“In these challenging times, when we are facing both rising deficits and a sinking economy, budget reform is not an option. It is an imperative. We cannot sustain a system that bleeds billions of taxpayer dollars on programs that have outlived their usefulness, or exist solely because of the power of a politician, lobbyist, or interest group. We simply cannot afford it.
“This isn’t about big government or small government. It’s about building a smarter government that focuses on what works. That is why I will ask my team to think anew and act anew to meet our new challenges. We will go through our federal budget -– page by page, line by line –- eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way.”
–Barack Obama during announcement that he picked Peter Orszag to be the budget director in his administration
November 25, 2008
SEN. JOHN McCAIN (R-AZ): It is the president of the United States business to do what he said. In his, his pledge last September, President Obama said during the debate in Oxford, Mississippi, “We need earmark reform, and when I’m president I will go line by line to make sure we’re not spending money unwisely.” So what, what is brought to the floor today? [the omnibus bill] Nine thousand earmarks. So much for the promise of change.
Though he was a senator when the 2009 budget groundwork was being laid, President Obama doesn’t want to look back at the spending bill that has yet to pass [the omnibus], his top aide says.
March 8, 2009
When it comes to dealing with all those pet projects in the big spending bill before Congress, President Barack Obama’s budget chief says wait until next year.
White House budget director Peter Orszag says the Obama administration isn’t happy with the billions of dollars aimed at lawmakers’ pet projects — also known as earmarks. Obama had campaigned on changing the way such money is appropriated by Congress.
Yet Orszag says Obama doesn’t want to revisit the spending bill Congress put together before he was elected and wants to move on. Next year, according to Orszag, when Obama is fully involved in the next budget from the start, earmarks will be handled differently.
Obama’s budget chief appeared Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
Obama’s budget assumes the economy will grow at about 3.2 percent. Given climbing unemployment, shrinking credit and a general frustration over a crumbling economy, that now seems unrealistic.
Orszag acknowledged the federal budget is “uglier than we would like,” but he blamed most of the spending on last year’s budget process and defended Obama’s decision to go forward with it without seeking more changes.
“This is like your relief pitcher coming in into the ninth inning and wanting to redo the whole game,” he said. “Next year, we will be theand the game is going to be completely different.”
Beware of geeks bearing models, said Warren Buffet. Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag arrives to deliver testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 4, 2009.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)