President Barack Obama's plan to "freeze" a tiny portion of the federal budget hit Washington with a "thud" Jan. 26.
Conservatives argued that the spending freeze Obama would highlight in his State of the Union address Jan. 27 wasn't enough. Liberals, including New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called it "appalling on every level."
Krugman denounced the plan as "bad long-run fiscal policy." Of course, this is the same columnist who argued for a much larger stimulus package than the $787 billion one that was signed into law.
After Obama's State of the Union address the spending freeze seemed all but forgotten - and no wonder since the speech was full of proposals to spend, spend, spend.
The National Taxpayers Union Foundation, part of a non-profit citizen's group that works for lower taxes and smaller government, analyzed all those proposals and found that despite the so-called spending freeze Obama's proposals would cost more than $70 billion.
NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady said, "While the President should be commended for his newfound support of a spending freeze on one-eighth of the federal budget, Americans won't be happy to learn that his other proposals would far outweigh any savings the freeze might provide."
The most expensive proposal, according to NTUF? Cap-and-trade topped the list at $51.5 billion without including tax increases or increased energy bills which are certain to follow. They examined 21 proposals that would have a fiscal impact and found eight would increase spending, three would cut spending and 10 that had cost or savings of an indeterminable amount.
At least two major proposals, student loan forgiveness and more mortgage refinancing subsidies, NTUF couldn't put a price tag on.
Plenty of other costly projects also didn't make the calculation. Brady explained, "This analysis doesn't include huge potential burdens from big-government health care legislation, a new 'stimulus' plan, or greater obligations to bailed-out entities like auto companies and banks. While it's clear we face enormous deficits as far as the eye can see, taxpayers seeking specifics on the President's future direction of federal expenditures likely won't find a compass in last night's speech."