April 24th, 2009
04:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Nearing the milestone

In his 14th week in office, Obama directed his cabinet to cut $100 million in spending over the next few months in a gesture aimed at showing concern about the deficit.
In his 14th week in office, Obama directed his cabinet to cut $100 million in spending over the next few months in a gesture aimed at showing concern about the deficit.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – After nearly 100 days in office, the Obama administration's campaign to lift the economy out of its deepest funk since the 1930s showed no signs of slowing down.

In his 14th week in office, Obama directed his cabinet to cut $100 million in spending over the next few months in a gesture aimed at showing concern about the deficit. He met with credit card companies to press for new consumer protections. And he touted plans to make student loans more affordable.

Next week, the president will mark his first 100 days in office with a prime-time press conference on Wednesday. It will be his third such press conference.

Meanwhile, the administration's efforts to keep the nation's auto industry alive could hit a major roadblock next week.

Troubled automaker Chrysler LLC, which has received billions of dollars in federal loans, could face bankruptcy if it fails to complete a deal with Italian carmaker Fiat by Thursday. Chrysler has struggled to get concessions from its creditors and labor unions.

Looking ahead, the administration will release the results of the "stress tests" it conducted on 19 major banks as part of its plan to stabilize the financial system. The results are tentatively scheduled to be made public on May 4.

Obama told his Cabinet on Monday to come up with ways to collectively cut $100 million from their agencies' budgets.

He also said his administration will propose eliminating more than 100 federal programs in the next few weeks. The money saved would be put toward his proposed initiatives in health care, education and energy, Obama said.

Those savings would come on top of more than the roughly $92 million in annual savings over the next five years and the nearly $24 million in one-time savings that agencies have already identified.

The cuts were seen as largely a symbolic gesture. Indeed, the $100 million in cuts are equivalent to 0.003% of the federal budget, and 0.006% of this year's estimated budget deficit.

Obama acknowledged that the amount is relatively small. But he said the cuts set the tone for future cuts, which will ultimately "make an extraordinary difference."

On Thursday, Obama met with more than a dozen executives of credit card-issuing companies to press his case for new consumer protections.

The meeting came a day after credit card legislation opposed by the financial services industry moved forward on Capitol Hill.

The House bill would, among other things, ban "arbitrary" interest rate increases, prohibit excessive fees and order more disclosure. It could go to the full House for a vote as soon as next week.

"Credit cards are an important convenience and a major source of unsecured debt for consumers," said Obama. "We want to preserve the credit card market, but we also want to do so in a way that eliminates abuses and problems that a lot of people are familiar with."

The president on Friday touted his plans to make higher education more affordable.

Obama said the tax credits and federal student loan programs he has established and proposed "amount to the most significant efforts to open the doors of college to middle-class Americans since the GI Bill."

He also called for an end to the Federal Family Education Loans program. Under this program, private lenders "act as middlemen" and are shielded from default risk by taxpayer subsides, Obama said.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    A moderate president sees a problem and he tries to solve it.

    A conservative president sees a problem and he explains
    – why it shouldn't be solved
    – why it can't be solved
    – how the free market will solve it for us if we just cut taxes on the rich and deregulate global corporations.

    April 24, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Obama is on his way to doubling the deficit or raising everyones taxes to new highs to keep the deficit lower but still too high so he and the democrats can pay for their European Style Socialism/Welfare State!

    April 24, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Tulsa

    Kudos Mr. President.

    April 24, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. Chicago independent age 25

    Ben, I think your a little off on this one, I hear pleanty of people from both sides of the aisle starting to say that there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!!!

    April 24, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  5. debinaz

    and now he will not be able to give the middle class any tax deduction. cap and trade will go in to effect and our utility bills will sky rocket all in effort to push the wind energy which ge will benefit as well as i believe the speaker good old nancy p will profit big time ...all at the expense of the american taxpayer....what a great president....a president that exposes things that are national security.....do these folks love america? tearing america apart at every turn...if you dont like america just leave...

    April 24, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Obama Victim

    a whole 100 million.................wow...............now about that 1.8 TRILLION dollas debt???

    April 24, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. Brian in AZ

    @Liberal and Proud of It dot com

    You missed "the liberal president", who sees a problem and uses it as an opportunity to advance his exotic agenda–at the expense of generations to come, of course.

    You've gotta be WAY out in left field to think Obama's a moderate president.

    April 24, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  8. Some Guy

    Mark from B'ham: Let's assume that the "golden age" of the United states was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1945-1965. What did we see back in those days? Massive government spending. Things like the GI bill, construction of the interstate hwy system, the "great society" programs which targeted poverty, research and development for the space race and yes, two wars. We actually had a middle class back then. The tax structure was very different then than it is now as well. Look up how much the higher tax brackets were paying back then and see how well they have had it since the days of Ronnie Rayguns. Man, Republicans have short memories. You may resume your bickering. Have a nice day

    April 24, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    @ Obama Victim, who said "a whole 100 million..."

    Boy you guys sure love talking out of both sides of your mouths. $1M for research into the public health effects of massive amounts of pig odor caused by nearby farms is reason for immediate political aneurism, but $100M in cuts from the cabinet is no big deal? Save your tears for your pillow...we don't need 'em.

    April 24, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  10. Jimmy the Greek

    @ Liberal and POI says,

    "A moderate president sees a problem and he tries to solve it."

    ---

    ACTUALLY... Obama sees a problem and throws lots of taxpayer MONEY at it.

    It is a fundamental flaw with liberals... money = solution.

