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In radio address, Obama calls for "cuts where we can"

By Scott Wilson
President Obama used his weekly radio address Saturday to reiterate his call for fiscal restraint, celebrating his signing of "pay as you go" legislation that requires Congress to pay for all new spending initiatives.

Obama's recent budget proposal expands the federal deficit to $1.6 trillion for the coming year, the vast majority of which he inherited from the Bush administration.

He used his address to revisit that history, saying it was "the abandonment of this rule that allowed the previous administration and previous congresses to pass massive tax cuts for the wealthy and create an expensive new drug program without paying for any of it."

"Now in a perfect world, Congress would not have needed a law to act responsibly, to remember that every dollar spent would come from taxpayers today - or our children tomorrow," Obama said. "But this isn't a perfect world. This is Washington."

Obama did not mention that, in addition to the "pay as you go" bill, he also signed legislation Friday to raise the cap on government borrowing to $14.3 trillion. The measure keeps the country from defaulting on its debt.

In his address, Obama said "pay as you go" is "not all we must do." He cited $20 billion in spending cuts he has identified in the budget and emphasized his call for a bipartisan commission to recommend ways to reduce the deficit. Republicans are still deciding whether to participate on that commission.

"We have to cut where we can," Obama said, "to afford what we need."

In the Republican address, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) criticized Obama's decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged architect of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, in civilian court.

He said, "A civilian trial of hard-core terrorists is unnecessarily dangerous and creates more problems than it solves."

In an interview with the Washington Post this week, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. left the door open for Mohammed to be tried before a military tribunal, although he said that was not his preference.

The administration's earlier selection of Lower Manhattan as the site for Mohammed's trial raised strong objections from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and some members of the New York Congressional delegation.

By Scott Wilson  |  February 13, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
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Comments

obummer start making the cuts on your salary, the Senate's salaries, and the House's salary. You should only be allowe to collect the per centage of your ratings by the American People. If we only give you a 20% rating then that's all of the percentage of your salaries and your perks that you can collect. So in other words you should be paid .20 on the dollar for your perks and your salary. That's fair. Also when you retire with that big retirement allowance you should only be able to collect the percent of the salary that the American People graded you with. If you were only 20% then you should only get .20 on the dollar for your retirement and perks. This is fair. If it's a -.10 per cent then you owe the American People .10 for every dollar you would collect if you had a 100% rating. I think this is fair; but I believe myself to be a fair person. Old bummer you need me in Washington to cut your spending. I would go through every program there is and if it is not at 75% effective it would get the knive. I would do this with a smile.

Posted by: orbarb | February 17, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

obummer start making the cuts on your salary, the Senate's salaries, and the House's salary. You should only be allowe to collect the per centage of your ratings by the American People. If we only give you a 20% rating then that's all of the percentage of your salaries and your perks that you can collect. So in other words you should be paid .20 on the dollar for your perks and your salary. That's fair. Also when you retire with that big retirement allowance you should only be able to collect the percent of the salary that the American People graded you with. If you were only 20% then you should only get .20 on the dollar for your retirement and perks. This is fair. If it's a -.10 per cent then you owe the American People .10 for every dollar you would collect if you had a 100% rating. I think this is fair; but I believe myself to be a fair person. Old bummer you need me in Washington to cut your spending. I would go through every program there is and if it is not at 75% effective it would get the knive. I would do this with a smile.

Posted by: orbarb | February 17, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse

BO you are right let's cut where we can:
1. Taxes,
2. Earmarks, pork, pet projects,
3. Stimulus used to buy corporations and
bail fat cats out of failed rampantly
speculative investments,
4. Stimulus for ANYTHING that does not
CREATE jobs,AND
5. Talking smoke and mirrors about saved
jobs while unemployment and
underemployment creep above 20%

Posted by: PRRWRITER | February 16, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

The cuts we need are to remove ALL Obamunists from office and replace them with people who believe in American ideals.

