Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obama's paltry budget cuts give credibility to tea parties; $100 million is far from a good start

The Obama administration is sounding a lot like the Bush administration in its twisting of reality when confronted with an unavoidable truth.

On his blog, ABC News' White House reporter Jake Tapper recounts an exchange between him, an AP reporter and the WH Press Secretary over the minuscule size of the budget cuts the president asked of his Cabinet that morning and the size of the deficit he has created.

The Beltway two-step around the obvious by the press secretary does not provide much credibility to the Obama administration on ever being able to really cut spending and gives more credence to the complaints of Tea Party participants a week ago.

Give the White House Press Corps credit for taking the administration to task for several promises made on the campaign trail but not yet kept in office.

Tapper writes:

I interjected in an exchange between White House press secretary Robert Gibbs and another reporter today, so I've included their exchange (with my interruption) as well as my own.

JENNIFER LOVEN, AP: The $100 million target figure that the president talked about today with the Cabinet, can you explain why so small? I know he talked about -- you know, you add up 100 million and 100 million, and eventually, you get somewhere, but it would take an awfully long time to add up hundred million (inaudible) in the deficit. Why not target a bigger number?

GIBBS: (Smiling) Well, I think only in Washington, D.C. is a hundred million dollars...

LOVEN: The deficit's very large. It's not a joke.

GIBBS: No, I'm...

LOVEN: The deficit's giant. $100 million really is only a step.

GIBBS: But no joke.

LOVEN: You sound like you're joking about it, but it's not funny.

GIBBS: I'm not making jokes about it. I'm being completely sincere that only in Washington, D.C. is $100 million not a lot of money. It is where I'm from. It is where I grew up. And I think it is for hundreds of millions of Americans.

LOVEN: The point is it's not a very big portion of the deficit.

TAPPER: You were talking about an appropriations bill a few weeks ago about $8 billion being minuscule -- $8 billion in earmarks. We were talking about that and you said that that...

GIBBS: Well, in terms of -- in...(CROSSTALK)

TAPPER: ...$100 million is a lot but $8 billion is small?

GIBBS: Well, what I'm saying is I think it all adds up just as the president said, just as Jennifer was good enough to do in her question. If you think we're going to get rid of $1.3 trillion deficit by eliminating one thing, I'd be -- and the administration would be innumerably happy for you to let us know what that is.

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