On the same day that the federal government’s debt officially passed the $16 trillion mark, U.S. President Barack Obama (who has presided over $5.4 trillion in deficit spending over the last three-and-a-half years) offered up his administration’s definition of “austerity.”

Specifically, Obama’s acting budget director Jeffrey Zients penned a blog entry entitled “Spending Less, Spending Smarter” which touted an estimated $8 billion in “administrative cost savings” the administration hopes to achieve by the end of the next fiscal year (a.k.a. September 2013).

“We are spending less money, and we’re spending it smarter in order to get the most bang for our buck,” Zients wrote.

Ummmm … “we are spending less money?”  Really?

Not surprisingly, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) – one of the few consistent fiscal conservatives in Washington, D.C. – wasted little time in debunking this ridiculous statement.

“The $8 billion the White House is bragging about reducing is less than the U.S. government spends each day,” DeMint wrote on his official blog.

“Washington needs to cut the debt by cutting spending,” DeMint added. “Borrowing more to spend only increases it. If the White House were truly cutting spending the debt numbers would be going down, not up.”

Nine months ago – when the federal debt crossed the $15 trillion threshold – DeMint took to the floor of the U.S. Senate to offer an impassioned speech on the importance of fiscal restraint.

“It’s time we look at the future and the debt that we’re loading on to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren,” DeMint said. “This country will not survive the type of policies that we’re producing here in Washington today.”

He’s right … it’s just too bad the “Republican” presidential nominee doesn’t feel the same way.

UPDATE: Worth noting?  Barack Obama’s definition of “spending less money” appears to be eerily similar to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s definition …