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escribacat On January - 25 - 2010

Today, President Obama announced a proposal to freeze discretionary budget items, excluding security costs, for the next three years. Here’s how various media outlets presented this story.

NY Times
Obama Seeks Freeze on Many Domestic Programs

LA Times
Obama to seek spending freeze, more aid to middle class

MSNBC
Obama seeks to freeze some spending

CNN
Obama: Freeze non-security, discretionary spending

Chicago Tribune
AP sources: Obama will ask to freeze a part of govt spending for 3 years beginning in 2011

ABC News
OBAMA: Freeze on Non-Security Spending

Washington Post
Obama to put limits on government spending

Fox News
So Long, Spending

Drudge
Not mentioned

Huffington Post
MR. FREEZE

Categories: News & Politics

63 Responses so far.

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  1. SueInCa says:

    Bito -- I love this one…………………

    Gretel, Totaly agree with you! they only ones that are talking about an

  2. ArtMan says:

    Two points:
    First, conservatives continue to demean themselves by making a comment about Obama’s decision to freeze spending, and then qualify it with “McCain already said that”, so pathetic.

    Second, NPR reported that the Whitehouse said there would be no cuts that would negatively affect the economic growth of the nation, doesn’t that seem to be, a Duh!

  3. Gretel1or2 says:

    According to ABC news, these areas will not be affected by Obama’s spending freeze

    1. Social Security
    2. Medicare
    3.Homeland Security
    4. Veteran’s Administration
    5. Defense

    These areas will be affected

    1. Air traffic control
    2. National Parks
    3. Farm Subsidies
    4. Education
    5. More..

    It remains to be seen exactly how these areas will be affected.

  4. javaz says:

    Candidate Obama criticized McCain

  5. KQuark says:

    The left says we can never have spending cuts no matter what.

    The says right we can never ever raise taxes.

    Both are needed and both are difficult politically because the partisans on both sides fearmonger and claim disaster whenever either are mentioned. So the weak kneed politicians never do either when both are needed.

    The disconnect is what’s politically popular is not always what the country needs.

    Long die America’s hyperpartisan demise.

    • ArtMan says:

      K,
      So what suggestions do you have to correct our political behavior. I think someone needs to draft a constructive article that clearly points out the something that I grew up hearing.

      “If you always do what you’ve always done, then you will always get what you always got”

      Another words, if all we do is complain, then we deserve what we get. So….. what can we do?

      • KQuark says:

        I have not formulated a solution yet and may never have any answers let alone all of them. But I see our system is broken. For example, the left and right are bringing down HCR because they are too busy playing political footsie with their bases. People always blame the leaders but leaders need people to follow and the left has the ideas but a herd of cats and the right has the wrong ideas and orthodoxy attached to those wrong ideas.

        My preliminary thoughts are you pull the politically tough decisions away from the sausage grinder that is broken with things like presidential and congressional commissions that have worked well in the past. But even commissions are being politicized now.

  6. javaz says:

    Shhhhh!

    Don’t tell Republicans about Monday night’s Rachel Maddow Show, where progressive economist Jared Bernstein, who works for Vice President Joe Biden, reassured Maddow that the controversial “spending freeze” the Obama administration just leaked wouldn’t apply to many important social programs, at all.

    And do they think all Republicans are stupid and/or completely cut off from the liberal blogosphere, so they won’t learn that this is just a pretend freeze, that will let Democrats grow social spending for their priorities? Bernstein said it would let Obama cut “wasteful spending” and thwart the lobbyists who defend every imaginable government program. Really? If everyone knows the freeze isn’t real, and it’s just about proving your program is important to the recovery or health care or some other protected priority, it will be a lobbyists’ free for all anyway.

    http://www.salon.com/news/us_economy/index.html?story=/opinion/walsh/politics/2010/01/25/faux_freeze

    • bitohistory says:

      j’avaz, I like Joan Walsh, but….
      I need to see the actual proposals, some details, not just these generalities.One thing Bernstein did say was that none of the cuts would start till 2011--That is after the mid-terms! How big, how much, what program, when…….

  7. nellie says:

    This is a really complicated issue, too. Because the conventional answer to unemployment is to increase spending. Obama is going to get a lot of criticism from the left on this one.

    It’s an interesting idea, though — from an economic standpoint — to target spending freezes in order to increase other parts of the budget. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard that proposed before.

