Remember back when we all believed in hope and change and the idea that light beer could taste great and be less filling? When President Obama promised to bring fiscal sanity to a Washington that spent too much, saved too little, and yadda yadda yadda?
Well, keep waiting until some time after the gi-freaking-normous omnibus spending bill that will keep the gummint in business through the end of fiscal year 2009 (which ends in September). The bill is coming at around $410 billion and is larded with more fat than a men's softball league.
It was supposed to be done and signed back when George W. Bush was president (big vote coming up in just days) but, you know, back in the fall Congress was too busy destroying the economy to finish its own business. So the bill will be signed by Obama, who is now pleading via spokespeople that hey, he only works here. Actually engaging Congress is apparently above his pay grade.
"[Such bills] will not happen when the president has the full legislative and appropriations process in place," Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told CNN's "State of the Union with John King."
He argued that the White House had little choice but to support the $410 billion omnibus spending bill, which it inherited from the previous administration. The bill would keep the government running through 2009.
"This is like your relief pitcher coming into the ninth inning and wanting to redo the whole game," Orszag said. "Next year we're going to be the starting pitcher, and the game's going to be completely different."
Geebus H. Christ. Who's writing Orszag's baseball metaphors? Calvin Schiraldi? Mitch Williams? Horacio Ramirez? This isn't at all like coming into the ninth inning, even though it would be great to see Obama take a windbreaker off at the start of his press conferences. It's a freaking spending bill that is plumper than a Ball Park frank that's been soaking in dishwater all day. The president doesn't wanna push back, doesn't want to bring his good stuff, and work to get a save? Get the hook already!
And looking down the road to the budget Obama actually put out, there's no reason for optimism at all on the spending front. His FY2010 budget, comically titled "A New Era of Responsibility," increases total outlays over FY2008 by 19 percent.