Chump Change

Seriously, I heard about this earlier today and burst out laughing. On the way home I heard NPR solemnly pronouncing that it was a “good start”. Gee whiz, Obama is going to order cuts to the Federal budget by a whopping $100 million. Which would be a lot of money for an average American, but is peanuts in the Federal budget. Heck, it isn’t even one peanut.

President Obama convened his Cabinet for the first time today and instructed department heads to trim their budgets by a combined $100 million over the next 90 days, cuts he said would help overcome a “confidence gap” among the American people about the use of their tax dollars.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Obama said the budget cuts would be separate from “programmatic cuts” that his economic team is making by going through the federal budget line by line.

NRO puts this money in perspective:

    • It is 1/40,000 of the federal budget;
    • It is 1/7,830 the size of the recent “stimulus” bill;
    • It would close 1/1,845 of this year’s budget deficit;
    • It is the amount the federal government spends every 13 minutes; and
    • For a family earning $40,000 annually, it is the equivalent of cutting $1 from their family budget.

They also point out that Obama is, apparently, counting on average Americans being unable to grasp the difference in scale between the budget outlays and the “savings” he has ordered.

Seriously. President Obama has reportedly been working closely with noted behavioral economists, and their studies have shown that most people are “insensitive to scope,” meaning they are not very good at putting large numbers in their proper context. People will react about the same to a policy proposal whether the cost/benefit is $10 million, $10 billion, or $10 trillion. 

So, Obama is then rather blatantly offering up chump change budget “cuts” in hopes that Americans are chumps.

But I think NRO’s Brian Riedl actually hit on a comparison that will resonate with average people. “For a family earning $40,000 annually, it is the equivalent of cutting $1 from their family budget.” Would you be bragging up a $1 budget cut on your household expenses? If you were one of Obama’s “rich” targets and earning $200,000 would you be boasting about that massive $5 you managed to trim?

But Obama is so cocksure of himself that Americans will buy his smoke and mirror show that he treats them as nothing but chumps willing to accept his chump change as real change.

This is a truly arrogant man with no regard for the people who put him in office.

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3 Responses to Chump Change

  1. feeblemind says:

    I agree that this was a calculated smoke and mirror stunt. I am surprised that AP and abc picked up on it. Be interesting to see how long the story lasts.

  2. kidrob says:

    i honestly can’t remember the last thing i purchased that cost a dollar.???

  3. Mockingbird says:

    This was President Obama’s first Cabinet meeting, and he asks to cut 13 minutes of expenses. Wow.

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