January 26th, 2010
02:05 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama's spending freeze: Prudence or posturing?

Is President Obama's discretionary spending freeze prudence or political posturing?

Is President Obama's discretionary spending freeze prudence or political posturing?

(CNN) - President Obama's proposed spending freeze could help him recapture the favor of centrist voters, but critics blast the move as nothing more than political posturing.

The president is expected to call for a partial, three-year freeze on discretionary spending in his State of the Union address Wednesday, according to two senior administration officials. The cuts, which Obama will say would save $250 billion, would not apply to national security spending and would not affect major entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.

The proposal comes as the president's poll numbers dip and concerns about the economy and the federal deficit flare.

It also comes after a shocking election loss for Democrats in Massachusetts, which many have interpreted as an expression of voter frustration with the way Washington is handling the economy.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. single mom

    This is posturing. How about he fire the czars? That would save a bundle.

    January 26, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. NobodyKnows

    Posturing. Nothing of substance here folks.

    January 26, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. jimmm

    He did say early last year that year 2 was to look at the deficit.

    January 26, 2010 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. rob

    The Dems passed and Obama signed into law an increase of discretionary spending of about 10% just last october for fiscal 2010. During the campaign and before the stimulus was passed, President Obama said he would stop all "Ear Marks" while he would go through the budgets with a "fine toothed comb" to cut out wastefull spending.

    This is 100% posturing.

    January 26, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Dutch the Great

    I think it's a good idea both politically and for the country as a whole. If republicans are so adamant about our debt, then they should have no problem going along with this bill. I just find it amusing that they weren't all loud and obnoxious when GWB created this huge debt. Where were all the Tea Baggers then??????? Where were the rallies on Capitol Hill then??????

    January 26, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. JR

    There ya go, critics complain that Obama doesn't listen to them and here they go complaining that he IS listening to them.

    January 26, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. josiah

    OK so after a failed stimulus that cowed to Congressional Democrats with an albeit needed (8 year starvation) concessionary pork laden trough. Few programs of good = Cash for Clunkers and Unemployment extensions. Not to mention an ill conceived witch-hunt on Corporate Bonuses to switch our resolve from fiscal regulations – a health-care blunder of epic proportions; if you can even count your lack of involvement as having addressed the issue – and Now you want to freeze spending in a knee-jerk move straight outta McCain's playbook and you think this is the answer? – what Americans are mad about, especially those that voted for you and CHANGE – is the lack of big ideas – what about thinking outside the box – far from changing the political atmosphere in Washington you've melded into the fabric. PS: Saving Corporate America Big Money does not a record make, not for those who voted for change – and addressing Main St. would be nice if it weren't so cliche – what about the Side Streets and the Back Streets and the alleys of America? what about the halls of Congress? We all need Change – Step up Come Correct Act LIke You Know and Get It Done

    January 26, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. dustbunny

    He's just blowing smoke again. He will say one thing and do something different.

    January 26, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. D.D.

    I wish our President would give vets in the last three years a year or two of no federal taxes as well as anyone declared disabled on the day of the speech. This, too, needs to be group excused. All unemployeed should not pay taxes or only half this year if there are no hildren.We must do something for others to get back on track.
    Small businesses should not pay health insurance policies until three years and not prior.
    He needs to reach more to the middle class.

    January 26, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. munchmom

    He should have thought of this BEFORE he increased the deficit himself by billions with stimulus dollars that have done nothing, bank bailouts, and cash for clunkers that did nothing but put people further into debt! Now he wants to close the barn door after the cows got out. Go home, Obama, and stay in your mansion in Chicago till this all blows over!

