Playing politics with the budget
February 12th, 2011
10:37 AM ET
12 years ago

Playing politics with the budget

Washington (CNN) - Both sides of the political aisle staked out their fiscal positions Saturday ahead of the budget debate on Capitol Hill.

President Obama, who will unveil his proposals Monday, said it's time "Washington acted responsibly" and live within its means. He said his budget will propose freezing annual domestic spending for the next five years, stripping waste from government, including getting rid of empty government buildings and suspending salaries for government employees. He also vowed to veto any bill that contains earmarks, legislative provisions that direct funds to a specific project.

While cuts are necessary, he said investing in job creation and education are equally important.

"It would be a mistake to balance the budget by sacrificing our children's education," Obama said in Saturday's web and radio address. "After a decade of rising deficits, this budget asks Washington to live within its means, while at the same time investing in our future. It cuts what we can't afford to pay for what we cannot do without."

In the Republican weekly address, Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah said the president is not tackling the debt crisis "with the seriousness it deserves."

"The president's proposal for a freeze in government spending might give the White House a nice talking point, but it is a totally inadequate solution to our nation's spending problems," Hatch said.

He criticized the health care legislation as an "entitlement" with a "price tag" that will continue to grow, and said a debate on reforming programs like social security and Medicare is needed for the country to tackle spending. Hatch pointed to fiscal cuts made by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both Republicans, as examples of what can be accomplished with leadership.

House Republicans will introduce legislation next week that will include cuts in education and federal programs, but sweeping cuts in the House will likely make it harder to negotiate a deal in the Senate.

"The president and the Democrats are missing in action," Hatch said. "I expect that Americans will choose the course of greater freedom and more opportunity. The question is whether the administration will choose to listen to the American people or continue our current spending crisis."

- CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report

Filed under: Budget • Congress • GOP weekly address • Orrin Hatch • President Obama
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Liberal Elite= Anyone with an education

    Lets see: Tax breaks and benefits for the rich, and deep cuts on anything that protects our food supply, educates our children, puts cops on the streets, or keeps people from becoming homeless and starving. We won't put the slightest dent in military spending, oil subsidies, or benefits to big business.
    Sounds like a great idea, Republicans! Just look how well these ideas worked for Hosni Mubarak. Certainly having a bunch of unemployed, undernourished, angry people on the street has never ended badly, has it? Now where did I leave that guillotine...

    February 12, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  2. Savannah

    What do you call it when the Repubs propose eliminating Family Planning while doing everything they can to make abortion services impossible for women to get–it's called the Republican Mandated Breeding Program!!

    February 12, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. therealmarie

    So painfully pitiful to see Sen Hatch stoop so low to bow to the most ignorant and distructive members of our society in order to hold on to his job, a job he should have retired from a long time ago. He really used to be a normal person.

    February 12, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. Rick

    The republicans say they want to do something about the deficit but their idea is to cut education instead of their salary and benefits

    February 12, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
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