Not reducing federal spending, even a little, seems to have become the top priority among President Barack Obama and some in Congress.
Last year Congress and Obama agreed to a $1.048 trillion cap on annual descretionary spending, which is slightly less than one-third of the federal budget. But fat-trimmers in the House of Representatives have adopted a spending plan for the Justice Department, NASA and a few other agencies that is $27 billion less than the target.
This week, Obama vowed to veto that bill if it reaches his desk. Like those in the House and Senate, he accused conservatives of breaking the deal reached last year.
But the House bill is for just $731 million less in funding than Obama himself recommended. That is peanuts in the context of total spending.
Still, in Obama's mind, it's the principle of the thing: Conservative lawmakers agreed to only so much in budget discipline, and spending less is unacceptable to the president.
Good heavens. As we have pointed out previously, we have a national debt of $15.6 trillion. Even with cuts already approved, the deficit will top $900 billion next year.
It was outrageous enough when lawmakers complained about the $28 billion in trimming on top of last year's $1.048 trillion deal. But Obama's complaint about $731 million less than the White House asked for originally is even worse.
Somehow, the principle of the thing for Obama and his cronies in Congress has become to avoid any cuts in spending they can forestall. Is it any wonder our national debt now totals about $50,000 for every American?