    Paul Krugman is not happy, but he adds this ray of hope to an otherwise scathing editorial:

    Now, I still cling to a fantasy: maybe, just possibly, Obama is going to tie his spending freeze to something that would actually help the economy, like an employment tax credit. (No, trivial tax breaks don

    • bitohistory says:

      Interesting point that Bernstein made last night on Rachel, and I paraphrase,~~We are going to go through the budget line by line—its difficult, for every line there is a lobby fight for or against it. You should come and sit in on one of the meetings Rachel.~~~~

      Real invite? Take It Rachel ❗

    • Tiger99 says:

      From what I understand, several of the programs that are being proposed in the freeze have received big increases so effectively they should be well funded… The freeze will just halt new increases that they may not have received anyhow… Once everything is in place it will be easier to research…

    • escribacat says:

      The one this morning is even worse, and the comments thread is a full-on lynching party.

  8. javaz says:

    CAF leaders try to escape the box by arguing that deficit reduction should be “long-term” — but that we need more “up-front” spending, stimulus and investment for now. But Social Security’s enemies are playing for the long term. So long as they can put Social Security and Medicare on the path to destruction over time, they’ll be happy — and quite willing to make some “short-term” concessions to reach that goal.

    Yes, we must defend Social Security and Medicare from Wall Street and its political agents — which now, sadly, include the Obama White House. But we’ll lose on that — and everything else — if we start by giving up the fight for an aggressive, effective, sustained and long-range economic recovery program, deficits and all.

    http://www.alternet.org/news/145401/why_progressives_shouldn%27t_fall_for_the_deficit_reduction_trap

    It is the growth in the so-called entitlement programs

    • KQuark says:

      Alternet is a purist la la land. They don’t have a clue.

      They are using Republican tactics of fearmongering, demonizing and conflating issues. SS and Medicare have nothing to do with Wall Street.

      Obama has long term plans that progressives are fighting because they contain compromises the purists don’t want. Just like without conservatives, without progressives HCR would be passed by now.

  9. Gretel1or2 says:

    Thanks escribacat for posting this! So how are the teabaggers going to respond to this latest development? Are they going to rally and say they are tired of government freezes?

    Has Obama has effectively silenced the teabag noise machine by removing one of their primary trump cards? He has spoken forcefully against the supreme court ruling and vowed to challenge them, he has increased spending for working/middle-class families and proposed to decrease spending in other areas. So what are the teabaggers going to complain about? Geitner? Bernanke? Well I think that’s AH’s domain!!

    • LABC63 says:

      Unless he has become all white, they’ll have something to complain about. Neatly disguised as ” socialist commnunfascism.”

      And yes, I have played the race card -- I will cash out my chips now.. :)

  10. Khirad says:

    9/10 comments were also Obame=Bush in orientation…

  11. KQuark says:

    Escribacat one of my favorite series for sure.

    Again this is more BS to drum up faux outrage for the right wing and left wing extremes. They don’t mention that it won’t affect entitlements either. The discretionary spending cuts will only be token at first.

  12. choicelady says:

    Thanks e’cat! This is great! I listened to Biden’s economics person (missed his name) and realized that Obama is about to give us that great cost-cutting and revenue-shifting scene from “Dave”. (Every real progressive’s dream scene.) He will cut programs that are not working and that soothe the savage heart of only corporate lobbyists. He will then focus on spending around programs that build the economy and shore up the working and middle class people. He’s already anchored programs for the poor that have protected over 3 million people just here in CA.

    I am so sick of phony progressives! Left or Right, all this nation knows how to do is whine. HuffPo is the worst of the lot. She doesn’t have a clue what the President will say tomorrow night, but let’s slam him just for the hell of it. I’m done with her.

    She is the reason we have Arnold. In the debate before he got elected the first time, he was asked what he would do about the sudden massive shortfall in the CA budget -- and before he was forced to answer, to prove he had not a clue -- she butted in making derisive comments to and about him, and he never EVER answered the question. She handed the election to him right there. Many of us watching knew it right then, and we’ve never forgiven her for her arrogant stupidity.

    • jan4insight says:

      The econ guy was Jared Bernstein. I read one of his books and was greatly impressed by it; I’m glad to see he’s on the econ team in the WH. That said, I find it really sad that the WH has lost control of the message already withthe word “freeze”. (Even Rachel didn’t seem to get it, and she’s usually pretty sharp.) It’s seems like a good but complex move, and that doesn’t translate well into sound bites.

