White House Misses Deadline to Announce Budget Cuts

This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," July 20, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, it's day 90. Do you know where your Cabinet's spending cut is?


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm asking all of them to identify at least $100 million in additional cuts to their administrative budgets.


CAVUTO: The president gave them 90 days to do. Well, here it is, the 90th day, and no cuts, no proposed cuts, no Cabinet secretary announcing proposed cuts, nothing, nada, zip, zilcho.

Video: Watch Neil's interview

When we asked the White House today what the deal was, we got this response — and I quote — "The recommendations have been gathered by the Cabinet secretaries, who will reporting them to the president shortly."

My next guest says deadlines are important for us; why not for Washington?

With me now, Craig Smith. Craig is the CEO of the investment firm Swiss America.

Craig, deadline came and went.

CRAIG SMITH, CEO, SWISS AMERICA TRADING CORPORATION: You know, I think Mr. Obama's ambitions were — were very honorable, Neil.

But, when people miss deadlines, there should be consequences. I mean, why don't you go ahead and file your taxes on April 17, Neil, and let's see what happens there?

And it has been my experience in 35 years of private business that, when somebody that I have tasked to bring me a report by a deadline misses that deadline, either they are incompetent or they are holding back something that they don't want me to see until they can come up with a better excuse for it.

And I'm not going to try and...

CAVUTO: But, you know, Craig, this was not even a tough assignment. I have had professors in college give me tough assignments.

SMITH: Yes, this was boilerplate, Neil.

CAVUTO: This is — this is like, Neil, can you breathe tonight and report back tomorrow what it was like?

I mean, $100 million, and these Cabinet secretaries combined are responsible for budgets approaching $2 trillion. So, someone could find some change underneath the — you know, the couch cushions here. So, what the heck?

SMITH: Well, certainly — certainly, Neil.

The — look, this was a very routine report. This should have been merely plugging in the numbers and providing the president with the reports that he requested.

And I'm very concerned about this, Neil, look, we all live by deadlines. I would like to see what would happen to you, Neil, if you missed a deadline, if had a deadline with one of your bosses. You would have to be accountable.

And Mr. Obama promised us a transparent, a competent, and a — an accountable administration. And I think that is honorable, but he has not delivered yet, Neil.

And I keep hearing, well, Mr. Bush was late with his, well, Mr. Clinton was late with his. We were promised more than this. We were promised change and a new direction for Washington, D.C. And I think that is why you are seeing the polls reflect the way they are.

I think people are starting to lose the hope that they had in Mr. Obama. I think, quite frankly, a lot of people think he is in over his head. And I think he needs to slow down and start using old business practices at work.

CAVUTO: We shall see.

Craig Smith, thank you very, very much.

SMITH: Good being with you, Neil.

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