Daniel J. Mitchell

After saddling the nation with trillion-dollar boondoggles like the faux stimulus and Obamacare, I’m not sure it’s possible for Obama to reinvent himself as a budget cutter before the election.

But I welcome converts, even ones that are insincere, so I’m happy he’s at least pretending to want to deal with waste and duplication in the federal budget.

Here’s a blurb from the Daily Beast about his new idea.

President Barack Obama is seeking the power to merge agencies in a bid to shrink the federal government in a sweeping move. Obama will ask Congress to give him authority to consolidate six trade and commerce agencies that have overlapping programs, cutting up to 2,000 jobs and saving $3 billion over 10 years. He’ll call for a vote by Congress within 90 days.

But I’ll definitely wait to see the fine print. After all, the President claimed in 2009 that he was directing his Cabinet to find $100 million of budget cuts.

But even that trivial gesture (almost immeasurably small compared to t a $3.6 trillion budget) turned out to be empty rhetoric.

And even if he’s serious about this latest plan, $3 billion of saving over 10 years is chicken feed compared to all of his new spending.

But if you allow me to modify an old saying, a journey of tens of trillions of dollars begins with the first $3 billion.

 


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
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