    Sometimes the solution is tough-love... letting a poorly managed business or irresponsible homeowner OWN the consequences of their actions and NOT get bailed out by a socialist President.

    April 24, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. Enlightened Voter

    Did bush ever make ANY cuts???? Keep up the great work President Obama you are doing magnificient.

    Mark, B'ham., Al. – Not sure what country your in however President Obama LOWERED taxes bud and atleast he is spending his money in AMERICA, you know our country instead of rebuilding IRaq.

    April 24, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. thetruth

    To Mark @ 5pm; Obama's inspiration and energy are developing policies that will spear head a new safer greener economy. Its been stated that a majority of these jobs will be generated from the private sector. This will not be a gvnmt controlled process. Private co's & entrepeneurs will be leading the charge and profitting. The gvmt had to step in and regulate, and fire bad peforming co's or it could have truly been the death knell for us all. Dont you guys get it? Do you really think the gvmnt wants to be running car co's right now? Its amazing how willfully ignorant people throw out terms like "communism, marxism,socialism" w/o understand whats going on in the world. Obama is spending money in productive ways to get the economy going again, and to make us stronger in the long run–what part of that dont you see?

    April 24, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  13. James

    Sniffit April 24th, 2009 5:11 pm ET
    Save your tears for your pillow…we don't need 'em.

    No tears here Snifit? Just alot of anger and a great resolve!

    April 24, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. Rick

    $100 million... wow... just wow. (Heavy sarcasm is implied for those without a sense of humor)
    Change you can believe in... pocket change that is.

    April 24, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  15. barking republican ankle biters

    President Obama is doing a great job.We are also going to get rid of Rush Limbaugh soon,he helped create this mess by telling people lies,like global warming is a hoax and the Earth is flat.

    April 24, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    @ Jimmy the Greek, who said "It is a fundamental flaw with liberals… money = solution. "

    That's because doing something to fix problems costs money. You should try focusing on the efficacy of what's being done instead of having this idiotic knee-jerk response to the unfortunate reality that if you want to solve a problem, you have to attack it proactively and, no matter what, that requires an investiture of time, energy and capital. So yeah, focus on whether what's being done is working and you might be considered more credible. Proactivity is a whole lot better than the GOP/conservative daydream ideology that posits we need do nothing, because things like the market magically regulate and fix themselves (hint: were that true, we wouldn't be in the trouble we're in and the past 3 decades would not have resulted in a major shift in the nation's wealth to the already-wealthy while the middle class stagnated).

    April 24, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. Chris

    I so sick of hearing about this generation to come crap!! SO WHAT!! SO WHAT!!!
    You know why? I'm paying for the generation before me and so on and so on!!! GET OVER IT....

    April 24, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    @ thetruth, who said "Do you really think the gvmnt wants to be running car co's right now? Its amazing how willfully ignorant people throw out terms like "communism, marxism,socialism" w/o understand whats going on in the world. "

    It's not just ignorance...it's fear and resentment.

    April 24, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. no need to know

    Hooray for President Obama as he and his cabinet try to repair and restore financial stability to America. He is without doubt the "GREATEST PRESIDENT" ever!

    April 24, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. James

    This amount of spending is irresponsible at best. Was one dime spent on furthering exploration of US oil and natural gas resources???
    Why is he throwing all that money on green initiatives that may or may not work??? I smell political advantages here.

    April 24, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Chris

    I'm so sick of this crap about the next generation will have to pay for it. Well guess what? I'm paying for the past generation before me so and so on and so on....get over it!!!

    That arugument is so dead it's ridiculous and for people to fall for the Republican agenda in trying to hash it out are just as stupid!!!

    Look THING WILL ALWAYS GO UP BE IT TAXES, GOODS OR WHAT EVER .....What you idiots would hope happens is that people salaries stay on track and go up too.....
    What they guy is trying to lay out for the country is to make things better for the next generation!!! JEEZs I swear!!!
    The best thing you folks can do is try to support the man and stop whinning like he is hurting you in some kind of way!!!

    April 24, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Eyes wide OPEN

    @Mark, B'ham., Al. April 24th, 2009 5:00 pm ET
    Obama is on his way to doubling the deficit or raising everyones taxes to new highs to keep the deficit lower but still too high so he and the democrats can pay for their European Style Socialism/Welfare State!
    Think for yourself ....Sean, Cheney, Rush,and Newt are RICH no matter What you believe or think Guess what they feed you all that BS and then call you (SUCKER)

    April 24, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Jimmy the Greek

    @ Sniffit says

    "That's because doing something to fix problems costs money. "

    ---

    Glad to see you FULLY ADMIT the liberal ideology, money = solutions.

    Go ahead on tie yourself to that anchor as the flood-waters of our national debt rise to historic levels.

    Please conveniently IGNORE the glaring facts how money RARELY is a solution: DC public schools (highest $$/student ratio – lowest test scores), generational welfare roles, AIG Bailout going to bonuses, Auto Bailout going to Union Dues, etc.

    When Americans finally figure out that the only thing TAX PAYERS get from these bloated budgets is THE BILL... democrats will be drummed out of office.

    NEWSFLASH: A government can NEVER "spend" it's way into prosperity.

    April 24, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  24. Melissa

    Well done Obama. Very well done. I notice that the Republicans chose to totally ignore anything good thats come of it.

    April 24, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. pete

    Your pay will never go up quicker than taxes in this economy. The other part is this. With unemployement so high companies can lower wages and get almost anyone they want. If not then unemployment will stay high until you lose your benefits. Either way you will see more and more poor people as the elitest get richer.

    April 24, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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