In his Saturday radio address, titled "Both Parties Must Come Together on a Budget that Cuts Wasteful Spending Without Sacrificing Investments in the Future," President Obama said, “My administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway.” Other administration figures echoed Mr. Obama’s “halfway” line here and here and here.
The Continuing Resolution passed by the then-Democratically controlled Congress in December set a spending target for the balance of Fiscal Year 2011 of $1.083 trillion.
The spending bill passed by the Republican House of Representatives last month set a spending target for the balance of the Fiscal Year of $1.026 trillion. These difference between these two measures is $57 billion.
You’d think when the president said he would “meet Congressional Republicans halfway,” he was proposing a cut of $28.5 billion from December’s Continuing Resolution, leaving spending at $1.055 trillion for the balance of the fiscal year.
No, Mr. Obama proposed spending $1.077 trillion for the slightly less than seven months left in Fiscal Year 2011. That’s only $6.5 billion less than the Continuing Resolution passed last December.
Once again the Obama administration is playing fast and loose with numbers, hoping to sneak one by the media and the American people. It adds to the sense Mr. Obama is neither serious about cutting spending nor about negotiating with Congressional Republicans. How can the GOP have meaningful discussions with an administration so ready to engage in such financial flim-flam?
Karl Rove joined Fox News Channel as a political contributor in February 2008. He also currently serves as a columnist for the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads. His latest book is "The Triumph of William McKinley: Why the Election of 1896 Still Matters" (Simon & Schuster, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @KarlRove.