Playing politics with the budget
February 12th, 2011
10:37 AM ET
10 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. grrace

    We do not want to listen to Orin Hatch regarding the budget. The GOP drives America into the ditch every chance it gets...becaue their people have already hedged on it. Hatch is a traitor to America, but I will bet he's made a good living on THAT.

    February 12, 2011 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  2. rich

    Belief in an age of skepticism:
    While the worls sleeps and the church age already has ended, the Bible has given us absolute proof that the year 2011 is the end of the world which will begin on the day of the judgment.
    There are less than 100 days left.
    God doesn't do random; I'm sorry.

    February 12, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  3. Jeva

    Senator Hatch from this article it seems like the deficit suddenly mushroomed but we know better don't we. All this time you have been in office it did't occur to you something had to be done. Don't just follow tea party talking points to further your political career. Same on you and all your cronies.

    February 12, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Lisa

    The recent Pew poll - among others - show the majority of Americans (and I'm not talking about the minority Tea Party) don't want massive spending cuts. So the question is - is Senator Hatch listening to the American people or just the Tea Party extremists who now control the Republican Party.

    February 12, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  5. Clwyd

    When the republicans made their cuts I was looking for some military cuts that were in proportion to the cuts in social programs. In the end the Pentagon and military don't have to worry. We can continue our wars and militarism the way they want to at the expense of the American people!

    February 12, 2011 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. AGrey

    Partisan politics of the worst kind.

    Republicans are just using this as an excuse to eliminate the things they don't like anyway. Cuts to the EPA? To the FDA?

    If they were serious about making painful sacrifices to fix the budget, they'd shave a couple of billion out of the defense budget and foreign aid to Israel. If they were serious about a balanced budget, they'd raise taxes on the wealthy (and yes, it's possible to tax wealthy individuals without hitting small businesses in the crossfire).

    But instead, they're doing all the things they've been wanting to do for years, but this time they're giving this as a reason why.

    Cutting education? Really?

    February 12, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  7. Rob

    It's both amazing and stupid that we are even having this conversation, especially after the republicans trashed and ruined this country from 1994-2006. What were Americans thinking when they returned the criminal republicans to power in the Congress? That was perhaps the biggest electoral mistake in the history of the USA. Now Americans will pay. The republicans want to take away your grandmother's medical care and your mother's food stamps just to appease their blood thirsty corporate sponsors. Don't listen to them. Americans were stupid to elect the you will pay the steep price fro doing so.

    February 12, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  8. diridi

    It is the basic reason I just ignore that GOP idiots cry on budget, and deficit...they do not have any clue at all....shame, they know, they are the ones, i mean GOP, messed like a hell, and crazy, now cry...cry...cry....idiots, do not vote for another GOP thug....period...

    February 12, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Jilli

    I prefer the presidents pragmatic approach to the budget over the reckless ideological stance the republicans are taking. We need to continue to strengthen our competitiveness and going the route of the republicans takes us more in the direction of Somalia than the leader of the free world. Thoughtful cuts are necessary, but cutting off ones nose to spite it's face is neither wise nor practical.

    February 12, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  10. Charles W. Skinner

    I'm all for the Republicans going the "take it or leave it" route with the budget negotiations. Either way, we TEA Party activists get what we want. If the cuts go through, we get our $100 Billion in cuts. If the Senate Democrat leadership blocks the cuts or won't vote for them, the government shuts down and we get our $100 Billion in savings from not having to pay for salaries and entitlements during the shutdown.

    In fact, I'm all for shutting down the government until the next fiscal year starts. Imagine the amount of money we could save then (about $1 TRILLION dollars). Pay the military salaries for those on ACTIVE duty, and that's ALL.

    February 12, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. vic nashville tn

    Cuts in Education really

    Good government will make sure its citizens get good education and good health care but our government makes sure

    Egypt military get its money
    Israel military get its money
    Iraq military get its money
    Afghanistan military get its money
    Pakistan military get its money
    Palestinians get their rebuilding fund

    February 12, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  12. a in austin

    Gop still does not offer up saving $36 billion to Exxon, Chevron and Shell. These companies get millions back on tax returns. Why are we giving them $$ only to have it spent on lobbyists that protect the businesses ie, EPA, FDA? These oil companies do not need this $$$ – it's a giveaway. Why isn't that included in the cuts....oh, that's right, place the burden on the poor and Middle Class. They got their marching orders from the koch brothers. Class warfare is growing....will we have an "Egyptian" moment here in the US?