Obama is the ideological love-child of:

# William Ayers (disdain for the military and business)
# Jeremiah Wright (hatred of America and whites)
# Saul Alinsky (deceit, political manipulation)
# Tony Rezko (Chicago-style corruption and influence peddling)

Posted by: TruData | February 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

The two most under rated politicians and justifably so are Madam Pelosi and Joe Biden our vice president.Both of them are fellow democrats and lack the inteligence to come in out of the rain.

Posted by: rvaw120 | February 15, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

*****SAVE SMALL BUSINESSES !!! President Obama: Keep COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES from occuring and closing Small Businesses.....use 10% of the $787 Billion "JOBS" Bill our children will pay for; to AVOID 1930'S style, full-blown DEPRESSION !!!

Posted by: MSFT-PELOSI | February 15, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Monday, February 15, 2010
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Monday shows that 24% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -17 (see trends).
On Presidents’ Day 93% have a favorable opinion of Abraham Lincoln and 89% say the same about George Washington. Lincoln is seen as having a bigger impact on the nation. Just 9% will do something today to celebrate the holiday.

Posted by: mharwick | February 15, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

*****President Obama: Keep COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE FORECLOSURES from occuring and closing Small Businesses.....use 10% of the $787 Billion "JOBS" Bill our children will pay for; to AVOID 1930'S style, full-blown DEPRESSION !!!!!

Posted by: MSFT-PELOSI | February 14, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

2000. 200 Billion surplus. 2009.11 Trillion dollar deficit. Repubs in charge until 2006,then both parties involved. No vetoes on budget,no complaints by congress at any time. 2008. Catastrophe and the politicians running around and yelling loudly.

Both Repubs and Dems agree on George Bush-Paulin TARP. Add 700 Billion. Obama takes over and he adds a 700 Billion stimulus . 200 Billion for tax cuts,300 Billion for extending unemployment benefits and 200 Billion infrastructure. At a recent conference the Repubs did not deny they approve of the parts of the stimulus but they all voted against it.

All of the "deficit Hawks" were present during the past 8 years and all have hundreds of millions in earmarks and never stopped a Bush Tax cut or spending request. Government increased in size and is now larger then ever.

These same politicians appear on talk shows horrified at the deficit and "big"government,as if they were not involved. They were/are government and have been for years.

Posted by: ephetsgma | February 14, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats got us into this budget mess.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | February 14, 2010 5:28 AM | Report abuse

Obama's socialist ambitions simply cannot be sated short of taking every dollar every American has and can make, hence the leftist notion that ALL money already belongs to government for them to spend on ideology, graft, and corruption.

Any statement of theirs to the contrary is a damnable lie.

Posted by: RUKidding0 | February 13, 2010 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Budgets do not come from the White House. They come from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress since January 2007 is the Democratic Party. They controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009, as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat belatedly got tough on spending increases. For FY 2009, though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing resolutions to keep government running until Barack Obama could take office. At that time, they passed a massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009 budgets..

And where was Barack Obama during this time? He was a member of that very Congress that passed all of these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus bill as President to complete FY 2009.

Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period:

If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY 2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited it from himself.

In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is “I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20th.”

Posted by: GordonShumway | February 13, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Worst cut ever is to NASA. Look at all those jobs, all that research, all that innovation out the window.
=============
We don't need all that NASA work ... we have the $8k home buyer tax credit --- scientific innovation doesn't generate "tangible" wealth for the nation and it's citizens -- financial innovation on the other hand generates "money" from "money" --- it's absolute magic! .... something NASA scientists could never understand or explain hence the funding cuts.

Posted by: free_np | February 13, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"Obama's budget... expands the deficit to $1.6 trillion... the vast majority of which he inherited from the Bush administration"!

