Imagine a family that made $50,000 this year, but borrowed like crazy and spent $77,000, overshooting their income by $27,000. What would you think of if this happened?
Wife: Ok. So it's bad that we over spent by $27,000. I'm concerned about that, so I did something good. I found $386 of spending we can cut.
Husband: What? We can't do that. I refuse to stop that spending!
My reaction is to applaud the wife for realizing that there was a problem, but that even her paltry figure is ridiculous in the face of overspending their income by $27,000. And the husband is worse, to be certain, but only by about 1%. Simply put, both of them are unrepentant spendthrifts.
Well, it turns out that if you look at what the US federal government is doing with it's budget, and shrink the gargantuan numbers down to numbers that most people can relate to, that's what you get: a cut of $386 on a $27,273 deficit. The actual numbers:
President Obama: Ok. So it's bad that we over spent by $1.2 trillion. I'm concerned about that, so I did something good. I found $0.017 trillion of spending we can cut.
Congress: What? We can't do that. I refuse to stop that spending!
When, during the campaign, the democrats criticized President Bush's profligate spending, I agreed with them. And I had a flicker of hope that perhaps the democrats would take on the mantle of deficit hawks that the republicans had entirely dropped over the previous 8 years.
That hope was fleeting. Does anyone seriously think that it makes any difference at all, who is in power? Does anyone seriously doubt that a campaign promise is a lie told in order to get into power?