Open Thread: Obama Offers to Cut Federal Budget by .02 Percent

The budget deficit, meanwhile, is expected to rise to an unprecedented $1.5 trillion in the president's proposed FY2012 budget. The Hill reports:

President Obama's budget director Jack Lew in a Sunday opinion piece outlined some off the “tough choices” Obama is willing to make to cut spending in his 2012 budget request due out on Feb. 14.

The piece details cuts that affect initiatives dear to the president: programs to help the poor and to clean up the Great Lakes near the president's home state of Illinois.

The cuts are relatively small, however, in the larger scheme of things. In total, the $775 million in detailed cuts fall far short of demands by congressional Republicans and will do little toward tackling the deficit, which is estimated to be $1.5 trillion this year by the Congressional Budget Office. The cuts are in addition to a five-year spending freeze which the administration says will save $400 billion over the next decade.

The piece goes on to detail the administration's complaints about how hard it was for Obama to make these cuts to programs he cares about. But how can we expect him to confront the massive fiscal problems facing the nation when he gets emotional about trimming 0.05% of a single year's budget shortfall?

Open Thread