May 7th, 2009
02:55 PM ET
9 years ago What's on Obama's chopping block

President Obama announced $17 billion in budget cuts Thursday.

President Obama announced $17 billion in budget cuts Thursday.

WASHINGTON ( - Even on the campaign trail last year, President Obama pledged to cull waste from the budget. On Thursday, he pulled back the curtain on his plans.

All told, Obama put 121 government initiatives in the cross hairs for reductions. Dozens of them face outright elimination.

"Some programs may have made sense in the past - but are no longer needed in the present," President Obama said. "Other programs never made any sense; the end result of a special interest's successful lobbying campaign."

Congress still has to sign off on the president's proposed cuts, and already some lawmakers were crying foul.

But Obama got the process started. Here are ten programs or grants that could be ended or cut back because the administration considers them obsolete, duplicative or a waste of money.

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Filed under: Obama administration
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. michele

    I don't see any big ticket items here. I only see items costing a few million each. Did your journalists choose these items simply because they would get a reaction from people? Come on CNN you should at least provide all the information listed on the chopping block, and not just juicy bits.
    I expect a bit more from you!

    May 7, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  2. Tulsa

    If Congress doesn't want to cut, then they will be cut loose. The People have the duty to see this is done.

    May 7, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. mjm

    So let me get this straight.... Alaska is the only state named in this report.

    Not California or Illinois or Michigan.

    The broke blue states are doing fine, Alaska need a budget cut.

    Seems more like pay back to me.

    May 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  4. phoenix86

    Why not cut out the high-speed rail line from Las Vegas?
    Why not cut out the money for the auto sector?
    Why not cut out or reduce the stimulus monies not already spent?

    Why not make real cuts instead of cuts for sound-bites?

    May 7, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Ray Fisher

    The media should air the list to get support for the President instead of adding to the hype!!!

    May 7, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. GOPer

    Thank You Mr. President. Regardless of party affiliation, you are doing the right thing. You are doing what the GOP should have done the past 8 years! Thank You for doing the right thing!

    May 7, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Tim

    1/4 of 1% of the bloated budget, that's what is on his chopping block.

    May 7, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. Mississippi Mike

    Capitalism our military and personal freedom are on Obama's chopping block. So far, he's taken some nice chunks out of each.

    May 7, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Doug, New Jersey

    What's on Obama's chopping block? Well for the first term its our first and second amendment rights. If he gets a second? Well do some reserch on what was being chopped at some of the soccer stadiums in Iraq to Sadam's opposition.

    May 7, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    That money will be much better spent on kickbacks to agenda friendly media moguls.

    May 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. David

    Kudos to the Obama administration for putting these programs on the chopping block. It opens up the debate with real world examples. I'm sure this is only the beginning.

    It should be interesting to see how many of the fiscal conservative Republicans will complain about the cuts. Talking about cutting spending is easy when it's in general terms but reality sinks in pretty darn fast once the cuts affect your constituents. To be fair, there will be Dem congressmen and senators that will complain about the cuts too.

    Remember folks, it's only pork if it's being spent in someone else's state or district 😉

    May 7, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  12. Clair

    Your are not supposed to cut spending Obama, you are a liberal! You are going to get them dazed and confused.

    May 7, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. rockturner

    Good for Him. God for Us.

    Good for out children and grandchildren.

    If I have to learn to save money, so does the government and other outreach services.

    Did anyone ever see the movie "DAVE" with Kevin Klein, playing a double for a "lousey President" in the movie he and his friend, trim the budget.

    This is the way Obama is doing it. Cutting the fat.

    Another place he could find revenue is to penalize American Companies who outsource to make profits, while cutting American jobs. We all have seen the effect on this nightmare.

    Corporate Greed, Overpriced Housing, Auto and Health Care costs are all tied to Outsourcing.

    May 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. chubby

    This countries financial future is on the chopping block, for every dollar he cuts, that means there is at least a million dollars he figures he can spend. He calls it cutting the excess and the fools on the left chant the tired slogan "Change we can believe in". I believe in change also, but my hope for change comes in 2010 and 2012.

    May 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Allen

    obamas head?

    May 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Qui-Tam Relator

    Suck it up people and our elected officials! Of course our elected officials will be the first to complain their the ones that have two faces one for us and the other for the people they have to kiss up to in D.C. When will the American People ever wake up ! ****************************************************************

    May 7, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Chip

    Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., who rescued the program from the chopping block during the Bush administration.

    Oh, so he did try to cut spending....

    I think this is great!

    Lend me that pen for a minute and I could actually get the budget below the revenues that come in...just like I do it at home. If we don't need it, we don't buy it. Pay-go!

    If the government was as good a steward of my money as I am, they'd be in good shape!

    May 7, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  18. yuri

    But then there are some whackos who will even oppose things like frugal spending like they have all the solutions in the world.

    May 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  19. Mike in NYC

    Who's the brother on the Great One's right? He's shown up in a bunch of other photo ops. I assume he's there to help people forget the fact that BO's administration is every bit as White as Bush's. Which I have no problem with at all - you go where the talent is.

    That's Peter Orszag on the left. His other economic brains are Volcker, Summers and Romer. Melody Barnes is head of his Domestic Policy Team, and she's black, but that was a charity appointment, as she's not even in the same league as the others.

    May 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  20. Biff

    Man, I know Mississippi voted for McCain but don't hold a grudge. Cotton storage and health care training for a total of 72million... i thought he was all about health care.

    May 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  21. yuri

    Watch out for the repugnant repubs who repeatedly resist all and sundry that the other party represents.

    May 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. Retired US ARMY

    The biggest proposed cuts and reductions in the president's budget are defense-related:

    Recruiting and retention adjustments: $6.24 billion
    Future combat systems of manned ground vehicles: $2.98 billion
    F-22 raptor fighter aircraft: $2.9 billion
    Transformational satellite: $768 million
    Joint strike fighter alternate engine: $465 million

    While I can agree with some of the cuts, I have questions as to the Recruitong and retention adjustments. We have just done away with the issuance of stop gap orders and have two wars still on going. retention and recruiting are both going to be critical issues in the future.

    The F-22 aircraft is a drop in the bucket and the procurement program is all most complete, sure we are not using these aircraft in either of our current wars, they were created for the future. I do not see scrapping the program at this late date having any savings what so ever and unless we are mothballing the aircraft that we have already procured and that would be the lame idea of the century, the end of the procurment cycle is where we gain sustanability through stockpiling needed repair parts.

    We must not stop planning for the future, however if these cuts meet with the approval of the Joint Chiefs then I will support them 110%, however I do not want to see pentagon procurement being dictated by political adgendas rather than the needs of the nation as was done under Rumsfeldt and Bush.

    May 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. Gene

    He's doing exactly what he promised.. to to through the budget line by line and take out the programs that aren't working. Now, lets see who it is that voices the biggest objections.

    I have a funny feeling that the people who are going to be objecting the most are the same ones that are screaming that we're spending ourselves into oblivion... guess we'll just have to wait and see 🙂

    May 7, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Chi Town

    "What's on Obama's Chopping Block"

    A day's pay for a days work
    Quality health care
    Jobs in America
    National Defense

    May 7, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  25. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    The truth hurts – there is NO CHOPPING block.

    $17B out of $3.5T is 0.5 percent – the same as 50 cents out of ONE HUNDRED dollars.

    The math does not lie but a cheap PR stunt does!

    May 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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