President Obama Copies His Budget Homework From George Bush

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President Obama announced this morning that he and his budget wizards have cut $17 billion from federal programs, from redundant reading initiatives to an obsolete "long-range radio navigation system." Obama was mocked by most people, ourselves included, for recently asking his Cabinet for a measly $100 million in savings, but $17 billion, that's much more impressive, right? No! The Washington Post notes that the "modest trims" represent "a tiny fraction of next year's $3.4 trillion budget" — one-half of one percent, to be precise — and are even "less ambitious" than those proposed by former president Bush last year. In fact, reports The Wall Street Journal, despite his pledge to scour federal spending "line by line," presumably squinting through an enormous magnifying glass, about 40 percent of the savings targeted by Obama "come directly off a similar list proposed by Mr. Bush over the past two budget seasons on Capitol Hill" — kind of like in college when you bought a used textbook that somebody had already highlighted, and you pretty much just trusted their judgment. Except this time, that discerning student is George W. Bush.

Obama's Budget Knife Yields Modest Trims [WP]
Budget Proposes Cuts in 121 Programs [WSJ]