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Trimming budget fat won’t be easy

Marketplace Staff May 7, 2009
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Trimming budget fat won’t be easy

Marketplace Staff May 7, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: This morning, we hear that the Obama administration will tackle some
fiscal 2010 budget cuts totaling about $17 billion. Yeah, sounds like a big number, but it’s just half of a percent of the total budget Congress approved. And as Tamara Keith tells us, trimming the fat won’t be easy.


Tamara Keith: A senior administration official described the budget cutting strategy as “searching for things that work, and trying to cut back on things that don’t work.”

The Obama budget team has identified 121 line items they say don’t work. Half of the cuts would come from military spending, the other half from things like reimbursing states for incarcerating illegal immigrants who commit crimes. And a $600,000 education attache in Paris.

But one person’s failed idea or unnecessary expense is someone else’s vital program. Past presidents have run up against this reality in the halls of Congress before, and President Obama is likely to encounter similar resistance. Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner says the cuts don’t go far enough.

In Washington, I’m Tamara Keith for Marketplace.

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