(Posted January 26, 2010)
President Obama’s announced budget freeze will do little to address the national debt. The proposed plan only affects 1/8th of the overall budget, and fails to do anything about the escalating entitlement expenditures that are responsible for the majority of future borrowing.
Put in terms of a diet, we are currently eating more calories than we are burning. Let’s say we burn about 2,100 calories per day, but eat about 3,500. Our non-defense discretionary spending is the equivalent of a daily 500 calorie portion of French fries. All the other spending is the equivalent of three 1,000-calorie meals. Obama’s budget freeze only affects the fries (by a tiny amount, like removing the ketchup), and leaves the rest of the meals untouched.
Over the next decade, the federal government is projected to add $9 trillion to its existing $12.4 trillion debt. If Obama’s budget freeze is successful, the government will only borrow $8.75 trillion.
President Obama’s 3-year Budget Freeze a “Drop in the Bucket” of Total Federal Spending
President Obama has proposed a 3-year freeze in “non-security” spending as a means to bring down deficits and reign in federal spending. While the President’s efforts to cut government spending are step in the right direction, his proposed budget freeze will unfortunately have little impact on total government spending. Consider that in the next decade, the government will still borrow close to $9 trillion. Not only will a spending freeze fail to take a bite out of our national debt — it will only reduce federal spending over the next decade by less than half of one percent.
The chart below demonstrates why a temporary budget freeze isn’t substantial enough to defeat our debt.