Answering criticism that his cuts were but a drop in a multi-trillion-dollar spending bucket, Obama said: "Some of the cuts we're putting forward today are more painful than others. Some are larger than others. In fact a few of the programs we eliminate will produce less than a million dollars in savings. Outside of Washington, that's still a lot of money."How can a man who is running a 2 trillion dollar annual deficit say these things with a straight face, let alone with Obama's "gift" for gravitas? A trillion is a million million. Cutting 17 billion when you are two thousand billion in deficit is like buying a lottery ticket.
Obama said that Americans are tightening their belts in these difficult times and want to know if Washington "is prepared to act with the same sense of responsibility."
The roster of cuts won't be easy for Congress to swallow. Lawmakers from the potent California, New York and Florida delegations are sure to fight the elimination of the State Criminal Alien Assistance Program, which gives money to states to help defray the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants who commit crimes. President George W. Bush tried and failed to kill the $400 million program several times.
Obama is also claiming savings from eliminating a host of accounts typically earmarked by members of Congress such as a $10 million West Virginia highway project obtained by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and $15 million obtained by Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., for diesel emissions reduction grants.
Obama is also proposing $145 million in savings from a clean water program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency which bankrolled 301 earmarks this year....