Obama Budget Freeze: President To Call For 5-Year Spending Halt

01/25/2011 12:43 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • AP/The Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — A White House official says President Barack Obama will call for a five-year freeze in non-security, discretionary spending during his State of the Union address.

The official says the proposal will be part of the president's plans to reduce the deficit that he will outline in Tuesday's primetime address. The official says Obama will also call for lawmakers to back a five-year plan put forth by Defense Secretary Robert Gates to save $78 billion in defense spending.

Obama is under pressure from the public and lawmakers to cut spending. Several Republican lawmakers have proposed cutting $100 billion from Obama's budget for the current year.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly ahead of the president's speech.

01/26/2011 3:54 PM EST

Reid vs. Obama

President Obama vowed on Tuesday to veto any bill with earmarks, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) strongly disagrees.

01/26/2011 1:51 PM EST

Missed It

Did Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) watch Tea Party favorite Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-Minn.) speech last night? No.

01/26/2011 1:48 PM EST

Spitzer Steps Up

Over at Slate, Eliot Spitzer lashes out at the budget plan Paul Ryan endorsed during Tuesday night's Republican response to the State of the Union.

01/26/2011 12:53 PM EST

'You Believe In Socialism'

We mentioned last night that Rep. Paul Brown tweeted to President Obama, "You believe in socialism." Here's more info on the story.

@ RepPaulBrounMD : Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism.

01/26/2011 11:43 AM EST

The Polling

HuffPost polling expert Mark Blumenthal dives into the polling from last night's speech:

The results of the instant snap polls by CBS News, CNN/ORC and the Democratic pollsters at Democracy Corps all show overwhelmingly positive responses to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address from Tuesday night. Yet if past history is a guide, these impressions will not translate into a "bump" -- a lasting, measurable change in public opinion. These snap polls, for reasons that have never been clear, almost always yield an immediately favorable response.

One of the big challenges pollsters face in measuring reactions to the State of the Union address is that reaching a fresh random sample of adults within minutes of the speech is nearly impossible. Moreover, not everyone watches the speech. So those that try to measure reactions to the speech compromise, and aim to interview only those who say they have watched the speech.

Read more.

01/26/2011 11:29 AM EST

Action

HuffPost's Peter Goodman writes:

His words aimed for and found the space above the partisan divide in which presumably all key constituencies can benefit: If we invest strategically to nurture broad-based economic growth, that should generate jobs for factory workers and office-dwellers alike. It should increase orders for auto parts, software and catering. And, yes, a growing economy should create more dealmaking opportunities for Wall Street -- a fine thing, provided it delivers finance to productive parts of the economy that will use it to churn out goods and services of real value.

There is simply no constituency that loses when the economy grows. This was the unspoken fact at the heart of the president's speech.

But words, of course, are something short of action, and it was hard to listen to this speech without wondering: What took so long? How could we have gone two years into an administration that began in the midst of the most punishing economic downturn since the Depression, before the president -- a man elected in large part on the strength of his empathy and understanding -- laid out this kind of vision?

Read the rest here.

01/26/2011 11:22 AM EST

O'Donnell Weighs In

Christine O'Donnell: Obama's State of the Union address was "hypocritical."

01/26/2011 11:02 AM EST

Oily Fish

Jason Linkins' headline says it all: "State Of The Union Successfully Unites America Around Oily Fish"

01/26/2011 11:00 AM EST

McCain:'Much Different Feeling'

John McCain tells ABC News that "there [were] a number of areas that the president has clearly shifted his opinion on," and added that this year's State of the Union address had a "much different feeling."

01/26/2011 10:33 AM EST

Sputnik

William K. Black blogs on HuffPost about the State of the Union:

What "this" is Obama referring to when he says "This is our generation's Sputnik moment"? (And whose generation is "our" generation?) Sputnik was a "moment" -- its launch was a sensation. It caused Americans to engage in a massive reappraisal of U.S. policy and leadership. Sputnik made clear a potential Soviet threat to American's lives. The Soviet Union first tested a hydrogen bomb in 1953. By 1957, the Soviets had the rocket technology to put Sputnik in orbit. It was clear that they would soon have the capability of attacking any American city with a hydrogen bomb -- and that the U.S. had no means of stopping such an attack. Sputnik was an enormously big deal because every American understood the unprecedented threat to our survival.

President Kennedy made Sputnik one of the keys to his campaign. It happened on Eisenhower's watch. Kennedy claimed that it showed the need for a new, more innovative generation to take the reins of power and revitalize the nation. Whatever "this" Obama was referring to, it isn't a "moment" and it hasn't caused such a reappraisal. Because Obama cannot tell us what "this" is, it's tough to use the metaphor to convince the nation that we should pay for the modern equivalent of a space race to address it.

More here.