HE INHERITED IT FROM HIMSELF, and Pelosi and Reid, all of whom voted for the exploding deficits of Bush's last two years.
The last Republican deficit was less than $200 Billion.
But in Wa Post land, Obama and Dems have no responsibility for their own actions, and Bush is the bogey man...
Bush didn't even sign the Budget for 2008, the Congress just stalled it until Obama took over..
If this newspaper cannot be balanced about this "inheritance", so where can it be credible??????????????????

Posted by: johnL1 | February 13, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The Obama Administration is suffering the death of a thousand cuts, lots of small bad things are happening, none of which are fatal in themselves, but which add up to a slow and painful demise. This is due to over reaching and self-inflicted incompetence and greed.

Pride, arrogance and vanity will destroy Obama's party.

Posted by: alance | February 13, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse


It would potentially benefit the American economy if Dr. Walter Williams and Dr. Thomas Sowell would visit the White House nightly and hold Econ 101 classes for our mentally challenged Marxist posing as President. Greg Neubeck

Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/Read-his-lips_-Obama-_agnostic_-on-taxes-84147097.html#ixzz0fQsp8Q4Z

Posted by: gneubeck | February 13, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Instead of zero-based budgeting that people often call for, it would be nice to see an 'investment-based budgeting' offered as an alternative. While part of the stimulus funding was targeted toward programs that taxpayers could see as public investments (boosting NIH spending by $10B so that we might find ways of treating chronic illnesses which result in lower Medicare/Medicaid expenditures in the out-years, for example), there are many others that can and should be seen as federal priorities since they have a better chance of leading to reduced public expenditures and/or job creation than others.

Investing in: Transportation infrastructure; research that leads to better (and cheaper) medical outcomes as well as a smaller, more agile, and better trained national defense; civic/character/financial education in K-12 as well as improved student success, especially in STEM fields; financial aid for students to attend -- and complete -- their postsecondary education; alternative energy research, training, and production; clean drinking water; climate change research, particularly in areas that can help mitigate weather-related disasters that affect the United States; crime prevention; enhanced agricultural production with minimal environmental impact; etc. The list goes on and on.

If we as a Nation look at those things that OUR federal government can do to move us beyond the status quo, then I think we would all be better off. I have 3 young children that I don't want to saddle with debt any more than my parents wanted to do to me, but I am also aware that if we don't invest in those things now that will lead to less spending later on -- spending that would be for maintaining the status quo while still facing mounting bills for mandatory spending -- then we will have given them an even greater deficit to climb out of while leaving our nation worse off than today.

Crumbling infrastructure, higher incidence of chronic illness; decreased student success at all grade levels; and jails that are bursting at the seams are not the legacy that we should leave to our children. No more so than $14 trillion of debt. But to leave them with all of those problems IN ADDITION TO (or even in lieu of) the debt burden isn't just insensitive to the needs of future generations, it is un-American.

Posted by: HigherEducationAdvocate | February 13, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Worst cut ever is to NASA. Look at all those jobs, all that research, all that innovation out the window.

The worst thing ever to happen to our economy is the 15-year long war the Republicans have fought against education, science and research. Our technology isn't even second, maybe not third. We lag behind China, Japan and Korea. Topics Americans are talking about researching and developing are already being deployed around the world.

But what pisses me off the most is all those stimulus dollars going to China. Wind energy sounds like a great idea, but NOT when 80% of those billions go to China to buy the hardware they already developed.

Help the economy, don't hurt it. I would like to see the "Buy America" campaign brought back. Remember that. the think Reagan killed off immediately after the 1984 elections? We exported over 6 million manufacturing jobs then and now you can't buy American made blue jeans, American made socks or even American made shoes today. And the quality of the foreign made, cheap as crap goods sucks. It doesn't get any plainer than that.

Posted by: BigTrees | February 13, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Odumbo talking about cutting spending, after he and the corrupt $%$^^ democrats have wasted billions, is like Bill Clinton talking about integrity. Neither are credible.
Both are consumate liars.

