During his State of the Union address tonight night, President Obama will announce a proposal for a partial three-year federal spending freeze for programs unrelated to national security beginning in 2011.
The Obama administration estimates that the freeze, which would exempt the cost of Pentagon spending, homeland security funding and foreign aid, would save approximately $250 billion over the course of a decade, but only $15 billion in the plan’s first fiscal year.
The president’s proposal has been greeted with skepticism from both sides of the aisle, as many think the freeze is insignificant in the context of the federal deficit, which is projected to hit $1.35 trillion in 2010.
"Given Washington Democrats’ unprecedented spending binge, this is like announcing you’re going on a diet after winning a pie-eating contest," said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner, quoted by Fox News.
The Economist referred to the proposed freeze as a "bright shining gimmick" because it doesn’t account for major portions of the budget including defense spending, NBC.com reports.
Meanwhile, Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona has said he supports Obama’s proposal, but recommends that the president reject a $90 billion job creation stimulus bill that is currently being debated in Congress as well as veto any appropriations bill that contains pork barrel spending.