I agree with Ed Whelan over at the Corner…some freeze!

Whelan reviews the Washington Post’s coverage of Obama’s spending freeze, saying: 

The first sentence of the Washington Post‘s lead article today states that President Obama “will propose in his State of the Union address a three-year freeze on federal funding that is not related to national security,” and the second sentence likewise suggests that the proposed freeze-which would apply to “the overall budget for agencies other than the military, veterans affairs, homeland security and certain international programs”-is sweeping. 

Only the reader who makes it to the carryover page will learn that the freeze would not apply to “entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid,” “would not restrain funding for the $787 billion economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress early last year,” would not “apply to a new bill aimed at creating jobs,” and would be “unlikely to affect the approximately $900 billion health-care bill.”  Some freeze!

The bottom line is this freeze is a trick to make it appear to the American public that spending is under control.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  A spending freeze is nothing more than a dramatic gesture that signifies nothing and is frankly a pretty lazy way of dealing with skyrocketing spending.  A freeze requires no tough examination of federally funded programs; no analysis of which programs are performing well and spending taxpayer dollars appropriately. It does not require agencies to make the decision to trim programs that are duplicative, wasteful or fraudulent. 

There are a number of reports out there detailing wasteful programs (do members of congress even read GAO reports anymore?).  Not to mention the not so hard to find news articles highlighting ridiculous spending (such as this story about a $3.8 million National Science Foundation grant being awarded to universities to study fruit shape!).

The left (read: Maddow) is angry about the freeze for predictable reasons and the right will say it’s not enough. But the real issue here is that it amounts to nothing more than a façade of good governance and spending control.  It’s neither.

It’s just a show.