President Obama has been promising to scour the federal budget for savings, “line by line.” The effort has apparently been in vain. The plan, which will be released today, seeks to trim 121 programs by $17 billion—a tiny fraction of the $3.4 trillion budget. Still, the cuts are likely to face a tough battle in Congress. Budget analysts said that few to none of the programs targeted by Obama will be terminated. According to Isabel Sawhill, a Brookings Institution economist who served as a senior official in the Clinton White House budget office, "Even if you got all of those things, it would be saving pennies, not dollars. And you're not going to begin to get all of them."
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