Obama announced a pay freeze for federal workers, a move that will save a whopping .0005 percent of next year's $3.69 trillion federal budget. Even still, I get the distinct impression that this measly sop to taxpayers is like pulling teeth for the White House. Here's the first two lines from the official press release announcing the pay freeze:
Because of the irresponsibility of the past decade, the President inherited a $1.3 trillion projected deficit upon taking office and an economic crisis that threatened to put the nation into a second Great Depression. He moved quickly to get the economy moving again.
Look, Bush was fiscally irresponsible, prolifigate president. No question about it. But Obama spent $2.4 trillion in his first 500 days a president, burning through money three times faster than Bush. If belt tightening is needed, it's not just the fault of everyone that came before Obama. Further, the idea that ramping up the federal deficit to record levels in record time was necessary to get the economy moving again (if 9.6 percent unemployment consitutes “moving”) is an obviously debatable assumption.