January 26th, 2010
02:05 PM ET
5 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. MatthewDetroit

    Maybe instead of writing our Senators and Congress we can write Joe.

    Joe Davis. He operates the Teleprompter.

    We could tell him what we want written, done, and all the hollow, lies and promises to put up.

    Then Barack can read it for us. It will be like story time for kids.

    Its all lies anyway. Good job Barack. What a lousy president....you have dropped lower then Jimmy Carter. Never thought I would ever see a worse president. WHat a poor example for a human being or for a leader. You are way out of your league guy. Just take the money and run. Maybe you can get another book deal.

    January 26, 2010 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  2. davis harbour oregon's water is poisoned

    duh!!! posturing ofcourse.

    January 26, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. nick

    CNN leave our President alone!

    January 26, 2010 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Selma Crandall

    Obama's "freeze" is just political posturing. If he wants to save money for Americans, let's drill, baby, drill!.

    January 26, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Dean in Florida

    The average Obama supporter is ignorant, but the average U.S. voter is not. Can this ass-clown do anything right?

    January 26, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. JS007

    The way to reduce the deficit is this:

    – Cut military spending in half – the US would still be spending more than any other country. Why do we need troops in Germany and South Korea?

    – Put in a single-payer health system – that would cut health costs in half, saving hundreds of billions per year.

    – Tax incomes over $2M at a much higher rate.

    Of course, because the rich, the military industrial complex, and the health insurance companies control the corrupt Congress none of this will happen. I'd like Obama to at least talk about it though.

    This spending freeze idea is pure BS, it didn't work for McCain so why is Obama doing it now? He must have some STUPID advisers!

    January 26, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Nancy

    Are you kidding? Comeplete posturing; guy is spending us into oblivion and he wants to pretend to be a fiscal hawk? What a joke.

    Besides, read the fine print; the stimulus, social security, medicare and medicaid are all exempt from the freez; complete joke.

    January 26, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  8. james Miller

    Convenient prudency. HEY ! He IS a politician after all, isn`t he?

    January 26, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  9. Ron in California

    It is all posturing. Congress is out of control.

    January 26, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. stevegee

    Does The PropOganda Machine know no bounds?

    This so-called spending freeze is a drop in the bucket, and mere posturing by an extremely unpopular administration. The American people are not stupid!

    If Obama wants to make meaningful spending reform, he should start by cutting his own salary to $1 - he's already gotten rich off his book deal. And Congress should join in by cutting their salaries and expenses to the bone (sell Air Pelosi on ebay and cut out the flowers).

    Then bring out the big cuts by slashing all the government programs that are strangling are country, like entitlements (do the math, we can't sustain them), subsidy programs (let free enterprise reign), and Foreign Aid (we can't afford to take care of our own country, why should we send money abroad?).

    Put some common sense citizens in charge of spending reform and we might not go bankrupt.

    January 26, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. ed

    This would be like somebody, after a week long drunk, parking in a church parking lot for 5 minutes so he can claim to be a responsible person.

    January 26, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Showtime - Tampa

    Is that question a joke – OF COURSE, it is posturing!

    January 26, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. radrob

    Yes this is political posturing as it does not involve major portions of the budget and is a pittance in the entire scheme of things. The Republicans and independents are going to see right through this. Obama still does not get it and he is going to tell you one thing and do another or keep on the same course. I so much enjoyed watching the health care debate on CSpan, I can not wait for the budget debate! OH THE TRANSPARENCY!!!

    January 26, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    I for one am highly skeptical because we have heard the promises before and most were empty words. However, I am willing to give him this opportunity to do sometihing about all this crazy spending. Since we have been fussing about spending cuts, I fully expect the GOP to support this. The question is where do the radical left of HIS party stand? I sincerely hope he is sincere!

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

    Posturing, it's like closing the barn door after the horse got out, ran away, got hit by a car and turned into glue.

    January 26, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  16. Just Give Me The Gift

    Prudence or posturing? Race horse or show horse? Hmmmm....

    January 26, 2010 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  17. Posturing, first class

    Posturing, posturing...of which Obama is very good at together with
    his smooth speeches without real messages the country can believe

    ...................................................POSTURING.............................................