Posted by: LarryG62 | February 13, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

There's so much ignorance in these comments. Cut the defense budget to zero and you still have an 800 million dollar deficit for years to come. Entitlements are running this country into the ground. They are poorly managed and don't match our changing demographics. Government spending is full of waste, fraud and abuse. Having Obama talk about deficits is like having Marion Barry talk about drug abuse. Maybe he can lead a march against deficits just like Barry used to march against drugs. President Teleprompter is out of his league and the country suffers for it. Since he's not as smart as Bill Clinton, we have at least 2 more years of presidential OJT. Way to go Democrats.

Posted by: maxtel1910 | February 13, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

If we are talking about cutting someplace let's start with the bloated WH and congressional staffs and then unelect the current congress and the current occupant of the WH. Then start paying government contractors no more than the troops.

Posted by: KBlit | February 13, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Most certainly there is wisdom in cutting where we can; however, I hope we do not hear foolish conservatives argue for the elimination of Mrs. Obama's $10 billion anti-obesity initiaive. I realize the money to fund the campaign will be borrowed from China. I also realize that Michelle Obama has no expertise in areas of fitness or nutrition. But this is an important issue and the Obama's are brilliant, well-intentioned people who are doing all they can to solve the many problems we face, to help the hapless American people. I also realize most of this money will be wasted and the campaign will be a total failure. But this will all be forgotten in time. Please don't get in their way! They are trying to show us the way!

Posted by: farpq | February 13, 2010 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said: "A civilian trial....is unnecessarily dangerous and creates more problems than it solves."

Sounds like Pope Sixtus IV speaking in support of the Spanish Inquisition.

Posted by: Soloflexerus | February 13, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

We don't need pay-go. What we need is for politicians, from BOTH parties, to stop their foolish, reckless spending agendas. Apparently their parents failed to tell them that money doesn't grow on trees.
Mr. President, your constant harangue on "the mess" that Bush left you is getting old, you are beginning to sound like a petulant three year old and it is neither becoming nor presidential. You were undeniably aware of "the mess" before you took office, you chose the job of cleaning it up so stop the juvenile finger pointing and either clean it up or step aside.

Posted by: storms48 | February 13, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse


How much will we save if we bring home our troops from all over the world?

Posted by: Soloflexerus | February 13, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

"...the vast majority of which he inherited from the Bush administration."

_________________________________________________________________

There is no accountability in this administration. Anything obama "inherited," he has made a trillion times worse.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | February 13, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand the Democrates desire to spend all the money "right now". What is so urgent?. More welfare? Just zero the budget out to 2002 levels and call it a day.

Posted by: speedo1 | February 13, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

ATTENTION POTUS: How about cutting this secret "multi-agency coordinated action" program of personal destruction -- Bush-era human and civil rights atrocities that your security team is continuing on YOUR watch? Are your cabinet secretaries and key advisers misinformed, or complicit?

SECRET MULTI-AGENCY FED PROGRAM SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS, SUBJUGATES U.S. CITIZENS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVE WEAPON SYSTEM, FINANCIAL SABOTAGE, 'COMMUNITY WATCH' VIGILANTISM: VETERAN JOURNALIST

* Thousands of Americans slandered as "dissidents" or undesirables, targeted by Bush legacy program for debilitating, cell tower- based microwave assault, held hostage in their own homes to fed-supported vigilante "community policing" stalking units equipped with warrantless GPS devices, who vandalize and terrorize as local police look the other way.

* Electromagnetic frequency microwave/laser weapons -- a nationwide installation employing cell towers and satellites -- silently, invisibly induce weakness, exhaustion, mood changes, pain, head and body aches, physical and neurological impairment, strokes, aneurysms, cancer -- and many victims do not realize what is making them sick.

* Regional Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" reportedly serve as command centers for covert electromagnetic radiation attacks, pervasive surveillance, financial sabotage of those identified as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or slandered as threats to society.

