The Corner

The one and only.

Obama’s Gimmick


In my opinion, spending freezes are populist gimmicks. They don’t address the real nature of the problems and avoid taking responsibility for the hard decisions. As a temporary, tactical measure, they can be useful if they are tied to a long-term strategic re-grounding of programs that are key spending drivers. I don’t see any real evidence of zero-based budgeting in the Obama administration, or a fundamental realignment of spending priorities that would reduce future spending pressures. So, I think the spending freeze is a populist bone to the fiscal conservatives that gave him a chance in the election.

— Samuel R. Staley is Robert W. Galvin Fellow and director of Urban & Land Use Policy at the Reason Foundation.


Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review