Budget Cuts Trim 'Pennies, Not Dollars'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2009 7:42 AM CDT
President Barack Obama speaks to reporters in the Grand Foyer the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 6, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s vow to scour the federal budget for savings hasn’t amounted to as much as many hoped, the Washington Post reports. The administration will today announce $17 billion in proposed cuts to 121 programs, a sliver of the $3.4 trillion budget. “Even if you got all of those things, it would be saving pennies, not dollars,” said one economist. “And you’re not going to begin to get all of them.”

Obama’s proposed cuts lag the $34 billion haircut the Bush administration sought last year. The administration says it’s not done cutting, and that the figure doesn’t include the $300 billion Obama wants to siphon from existing federal health programs to help pay for universal coverage. “Obviously the bottom line is frightening,” said a former Congressional Budget Office director. “They have a long way to go to show fiscal restraint.”