When the previous Bush administration released its fiscal 2006 budget proposal, it included a separate document listing specific spending cuts and other reforms. The idea was too little and too late, and it’s likely that the Bush administration included it as part of a feeble attempt to answer critics of the Republican spending binge.
The supplement became an annual inclusion and the Obama administration has carried on the tradition. This year, however, the administration skipped the separate document and instead tucked a list of suggested “cuts, consolidations, and savings” in the back of the main budget document.
The placement is different, but the relatively paltry offerings are the same.
The big picture is that the administration found $25 billion in savings. Overall spending under the president’s proposed budget would increase $93 billion over last year, so the savings would be gross rather than net. And, obviously, $25 billion isn’t much in a $3.8 trillion budget.
Here’s a chart that puts the “savings” in perspective (you might not even be able to see the red “savings” line):