Obama pledges fiscal conservatism

Presidential candidate Barack Obama has vowed to make deep cuts in federal spending, if elected. He says he’d cut federal spending on contractors by 10%, saving $40 billion; spending on contractors has increased from $203 billion in 2000 to $412 billion in 2006, by 10%, saving $40 billion. He also criticized no-bid contracts, which presumably he would eliminate or greatly curtail.

“I am not a Democrat who believes that we can or should defend every government program just because it’s there,” Obama said at a rally in Green Bay. “We will fire government managers who aren’t getting results, we will cut funding for programs that are wasting your money and we will use technology and lessons from the private sector to improve efficiency across every level of government.”

“The only way we can do all this without leaving our children with an even larger debt is if Washington starts taking responsibility for every dime that it spends,” he said.

Though it is normally Republicans who talk tough about the budget, federal spending–including non-defense spending–has increased greatly during the George W. Bush administration. The budget he submitted in 2001 was for $2.0 trillion; the one he submitted this year is for $3.1 trillion.

John McCain has pledged to help the nation’s fiscal situation by aggressively going after wasteful spending, including earmarks. He has promised to make the authors of bad spending bills famous and to wield the veto pen with abandon, if needed.

Hopefully, whoever is elected actually does get the budget situation under control.

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