Morning Must Reads: Performance

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President Obama as seen through a teleprompter as he delivers a speech on U.S. fiscal and budgetary deficit policy at the George Washington University on April 13. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

–If you needed more evidence that squabbling over short-term discretionary spending is a joke, the CBO finds those vaunted $38 billion in cuts are only good for $352 million in savings this fiscal year (which, to be fair, is half over). That’s -$3.3 billion if you count war funding. The House will vote on the budget today.

–From the magazine: Scherer’s wild adventures in Trumpland; Joe hails policy and political prudence in Obama’s deficit speech; Mike Murphy sees a weak field for 2012, but a beatable President; Looking for a trillion dollars? Check the Pentagon, writes Thompson.

–Liberal budget wonks didn’t love Obama’s plan.

–The Florida grocer who made it into the President’s speech.

–Despite all the sniping, Tim Geithner is optimistic about bipartisan deficit reduction.

–The business world is in full freak-out mode on the debt ceiling.

–Rick Santorum opens an exploratory committee. Even buzzy dark horse candidates don’t do so well.

–The story of Obama’s nomination should make Tim Pawlenty feel better about dismal national poll performances.

Meet Bob Vander Plaats.

–Here are some miserable tax datapoints. But hey, people don’t seem to mind so much.

–And Obama orders Gitmo prisoners transferred to the next President.

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