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May 7th, 2009
03:06 PM ET

What's on Obama's chopping block?

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Jennifer Liberto
CNNMoney.com Senior Writer

Even on the campaign trail last year, President Obama pledged to cull waste from the budget. On Thursday, he pulled back the curtain on his plans.

All told, Obama put 121 government initiatives in the cross hairs for reductions. Dozens of them face outright elimination.

"Some programs may have made sense in the past - but are no longer needed in the present," President Obama said. "Other programs never made any sense; the end result of a special interest's successful lobbying campaign."

Congress still has to sign off on the president's proposed cuts, and already some lawmakers were crying foul.

But Obama got the process started. Here are ten programs or grants that could be ended or cut back because the administration considers them obsolete, duplicative or a waste of money.

Alaska job training: Program is "duplicative" because state receives other types of funding for job training. Savings: $3 million.

Cotton storage: Cotton is the only agriculture crop whose farmers get paid to store until prices rise. Savings: $52 million.

Close-Up fellowships: "Noncompetitive" grants used to bring thousands of students and teachers to Washington, D.C., for a week of political and government education. Savings: $2 million

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Filed under: Economy • Finance • President Barack Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Als

    Sarah Palin said she dont need Pres Obama recovery money. GOP need to come up with their own ideas. The GOP had a 19 page joke budget plan. China is the new super power because of people like the GOP party. The party of no and no ideas.

    May 8, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  2. Jeff

    Even if he cut all the discretionary spending, the deficit would still be larger than under any president ever. This is all so absurd! Get a clue!

    May 7, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  3. donna

    Why is the GOP and President Obama's so called allies that are Democrats not backing him? The GOP is going no where until they show the majority of the American people that they can put their differences aside and back a president that the people voted into office. They (congress for the most part) really do not want him to suceed and are showing their true selfish, politicians as usual sides.

    Their is one program that should be cut that isn't on that list. No child left behind. Get out there and speak to educators (the teachers not the administrators) and ask what it is doing for children. How they are more left behind than before. The pressure to pass them on when they should be held back for their own good or paying to keep them in the school system until they're 21 even though they may have a skill that is more hands on than cerebral and they could be out there training. How children are not being taught a life lesson ( if you don't work at something, you can fail). They know it is going to be blamed on the teacher trying to teach the slow, the average and the advanced students (about 27 to 32 in a room) and reach all of them. Our education system is worse than years ago and no child left behind is part of it.

    Merit pay for teachers? Who decides which ones get it? There is favortism and partiality in school just as in big business. Where is the fairness?

    Why should cutting support to farmers earning over 500,000.00 a year be a problem????? Why should cutting tax credits for oil companies be a problem??? I think we have given ex president Bush and his friends enough money.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  4. Noon Eclipse

    It is disingenuous for the GOP to complain about the increase in the budget proposed by Obama. Under Reagan the budget increased 53% in 8 years, under Bush 2 the increase was only 44%. Under Clinton the increase was a comparatively minuscule 13.5%.

    At the same time, the National Debt under Reagan increased 150%, under Bush 2 it increased 61%, but under Clinton the Debt only increased 24%.

    The GOP label the Dems Tax and Spend, while the GOP themselves are Don't Tax but Spend Even More!

    May 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  5. Coral Suwal, Baltimore Md

    I think he is doing a great job in realizing that we need to invest in more meaningful things...specially at times as distressing as the present.

    May 7, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  6. Sandy - Bakersfield Ca

    If the Republics think there haven't been enough cuts in the budget. What would they cut if they could?

    May 7, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    Sounds like Obama and his staff are finding the budget full of stuff that can be cut – hope they cull all the waste from the budget. We might almost balance the budget if people actually objectively look at each project and throw out the chaff.

    May 7, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  8. simon

    well its a start the u.s was founded as different groups and not as individuals ,but a long time has passed and it is time that the individual becomes a factor in this great state,groups of interests have for year milked of the public tit,and its a start but the hevey guns have yet to come,the war industry will be mutch harder that the cottun growers...thow much more rewarding....
    and for lobing,i dont understand how this is a legitimit trade....they should be abke to present ideas publlicly,maybe that way the people will get something out it,and the strong lobying power thats basiclly deciding wher we will go to war ,that we will bail out banks andhave to have a certain insurance will stop runing our lives just becouse they can convinve some congress man that have a small group of interst in mind ,in the good case,and them selfs in the bad

    May 7, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  9. lam0nt Austin

    Today was the first day i hav'nt seen any bad comments let alone comments at all regarding our president, looks like all the haters(repubs.) are back at the drawing board (literlally a blk board w/ chalk and not a computer) trying to figure out another senseless way to disagree with all the good thats happening.

    Lamont
    Tucson Az

    May 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  10. Katie

    Especially glad to see the cotton issue on the list. Farmers get too many breaks. What's the difference between a puppy and a farmer? The puppy grows up and quits whining.

    May 7, 2009 at 6:05 pm |