      • Gretel1or2 says:

        I watched the segment with Jared Bernstein and Rachel Maddow last night and I understood exactly was he was saying. I love Rachel and think she’s usually on point even in her criticisms of Obama, but last night I just couldn’t help but feel that she had already made up her mind and was trying to save face by pretending not to understand what Jared was saying. I find it hard to believe that Rachel did not get the concept, especially when Obama himself campaigned on this very idea -- this is nothing new. During the debates he talked about going through the budget “line by line” and using a scalpel. John McCain had also proposed freezes but not in the discriminating way that Obama is now proposing.

        On the other hand,(just my wild speculation) the media might be trying a strategy to create confusion among the public just so that people will tune in to Obama’s SOTU address to clarify the rumors they’ve heard. The MSM seems to thrive on controversy. If people are too content and know everything, then they won’t be motivated to watch the speech on Wednesday.

        • nellie says:

          I think Rachel was sincere — she knows economics, and she’s absolutely right that in the first 10 pages of any Econ 101 textbook, you learn that you don’t cut spending during an economic downturn. She has every right to be skeptical.

          We just have to see how the plan is structured and if it has a payoff. I’m skeptical as well — my field was economics — but I think it’s an innovative idea.

          And I always like the idea of bringing some discipline to our budget — especially where corporate giveaways are concerned.

          • Gretel1or2 says:

            Nellie I think you’re right. I do believe that Rachel is honest -- I recalled her “are you kidding me?” reaction to Chris Matthews when he made the far-fetched claim that the MA voters were concerned about “debt” and gov’t spending which is why they voted for Scott Brown. Well I think the WH should invite the commentators like Rachel Maddow who still have a shred of integrity left to one of their meetings, like Jared said. If she’s on board with what they’re doing and can project confidence on her show, then that would do a lot to allieviate some of the anxiety among progressives.

            But I do recall Obama specifically stating that he would comb through the budget and cut spending on programs that have been receiving money but are redundant. The Medicare program he mentioned is a supplemental program that subsides the insurance companies, but does not actually benefit the people on that program. The media and much of the public are confused on that -- so it’s really up to Obama and the WH to clarify what exactly they are going to cut spending on.

            • nellie says:

              I think he’s referring to Medicare Advantage — which is not really a medicare program, but an insurance subsidy to private companies that charge more for the same services that Medicare provides.

              People really need to be careful before they jump to criticize. And you’re so right about the administration needing to be very clear and straightforward when they explain this.

              I think Rachel will come around if this works. She seems to be very fair.

        • escribacat says:

          Good point, Gretel. I had forgotten about that “line by line” statement, which he made over and over during the campaign.

      • Hopeington says:

        I have to agree with you both, When I listened to Bernstein try and explain what he was talking about I knew it wasn’t in plain enough terms, the word freeze seems to be in use to appease, but once again it only misleads and I feel they’ve lost the message before we even got it.
        I hope not, And I think Rachel was in the moment and wasn’t thinking on her feet tonight. She’ll figure it out.

  13. jan4insight says:

    After Keith & Rachel’s segments on this topic tonight, I realized that a) calling it a “freeze” seems like a real distortion, typical of the msm 😛 but b) the WH certainly seems like they’re trying to sharpen their message with a blunt pocketknife. Where is George Lakoff when we need him?

    • Gretel1or2 says:

      I think Obama needs to get his message out personally and directly to the public. He has allowed the media to distort his entire purpose and agenda by undermining his credibility with these constant streams of rumors from the WH, leaks, annonymous speakers, etc..Unlike George Bush, Obama does not have the MSM as his mouthpiece. They won’t protect him and cover for him. Even his so-called base is willing to throw him under the bus for their peceived betrayal by him. When you have democratic senators coming on cable shows and bashing the president, I have to wonder.

  14. AdLib says:

    Thanks escrib! Love this feature!

    It always comes down to a competition between Huff and Drudge for “Douchiest” and Huff wins again IMO.

    Saying nothing about it is an admission that they are disarmed on this issue.

    “Mr. Freeze” seems so childish, simple minded and ridiculing it could have come from Rush’s or Beck’s mouth.


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