of what the Second Amendment was actually written for? That is, to protect the people from their own government. James Madison, as he worked on the Constitution, lamented the plight of the people of Europe who were held under the boot of a tyrant due to the fact that the arms were all held by the standing army, which was controlled by the tyrant.

      I can't understand why people can't see what is coming. Between stimulus packages, government infrastructure projects, the nationalization of the financial industry, the nationalization of the automotive industry, national health care, the methodical confiscation of personal firearms through obtuse laws that don't actually say that, and the formation of the unconstitutional civilian corps, it is obvious that our coming government wants to have us in such a crisis that we will accept a socialist, totalitarian government. This has been known in the past as a fascist form of government. If you want to see a perfect template of what is coming, look at Venezuela and Hugo Chavez.

    13. B. Griffin, Mesa, AZ says:

      I have been on disability for over five years. I require medication to stay alive. I worked for a while as a health care professional. Boy have things changed since then!

      I urge all Christions to pray for President Obama that he doesn't forget those who are disabled. I am willing to take a cut in what little I have but am somewhat worried about how easy it is for government to declare us as useless (they will more than likely use different terminology) but I wonder if they take to many entitlements away, will they just leave us on the street corner to die? I don't mean to be crude, but remember, those in their late thirties and older, you may be in the same position, blieve me, time flies and it flies faster as you get older. May our Lord help us, and God bless President Obama.

    14. Pingback: Fact-checking the ( )bama health care pep rally, part III :

    15. Pingback: How does Obama lie about health care? Let me count the ways! | The Lonely Conservative

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