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Obama’s Gimmick



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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.



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