Perhaps the president has been traveling so much in the last month -- the U.K., France, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago -- that perhaps he's just forgotten basic American numerical systems.
You know, like $100 million isn't much money when you're overseeing a $3.6 trillion budget. Yes, it was a fair bit of money -- still is, in most parts of America. But it adds up to less than one percent of that $3.6 trillion budget.
And Obama calls a Cabinet meeting to identify this spindly amount in "efficiencies" in their departments! He further adds that even though this amount is but a "drop in the bucket," it's important to make the effort, so as to address what he sees as a "confidence gap" arising from the public!
Try Grand Canyon!
The public knows the difference between millions, billions and trillions!
They also know the difference between a confident man -- and a confidence man! The former is what they believe they've seen during Obama's first 100 days in office: Someone who may be tackling a lot, but seems to know what he's doing.
A confidence man, on the other hand, is someone who, well, gains the confidence of a person, or group before fleecing them of money, jewelry, property, etc. After all, the term "con" is comes from "confidence" man. How can the president expect to be taken seriously when he responds to concerns over government spending (like, hello? last week's tea parties) by requesting a $100 million cut?
During the campaign, Barack Obama had a favorite phrase he employed to question the rhetoric of his Republican opponents: "How stupid do they think we (the American people) are?"
The question could now be turned around on the administration.
"Cutting" $100 million from a $3.6 trillion budget is supposed to be some sort of bold gesture of fiscal rectitude?
Mr. President, how stupid do you think we are?
Robert A. George is a New York writer. He blogs at Ragged Thots.