Poll: Obama's spending freeze and the economy
President Obama will call for a three-year freeze in spending on many domestic programs, and for increases no greater than inflation after that, an initiative intended to signal his seriousness about cutting the budget deficit, administration officials said Monday.The officials said the proposal would be a major component both of Mr. Obama’s State of the Union address on Wednesday and of the budget he will send to Congress on Monday for the fiscal year that begins in October.
The freeze would cover the agencies and programs for which Congress allocates specific budgets each year, including air traffic control, farm subsidies, education, nutrition and national parks.
But it would exempt security-related budgets for the Pentagon, foreign aid, the Veterans Administration and homeland security, as well as the entitlement programs that make up the biggest and fastest-growing part of the federal budget: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
The payoff in budget savings would be small relative to the deficit: The estimated $250 billion in savings over 10 years would be less than 3 percent of the roughly $9 trillion in additional deficits the government is expected to accumulate over that time.
Reaction among the blog commentariat is generally negative, with some left-leaning pundits comparing the 44th president to Herbert Hoover and fiscal conservatives lampooning Obama for not being serious enough about cutting federal spending. (More reaction can be found here.) The Times' editorial will be posted later today
In the meantime, tell us your views by taking our unscientific poll, posting a comment or doing both.