Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), appearing on Fox News Sunday, attacked “far left-wing blogs” for criticizing President Obama’s proposed non-security discretionary spending freeze. Bayh burnished his anti-spending credentials by noting his opposition to recent omnibus spending bills, although he supported the much larger American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and has repeatedly promoted the federal spending for creating thousands of jobs in his state. Speaking to Fox’s Chris Wallace, Bayh sided with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, and an advocate of draconian spending cuts during the recession:
If you look, I suspect Paul does not, but if you look at the far left-wing blogs and that kind of thing they’re severely criticizing the president for being too fiscally austere. My own take on this, Paul is right. Domestic discretionary spending increased last year. I voted against the omnibus, I voted against the “minibus” and that’s last year. the question is where do we go now? The freeze is important. He identified $20 billion if you aggregate over the next ten years is $250 billion less spending. Does it solve all our problems? No. But it’s a step in the right direction.
Bayh is a “deficit peacock” — someone who likes to harp on deficits, while at the same time voting for budget-busting expenditures like a $250 billion tax cut for the heirs of wealthy families. Despite Bayh’s preening, “far left-wing” blogs haven’t been the only critics of Obama’s freeze. Additionally, part of why progressives are criticizing Obama about is not that the spending freeze is too “austere,” but that it doesn’t go after defense spending. As Center for American Progress Senior Fellow Lawrence Korb has argued, “If President Obama is serious about controlling spending, he can’t exempt the Pentagon.” And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) concurs, telling reporters that the entire defense budget “should not be exempted” from the freeze.