Catching up on some items from the Thanksgiving break, I did notice, while I wasn’t watching the resurgent Dallas Cowboys with a healthy-pinkied Tony Romo at the helm fighting for their playoff lives against a never-say-die but clearly overmatched bunch of Seattle Seahawks before a turkey-stuffed crowd enjoying the last T’giving game ever from Texas Stadium, that Obama has promised serious scrutiny of the entire federal budget. And thank all the Gods that ever were for that:
Some of the numbers the Obama administration will deal with are staggering. The U.S. national debt now stands at $10.6 trillion, almost double the figure inherited by George W. Bush in 2000.
The federal deficit in the just-ended fiscal year is $455 billion. It was $161.5 billion in 2007.
But this year’s deficit is already at $232 billion and it will hit $1 trillion by the end of this fiscal year.
“My first priority and my first job is to get us on the path of economic recovery, to create 2.5 million jobs, to provide relief to middle-class families,” Obama said.
“But as soon as the recovery is well underway, then we’ve got to set up a long-term plan to reduce the structural deficit and make sure that we’re not leaving a mountain of debt for the next generation.”
Whoa. Echoes of Perot in those last lines. Does he mean it? Will he do it? Can he resist the porkaholics of both parties? I mean, I hear the voices that say it’s time for economic stimulus, but where, if anywhere, ever, does this Niagara of spending end? I hope he’s for real, but BIWISI on this (Believe It When I See It.)
Who knows? With enough serious budget scrutiny and pork-slashing, Obama might even restore life to the now-flaccid debate over “big government,” an essentially meaningless exercise these days because both parties have snouts buried deep in the trough and are pledged in deed if not word to gigantic government. I simply wince or snore when I hear today’s Repubs try to excoriate Dems over profligate spending.
Dems: Let’s spend $3,455 each on toilet seats on the U. S. S. Robert Byrd.
GOP: No! No! $3,400 and not a penny more!
Check the rest of Obama’s budget-sniffing plans here .