It's Official, We're Living in France Now

From Cafe Hayek:

President Obama's modest proposal to slice $17 billion from 121 government programs quickly ran into a buzz saw of opposition on Capitol Hill yesterday, as an array of Democratic lawmakers vowed to fight White House efforts to deprive their favorite initiatives of federal funds.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said she is "committed" to keeping a $400 million program that reimburses states for jailing illegal immigrants, a task she called "a total federal responsibility."

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said he would oppose "any cuts" in agriculture subsidies because "farmers and farm families depend on this federal assistance."

And Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey (D-N.Y.) vowed to force the White House to accept delivery of a new presidential helicopter Obama says he doesn't need and doesn't want. The helicopter program, which cost $835 million this year, supports 800 jobs in Hinchey's district. "I do think there's a good chance we can save it," he said.

The news releases began flying as Obama unveiled the long-awaited details of his $3.4 trillion spending plan, including a list of programs he wants to trim or eliminate. Though the proposed reductions represent just one-half of 1 percent of next year's budget, the swift protest was a precursor of the battle Obama will face within his own party to control spending and rein in a budget deficit projected to exceed $1.2 trillion next year.


  1. Matt:

    At least we don't have "students" and the enemployed burning buildings and flipping over cars every time utility rates go up... yet...

  2. Mark Seecof:

    I too scoff at Obama's so-called budget cuts. But I think you are wrong to mock Feinstein for objecting to Obama's plan to cut Federal reimbursement to States to imprison illegal aliens. I realize you are a brainless open-borders advocate. But the prison costs at issue here are not for immigration enforcement. Rather, the funds are to pay for imprisoning illegal aliens convicted of ordinary felonies such as burglary, rape, robbery, and murder. If the aliens in question had been prevented from entering the US (as the law requires) then they would not have been committing their crimes in the US. If they were deported as the law requires then they would not be taking up space in State prisons. Those criminal aliens really are a Federal responsibility-- States don't have the authority to exclude or deport them, and responsibility is the converse of authority.

    Indeed, the only reason Obama wants to cut illegal-alien-prison-cost-funding (instead of cutting something truly wasteful like the entire Department of Education) is to prompt States to release criminal aliens early so they can do even more harm to the country.

  3. Fay:

    I just think it's funny how all the fiscal conservatives keep coming out of the woodwork now that there's a Democrat and a Democratic Congress doing the spending. Except funny is not exactly the right word.

  4. stan:

    $835 million spent this year to support 800 jobs?!!

    Ummmm. A million per job sounds a bit on the high side, no? Wouldn't it be great if there existed a journalist with enough competence to ask a few questions of Rep. Hinchey?

    Oh, well.

  5. Evil Red Scandi:

    Well, does that mean our food is going to improve? And that we all have to start sitting in cafes drinking tiny cups of coffee while chain-smoking? 'Cause I'm only down with the food part.

  6. Dr. T:

    I would give Mark Seecof's rebuttal more credence if it weren't for the fact that California, for many years, has done everything possible to increase illegal immigration from Mexico. Many California cities have ordered police officers not to check immigration status or green cards when they arrest criminals. Banks are banned from checking immigration status of loan and mortgage applicants. People known to be illegal immigrants are not turned in to the INS and are not deported. Tax payers in other states should not be footing the bill for California's illegal immigrant laxities.

  7. Sameer Parekh:

    Stan-- there's more to building a helicopter than labor costs.

  8. Link:

    I don't know from France, really ... but my sense is that they've always had a strong state centered in Paris, with people mostly knowing their place. There's a university-based pecking order that is theoretically open to all but really serves to maintain the status quo. The French have a strong culture and national pride -- race--based -- which all enjoy.

    If so, I don't know that this model fits Americans. It's not that we're better ... just that we're different. A few years of sluggish growth, no innovation, and our youth languishing with decreasing prospects -- we'll be ready to rebel. Am I right?

  9. rxc:

    Someone (A Brit, I think) made this comment to me a few weeks ago, about the difference between the French and Americans:

    "In France, the government fears its citizens, while in the US, the citizens fear their government." I think this is why you/we see the govt hear(in France) backing down in the face of every demonstration or demand. And probably why the gun sales in the US spiked when it became apparent that Obama was going to become president.

  10. Jim Collins:

    The more things CHANGE the more they remain the same. I'm getting a big laugh out of the majority of the people that I know who voted for Obama. They seem to all have that deer in the headlights look. I just hope the country can survive the next four years.