Thursday, May 07, 2009

A funny thing happened on the way to "Responsibility"

So, I'm reading the Washington Post today, about their coverage of Bam's great unveiling yesterday of the FY 2010 Budget. Finally, the Devil in the Details.

Bottom line, POTUS plans to spend $3.4 Trillion -- with a "T" -- next year. Oh, and the deficit will be $1.2 Trillion.

You'd think when a guy stands up, looks into a teleprompter and announces he plans to spend several "Trillion" dollars that he'd would get noticed. Well, he did, but not for using the "T" word. The MainStream Media is all flush with talk of $17 Billion -- with a "B" in alleged "cuts."

OK. Since nobody in the Washington Press Corps has the stones to ask the obvious question, I will. (I take that back, at least Jake Tasker at ABC Political Punch Blog mustered the courage; I don't know if asked the Teleprompter verbally.)
$17 Billion in budget "cuts"? That's what you're leading with?
And most coming from the Defense budget? Was anybody else asked to

$17 billion in the ENTIRE budget? (!!) Wells-Fargo needs to scrape up $15 Billion to just to shore-up after the Administration's stress test. You mean you can only find $2 Billion than a stressed out bank from a budget of more than 3 Trillion?

What's more incredulous is that three (3) Washington Post writers dutifully spent 40 (that’s 4-0, FORTY) paragraphs largely devoted to touting those meager $17 B in cuts to get to the essential point of the whole charade:

"The proposed cuts, if adopted by Congress, would not
actually reduce government spending. Obama's budget would increase overall
spending; any savings from the program terminations and reductions would be
shifted to the president's priorities."

ABC News (You have to look for it a while) but when you do: "Obama to cut budget"
NBC/MSNBC News: "Obama wants to cut $17 billion from budget"
CBS News: After leading with the Marine One fleet being cancelled, by, yes, the president's "budget cuts" they DID run this item on a CBS news blog: "Obama tries to control budget story line." Duh.

Over at AP, while still running with the $17B as the main focus, if you read closely one can see some cracks in the veneer. They dared mention that GWB tried to axe many of the same programs for years, but a Democrat controlled Congress put them back in anyway. And they even mentioned that things got hot for our buddy Robert Gibbs having to explain why the $17 B was much more important that that other "Trillion" number that had been mentioned.
Good for them.
Despite redoubling its efforts to portray itself as tough on waste and spending, the administration and Congress have taken the nation on a steady course of higher federal spending. In rapid succession has come passage of a $787 billion economic recovery bill, a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill and Congress' $3.4 trillion budget for next year, which calls for increases of almost 10 percent over current funding for non-defense agency budgets.

I'm all for people respecting the office of the President; I didn't care for how extremely GWB was "dissed" by many newsies and 99% of Hollywood. And I'm not saying the current President should be disrespected or treated in any way but professionally.

But how the "professionals" in the Washington Press Corps can allow this guy to stand up there and boldface use terms like “A New Era of Responsibility” when he is actively planning on spending this much is beyond me.