by Brian Montopoli, CBS News
In remarks on his administration’s proposed $17 billion in cuts from the 2010 budget this morning, President Obama was somewhat on the defensive against charges that his cuts don’t amount to much considering that next year’s total budget amounts to $3.4 trillion.
As Steve Chaggaris noted in Hotsheet’s morning bulletin today, the news that the cuts totaled $17 billion “landed with a bit of a thud” in the media. Reporters stressed that the cuts made up “a tiny fraction” of the total budget and that they would be hard to push through; USA Today noted that the “proposed cuts are about one-fiftieth the size of this year’s $787 billion economic stimulus package — all of which was added to the deficit.”
In his remarks today, the president sought to change that tenor of that coverage. He mocked the notion that smaller savings are considered “trivial” in Washington and stressed that “these savings, large and small, add up.”
And he told journalists directly that they should stress the fact that the cuts are “significant” – a surprisingly direct appeal to reporters concerning which angle they should take in their coverage.