    February 12, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Marcus

    Charles W. Skinner – We're no longer in the XVIII mister, and even back THEN such an idea as yours would have become the joke of the year...

    February 12, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. Norman Maine

    Watch the destruction of the middle class. The two-faced behavior is unbelievable. Republicans are not pure and are just are just as responsible as the Democrats for the financial mess this country is in. Where are the proposed cuts in Defense? There is so much waste there it boggles the mind.

    February 12, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. Billy

    Its cute republicans are cutting everything except their ambitions. time to put lower class Americans out of work and on the streets as long as the rich and weallthy can have lobster dinners tonight.

    February 12, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Billy

    why is the middle east getting our money. ?

    February 12, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. KatR

    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."

    No, Mr. Hatch. The real question is whether the GOP and Tea Party reps will choose to listen to the American people. The President has been listening to and acting for the American people...particularly the middle class who have no hope of greater freedom and opportunity as long as your party's ideology is based on the failed theory of 'trickle down economics'. You don't build a tree by starting at the top. It begins with a tiny seed and grows up.

    February 12, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    747 million cut from the WIC program?

    And you cons call yourself "pro=life"? You are truly just anti-abortion.

    As soon as those poor little feet hit the air you are willing to take the very food out of their mouths.

    A rather poor examples of "christians" you make, Jesus never said starve the day old infants among us. "Conservative compassion"? Indeed.

    Not only are you pathetic excuses of ectoplasm NOT Christ-like you are going straight to Hell for valuing the almighty dollar over the lives of infants and using the name of Christ in vain.

    Your day is coming, and it will go something like Christ saying "I never knew ye" and when He does, may God have mercy upon your foul souls.

    February 12, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  19. GonzoinHouston

    If they can put together a bill to eliminate wasteful spending, and get both parties to back it, then I'll believe that they're serious. The GOP holds the House, the Democrats hold the Senate, and absolutely nothing is going to pass that is not thoroughly bi-partisan.

    This $100-billion dollar debate is just hot air and partisan posturing. It will die in the Senate on the first vote, if it even gets to the floor for debate.

    February 12, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  20. Rob J

    I thought jobs was the number one priority for the Republicans. So far they have wasted tax payer money by having a pointless vote on healthcare, tried to redefine rape and now they want to cut hundreds of thousands of jobs. I must have missed that econ class, where cutting jobs leads to more jobs???

    February 12, 2011 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  21. Mike Dallas

    As you "christians" continue to "walk in the footsteps of Jesus" that crunching sound will the carcasses and the tiny bones of the infants and young toddlers your cuts have sentenced to die.

    Feel better now about giving that 900 billion cuts to the rich and then cutting millions from the most vulnerable among us?

    And do not expect President Obama to bail you out, his "move to the center" has made him just like you, and more caring about the rich than the poor, sorry to say.

    February 12, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  22. B

    The Republicans just about destroy the country through bungling the economy for eight years and now hammer working Americans with their Bill for their total incompetence. Where is the outrage to these hypocritical Republicans?

    I am surprised that the people are not "in the streets"

    February 12, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  23. gail

    These are the people that said Obama's health care would cause us to have"death panels." It seems to me cuts to education, climate, food safety, planned parenthood and the like would likely kill more people. Our poorly educated children will have a hard time getting a job that pays them enough to purchase the things they need to survive. I wonder how the daughter of conservative role model Palin has managed to buy such a nice house. She didn't finish her education, had a child out of wedlock and doesn't seem to have a job. Maybe the repubs figure if she can do it without public assistance, anyone can. Jerks.

    February 12, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Indiana Voter

    "President Obama, who will unveil his proposals Monday, said it's time "Washington acted responsibly" and live within its means."
    What a change of heart this President has had now that he was rebuked in the elections. Hopefully he means what he says this time, however something tells me he does not. It's all about his re-election. He will do just enough to fool his gullible base one more time in one more election. I wonder what slogan the simple minded will fall for this time?

    February 12, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. peace

    it"s men like Orin,gop,tea party the reason we need education.

    February 12, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
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