    January 26, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. katiec

    Oh for crying out loud, CNN. Postering??
    Am so sick of your bias, of your negativity towards anything our
    president tries to do.
    If you are not senationalizing, which is quite often, then you are
    on the republicans bandwagon of trying to destroy anything and
    everything for our countries survival.
    If people wanted crap like this they would turn to Fox. Oh, forgot.
    We don't need to as we have CNN, ugh.

    January 26, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. swin5

    Of course he's posturing – he's trying to get national attention away from all his blunders, recent and past. That said, a day of reckoning is fast approaching. When you are borrowing money, not for new ventures, but to pay the interest on money you've already borrowed, then you are essentially broke.

    The Democrats will cause us to go broke with all their socialism but the Republicans are no better. We have trillions, I repeat, trillions of dollars that will have to be cut to not only balance the budget but pay off the deficit. So see how the Republicans would like this:

    1. World War II is over – protecting our country does not mean we have to protect the world. Bring back all troops from and close all bases in Europe and Japan.

    2. Eisenhower warned us of the military industrial complex and how it would fight for it's survival. Vietnam, Korea, Desert War I and II were all fought by the working men and women of America for the covert purpose of transferring wealth to this wealthy class of parasites. That being said.......

    3. Get out of Korea. Over 50 years ago these people tried to re-unite their own country and fought for the right to determine their own destiny. We interfered because we didn't like the government they may have chosen (communism) and are still paying the price today. Look at Vietnam – they kicked us out and today they seem to be doing OK.

    All these budget cuts they talk about keep saying that national defense can not be cut, but this is where the largest potential savings are. Other nations in history have learned a lesson this country is just coming to grips with – when you create an empire eventually you will go broke trying to maintain it and protect it. Ask the Romans. Ask the British.

    Just to repeat – defending our country is not the same thing as defending the world.

    And by the way – show me where in the Constitution the federal government has the right to take your money and give it to foreign countries in the form of foreign aid.

    January 26, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Larry-Hazleton, Pa

    The President needs to very careful not to repeat the errors of the past – In 1935 FDR was pressured by the republicans to cut spending and control the budget – there are lots of folks who believe that this caused the recession in 1936 that continued until the beginning of the 2nd world war – If history teachs us anything it should be to not repeat mistakes.

    January 26, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. Raymond

    The President has failed to arrest foreclosures in any meaningful way and has not recognized that the middle class was able to make it through the past 20 years or so by drawing down their home equity. Now the middle class is faced with living on its income, an income reduced by the Wall Street and big business – and Republican – financial Darwinism. If they are smart enough to get it from you, they get to keep it, and tough luck to you, chump.

    Obama has done nothing but talk, sometimes loudly, and carry a limp stick. Nothing he has announced so far will change the middle class's earnings and make sure they get some of the benefit from increasing efficiency in business.

    And nothing has addressed the fantasy that Republicans encourage, that they would be rich if they did not have to pay taxes. But they still want schools, roads, streetlights, police and fire protection and all those things that government does. The Teapot tyrants can believe that no government is best, but the rest of the people should have someone standing up and defending what government does.

    January 26, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. paksa

    Just another knee-jerk reaction by an administration that is more concerned with self-image than the needs of this country and it's people. The posturing is so obvious and is just another insult to the intelligence of the American people. This president is definitely disconnected to the heart and mindset of the people and because of either an inablility, or refusal, to listen, just keeps pushing and pushing ineffective agendas..... And what does he do when the polls keep dropping??? He brings in his former campaign guru!!!!!

    January 26, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. awaitingmoderationby CNN

    He is just freezing the programs that tax paying, working Americans might benefit from. I would be more impressed if he actually did something about all of the waste and fraud in the "entitlement" programs. What he finds there would probably start making a dent in the deficit he has created with all of the political payoffs for the unions and the other fraudulent, corrupt democratically controlled organizations the stimulus money went to.

    January 26, 2010 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  24. in AK

    Obama knows his approval rating is dippin! good! he now knows he should've listened to americans rather then doing things by himself, or for him and his dummicrat buddies. should've also lived up to his most important promises, of not signing any bills not unless they were online for the public to read for five days, or being transparent. come november, him and his dummicrat cronies know what they are up against! I can't wait!

    January 26, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. mark

    prudence or posturing you ask? I ask, why does it matter? It will be praised by liberals and attacked by conservatives. (the exact opposite of what you would have thought right!!!) Just shows how polarized we are, and how the other side is just cutting off its nose to spite its face.

    Good luck America.

    January 26, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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