    January 26, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. SpencerOR

    It's interesting. I read this ticker everyday, and i constantly see people attacking the democratically elected President of our country. On one hand that's great, because our country does allow us to dissent openly. But on the flip side, most of the comments are made out of nonfactual evidence gleaned from extremist organizations on both sides. While I don't agree with everything President Obama has said or done thus far, I do support this democracy and his job to do it. It's unfortunate that people don't think this President knows what's best for the country. Why was he elected in the first place? Independents/Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/Etc and the ilk can't back pedal and make it out to seem that the situation we are in is the current administrations fault. We were plagued with 8 years of fuzzy math, shoddy accounting, and extreme back room deals that provided a few key people to become extremely wealthy and attempt to eliminate the middle class. There's a reason we're here, and we're doing what we can to dig ourselves out.

    January 26, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  12. Conumdrum

    Seems to me this was tried in the Nixon administration and when the freeze was finally lifted we had runaway inflation. Now Obama wants to try this when we have stated unemployment at 10% and real unemployment (counting those who have given up and stopped looking for work) at 17%? Maybe it's time he cleared out all his crony advisers and started hiring economists who actually know what they're doing and stop letting George Soros pull his puppet strings

    January 26, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  13. Jane/Seattle

    After WASTING All our Common Treasury Bailing Out Frauds and Crooks, NOW you want to Control Spending to Appease the Thugocracy who only Want War and More War?
    Who do you think you are fooling? Why Don't you Trim the Salaries of already overpaid Government workers (at the expense of us corporate badly-paid workers, the children, the disabled, the widows, the orphans, the underpaid?

    Why don't you Stop Pandering to the WAR Industry Elites?
    Why Don't You SERVE The People and not serve up our Money to the Already Wealthy?
    Why don't you take a risk and regulate these corporate Raiders?
    Why don't you Care About Us enough to put your career up for our Collective Welfare?
    Why don't you ask us instead of the so-called experts who just bought a bad education and use it to hurt us?
    Why don't you Listen to the Naomi Klein's and Thom Hartmann's instead of the "Shock Doctors"? I'll be listening and waiting for the right actions to follow!

    January 26, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  14. NH Independent

    Obama wasn't smart enough to stop spending before his poll numbers dropped,, .....there is no way Americans will believe this is anything more than political posturing. He has lost the trust of the Americans who voted for change. One can only pray that in 2012 we rid the Whitehouse of all Socialists and Progressives

    January 26, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  15. Dave

    Everyone knows it is posturing after this past tuesday. How can anyone believe him now that he knows he must move center and away from his true beliefs? He's a puppet anyway. Every prez is.

    January 26, 2010 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Fed Up

    Anything to raise the poll numbers and Dems chances to get elected or re-elected.

    January 26, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. gary davis harbor oregon

    he is a great man and is doing great things , the more the racist purist republicans and the republicans of NO in office complain about our president ,,the more I personally know he is on track and doing great I just love the way the word great sounds when it is connected to such a great person . of high honer and respect for the people of this GREAT nation.. so to the few loud mouth idiots that are afraid of the truth .. boo hoo too you . if you aren't going to help the country take back what the last administration raped then shut up .. free speach should only go so far .. it sickens me deeply that a small amout of wealthy CEO'S still have many of americans hoodwinked just like a bunch of sheep .. and spoiled brates.. MR. OBAMA and the administration is doing as much as they can to turn the mess around . and the party of NO has proven just what they are really about . greed fear and threats od socialisum ,, people get a grip . we are the government . not the CEO'S and the small group that really run the country . so get smart and help take back the rights vote for change that the president so wants to do for all of us even the self rightious purists . .:)

    January 26, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. File under "Sarcasm"

    It's all show and political theater.

    It will only save about 3% of the $9 trillion in debt the Democrats have already approved to ADD to the current deficit over the next ten years. Someone misplaces a comma in their next pork filled spending bill and it will all disappear in a second.

    January 26, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. John

    I would like to understand how your article calls a freeze on spending a cut? By definition a freeze is something that doesn't go up, or go down. Your article certainly would make a DSCC memo, but hardly belongs in an unbaised article about the preseidents proposal.

    January 26, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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