* Use of microwave weaponry to torture and impair political opponents recently confirmed by deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya.

* Pleas for justice, to local police and FBI, go unanswered -- as do demands for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation and congressional hearings.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist, NowPublic.com/scrivener.

See: www.poynter.org/subject.asp?id=2 (Journalism Groups -- REPORTING" section) OR

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves

BUCKS COUNTY, PA- BASED MAGLOCLEN FUSION CENTER -- "Mid-Atlantic States Ground Zero of an American Gestapo"

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | February 13, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

A 25% cut in Federal employee pay above and a plan to move average compensation to equal private sector jobs would be a great start

Posted by: wesatch | February 13, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with "cuts where we can" in the government -- but not token cuts. A spending freeze in discretionary domestic spending (15% of the overall Federal budget) doesn't do anything. We're talking about, at most, $15B a year which is less than 2% of the $787B stimulus plan and less than 0.1% of the overall Federal deficit next year alone.

When you have a budget problem, the first thing you do is to look at how to reduce your largest expenses. In the case of the Federal government, this is defense, social security and Medicare/Medicaid. That's just responsible planning even if it's not popular.

Until the Federal caretakers in Congress and the White House -- not just Obama -- stop taking politically sensitive sacred cows off the table, we will continue to see the largest transfer of wealth in human history out of American coffers and into Chinese surpluses.

Posted by: BurgundyNGold | February 13, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

It would have helpful had Obama reminded Americans that Republicans voted against the pay-go provision in addition to their highly publicized defection on the deficit reduction committee.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | February 13, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

hey democrats, looks like your boy obozo the clown is flip-flopping on taxing the middle class. Get ready to pay for obozo the clown's spending spree. Also, did you see where joe biden said that winning the Iraq war will be one of the obozo administration's biggest accomplishments? Does anyone remember that obozo and obiden voted against the surge which won the war? Why are democrats so delusional? How could you vote for such liars?

Posted by: twotimetuna | February 13, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

"Obama's recent budget proposal expands the federal deficit to $1.6 trillion for the coming year, the vast majority of which he inherited from the Bush administration." Wrong as usual. He didn't inherit anything. The president is free to propose a balanced budget any time he wants; he just has to have the intestinal fortitude to make the tough choices and line-out the waste. Oh wait - Barry doesn't have any intestinal fortitude. DOH!

Posted by: jpost1 | February 13, 2010 7:24 AM | Report abuse

The GOP, the party that didn't keep up safe on September 11, 2001, insists that the defense budget is sacrosanct. They say that every dollar of money that the Pentagon spends is vital to preserving Our Freedoms. However, the truth is, their states and districts are very much addicted to Pentagon money to keep armaments factories humming so as to produce weapons that the nation doesn't need. Meanwhile, Congress has seen fit to prosecute two wars in the Middle East, one of them a fiasco. Our betters in the Republican Executive Branch believed that Saddam Hussein could be removed from power with relatively few troopers. And he was. The aftermath, however, would have required many more troopers to control the population of Iraq. Too bad Iraqis didn't rise up, as predicted, to thank the U.S. for liberating them from the oppresive boot of a ruthless dictator. At least the two branches of Islam were not permitted to go for each other's throats while Saddam sat in his palaces and his lovely sons went about torturing people. We've got major military bases all over the world in the aftermath of World War II that could be and probably should be closed. The Iraq war may be winding down, but the Afghan war is still hot and still costing a fortune with little to show for the effort. Value for money. That's the ticket. We've got plenty of toys and plenty of troops to keep the homeland safe from invasion. We don't need to keep finding excuses to mount expeditions. And there's a mountain of annual expenditures that could be applied to reduce the deficit. Republicans should be forced to propose and manage passage of a bill that will end Social Security and Medicare. It should be seen by voters that it is Republicans who want those popular programs to end as a result of Republicans not wanting to raise taxes to pay for them.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | February 13, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

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