January 25, 2011

President’s partial budget freeze and earmark ban are disappointing

David M. Primo

Senior Affiliated Scholar

The President’s partial budget freeze and earmark ban proposal for his State of the Union address is disappointing. If this is what “working together” gets us, polarization doesn’t seem half bad. 

These cuts should be coupled with the implementation of binding budget rules that prevent future Congresses and presidents from restarting bad spending habits.  As it stands now, the president’s pledge is weak at best, focusing on a tiny part of the budget problem and ignoring entitlements, the real threat to long-term fiscal discipline. 

The president’s call for a ban on earmarks and a partial budget freeze is a mere baby step on a very long road. True leadership would be to call for significant cuts to the budget immediately, with a plan for further cuts and reforms that would put us on a more stable fiscal footing.