Obama Tells Journalists To Stress "Significant" Nature Of Budget Cuts
In remarks on his administration's proposed $17 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget this morning, President Obama was somewhat on the defensive against charges that his cuts don't amount to much considering that next year's total budget amounts to $3.4 trillion.
As Steve Chaggaris noted in Hotsheet's morning bulletin today, the news that the cuts totaled $17 billion "landed with a bit of a thud" in the media. Reporters stressed that the cuts made up "a tiny fraction" of the total budget and that they would be hard to push through; USA Today noted that the "proposed cuts are about one-fiftieth the size of this year's $787 billion economic stimulus package — all of which was added to the deficit."
In his remarks today, the president sought to change that tenor of that coverage. He mocked the notion that smaller savings are considered "trivial" in Washington and stressed that "these savings, large and small, add up." And he told journalists directly that they should stress the fact that the cuts are "significant" – a surprisingly direct appeal to reporters concerning which angle they should take in their coverage.
"It is important, though, for all of you, as you're writing up these stories, to recognize that $17 billion taken out of our discretionary, non-defense budget, as well as portions of our defense budget, are significant," he said. "They mean something." (Here's the White House report on the cuts.) The president is embroiled in a public relations battle over perceptions of his administration's spending against Republicans who have cast him as reckless. Consider this tweet from Sen. John McCain on the cuts: "Obama budget cut of $17 billion is less than 1/2 of 1% of the entire $3.55 trillion FY10 budget - is that change we can believe in?"
What do you think?
Would he ask reporters to play it up if he didn't expect them to?
Where do we go for "real reporting"? CNN?
Answer by mustbeGRACE at 8:53 AM on May. 12, 2009
I think most people will be smart enough to figure out if they believe the cuts are large enough. I certainly don't. Although, I also think there is way too much spending going on for things that aren't imperative at this time (dare I mention the swine stink study?). I will say, I don't think this is out of the norm for any public speaker. They always seem to say what they want you to believe, rather than complete and honest truth. So I guess you can color me not surprised.
Answer by QuinnMae at 8:59 AM on May. 12, 2009
Answer by Crystal1124 at 9:13 AM on May. 12, 2009
Answer by mancosmomma at 9:23 AM on May. 12, 2009
Answer by mogencreative at 9:41 AM on May. 12, 2009
Answer by grlygrlz2 at 9:53 AM on May. 12, 2009
Answer by mancosmomma at 9:54 AM on May. 12, 2009
Answer by akinbottom2 at 9:59 AM on May. 12, 2009