Thursday, January 14, 2010

Barack Obama: His frugal side

Here's a shocker: The Washington Times reports that President Obama succeeded in beating his predecessor in getting spending cuts.
According to the Times, Obama got Congress to approve 60 percent of the cuts he recommended, whereas George Bush got only 40 percent.
But don't pop the champagne cork yet. The cuts amounted to less than $7 billion, which is pocket change in Washington as Congress is setting records in deficits and debt.
Most of the "savings" came from eliminating the F-22 Raptor program. The Raptor, according to the U.S. Air Force is the best fighter aircraft in the world, now or in the forseeable future.
But it is a bit pricey, at around $145 million per aircraft.
Congress decided to scrap it and replace it with the F-35, formerly called Joint Strike Fighter.
My take is that this free-spending Congress was after every dollar it could get and was willing to cut a few programs for that purpose, especially in national defense. Obama and the liberal Democrats running Congress still own the spending record, however, and are likely to exceed it this year.
But the Times story also highlights the weakness of Bush and the Republican majority in Congress before 2009 and helps explain why a Democrat is in the Oval Office and the GOP is the minority party. The mystery is why some clueless Republicans are still calling for the party to be more like Democrats, especially when polls show that vital independent voters are fleeing the liberal party.

No comments: