Obama more effective on spending cuts

OBAMA MORE EFFECTIVE ON SPENDING CUTS…. When George W. Bush was in the White House, he’d do what lots of presidents would do: talk about cutting federal spending. Of course, there’s a big difference between talking about something and actually doing it.

President Obama notched substantial successes in spending cuts last year, winning 60 percent of his proposed cuts and managing to get Congress to ax several programs that had bedeviled President George W. Bush for years.

The administration says Congress accepted at least $6.9 billion of the $11.3 billion in discretionary spending cuts Mr. Obama proposed for the current fiscal year. An analysis by The Washington Times found that Mr. Obama was victorious in getting Congress to slash 24 programs and achieved some level of success in reducing nine other programs.

Among the president’s victories are canceling the multibillion-dollar F-22 Raptor program, ending the LORAN-C radio-based ship navigation system and culling a series of low-dollar education grants. In each of those cases, Mr. Obama succeeded in eliminating programs that Mr. Bush repeatedly failed to end.

“This is a very strong beginning for the president’s efforts to shape a budget that invests in programs that work and that ends programs that don’t,” said Tom Gavin, a spokesman for the White House budget office. “The Congress has approved more than 60 percent of the president’s proposals, and that’s a high mark, that’s a strong beginning.”

It obviously helps that we have a Democratic president working with a Democratic Congress, but note that when there was a Republican president basically telling a Republican Congress what to do, GOP policymakers didn’t cut spending as much as Obama did last year.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that Republican lawmakers — the ones who claim to be more aggressive when it comes to cutting spending — also fought bitterly last year against every proposed reduction offered by the White House, most notably when it came to health care.

What’s more, when the president reached out to Republicans over the summer, urging them to put together a list of spending cuts they’d like to see, the GOP caucus came up with $23 billion in proposed cuts over five years — far less than the White House plan to reduce spending over the same period.

For all the complaining from the Tea Party crowd, there’s an odd disconnect. These folks applauded a Republican president who increased the deficit and increased the size of government, but they literally take to the streets to denounce a Democratic president who has cut taxes, cut spending, and makes sure his proposals are paid for. Why throw a fit over the more fiscally responsible president?